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1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people.



(scenario) (as Roselyne Bosch)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Captain Mendez
Kario Salem ...
John Heffernan ...
Brother Buyl


Big budget account of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas. Released in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery. Shows the disastrous effects the Europeans had on the original inhabitants, and Columbus' struggle to civilize the New World. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Centuries before the exploration of space, there was another voyage into the unknown.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for historical violence and brutality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

9 October 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

1492: La conquête du paradis  »

Box Office


$47,000,000 (estimated)


$7,191,399 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Francis Ford Coppola, Roland Joffé and Oliver Stone were all approached to direct before Ridley Scott took up the offer. See more »


The film makes reference to three voyages, stating that the second voyage was the one in which Columbus fell out of favor; the epilogue says that Columbus took a third and final voyage to America. Actually, Columbus made four voyages. The second voyage tarnished Columbus's reputation, but it was the third voyage which proved to be his downfall. See more »


[first lines]
Young Fernando Columbus: Of all the words my father wrote - and there were many - I remember these the most: "Nothing that results from human progress is achieved with unanimous consent. And those who are enlightened before the others are condemned to persue that light in spite of others."
See more »


Version of Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) See more »


Fever Ride
Composed and Performed by Richard Horowitz
Courtesy of Virgin Records, Ltd.
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User Reviews

Beautiful but vacuous
22 June 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The perils of working towards an anniversary and trying to beat a rival project to the screen are all too evident in 1492 – Conquest of Paradise. It's easily Ridley Scott's most beautiful looking film, designed and shot with real love and care. With almost every shot gorgeous enough to take down and frame, it's like walking through an art gallery at times. Unfortunately that's never enough to compensate for a terrible screenplay by Roselyne Bosch that seems to have been written on the bus to work and stumbles from cliché to cliché. Carry On Columbus has better dialog at times, not to mention a better grasp of history. Worst of all, it throws away the real dramatic potential in Columbus' life for an unconvincing slice of class warfare – wouldn't you know it, it was really all those pesky upper class Euro trash aristo types like Michael Wincott that screwed up paradise, not Columbus' own incompetence and incredible cruelty – while painting him as the 'chosen one.' At one point when the Inquisition ask our compassionate visionary if he is comparing himself to Christ, there's even a dramatic pause as he thinks it over in that he-is-you-know tipping the nod to the audience way. The result is a film that wants to be up there with Herzog's Spanish nutter in the jungle movies but is too expensive to allow its protagonist to go all Klaus Kinski on it and run the risk of alienating the audience, leaving us with more excuses and special pleading than drama.

Strangely, no-one in front of or behind the camera seems to notice just how bad the script is ("Excuse me, but you're the only queen I know," Columbus tells Isabella, soliciting the even more unlikely reply "You're the only navigator I know, so that makes us even."), and both performances and technical standards are all worthy of a much better film. Still, sometimes looking good is good enough – but not good enough for 154 minutes. It's a shame that they didn't read Kirkpatrick Sale's excellent historical biography instead of just using the title.

27 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A criminally underrated film patricksullivan-33433
If Columbus hadn't landed in the New World in 1492... Vega_Lyra
this movie really sucks, dude larevolucionvive
Horrible... This sucked Ksublonde06-1
One of the most underated movies ever. ViolenceAndSarcasm
WHERE is the DVD ?????????? Grrrrr..... bawko
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