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Genoan navigator Christopher Columbus has a dream to find an alternative route to sail to the Indies, by traveling west instead of east, across the unchartered Ocean sea. After failing to find backing from the Portugese, he goes to the Spanish court to ask Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand for help. After surviving a grilling from the Head of the Spanish Inquisition Tomas de Torquemada, he eventually gets the blessing from Queen Isabella and sets sail in three ships to travel into the unknown. Along the way he must deal with sabotage from Portugese spies and mutiny from a rebellious crew. Written by
According to "Variety", Marlon Brando was paid $5 million for his cameo as Torquemada. Over 10 years earlier, Brando had set an industry record when producer "Christopher Columbus" producer Ilya Salkind had paid him $3.7 million for 12 days work on Superman (1978) against a percentage of the gross. That deal yielded Brando $14 million, though he had to sue the producer to get it. It was widely suspected that Brando took the role to raise money to pay for the defense of his son 'Christian Brando', who had been indicted on murder charges after shooting his sister Cheyenne's lover 'Dag Drollett". See more »
[to the Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor]
I recall our blessed Lord said: here is a new commandment I give to you. That you love one another as I loved you. Surely it is not blasphemy to take that message to the shores of Africa or across the ocean sea.
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I do not know everything about the actual story, but I can imagine that it is more compelling than this. When I learned that this was written in part by Mario "The Godfather" Puzo, I got to hope for quality. With that said, I honestly doubt that I would have enjoyed this all that much regardless of how low my expectations were. The plot isn't all that engaging, and the pacing is uneven. This flick is simply put one of the best arguments for why you should not base viewing choices upon the cast alone. There are *amazing* actors in this, and they are utterly wasted. And several performances in this are unforgivably hammy. The special effects are painfully unconvincing. I wish I was kidding when I say that there is amateur theater with less obvious FX. Did I miss something? This was made in 1992! Did they misplace the budget? For that matter, how did the scenery get to look so bad? This is an adventure film, and that, at least in this case, means fight sequences. They're decent, but if you're looking for that, you can find far superior ones easily. There is some female nudity in this, for anyone that attracts or repels. I recommend this solely to history teachers who have a severe grudge against their students. 5/10
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