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
An old-timey sort of film; should have starred Errol Flynn
This seems really to be an old-fashioned adventure film, the kind the studios churned out in great numbers in the 1940's. Maybe an Errol Flynn vehicle. That's the way Georges Corraface plays it, and it's okay. Not great, but okay. Marlon Brando totally mailed it in, as he was wont to do in his later years. Tom Selleck is a wonderful actor, but he really couldn't pull it off in this one. Rachel Ward was much more believable as Queen Isabella, regal, with more than a little bit of religious fanaticism. She also played it with minimal make-up, looking very forty-ish, something many actresses of her stature and beauty would have refused. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Benicio del Toro put in decent showings, given the limitations of the material. The scriptwriters were probably in a bit of a quandary, since the occasion (500th anniversary) called for a hagiography, but on the other hand, political correctness makes Colon out to be a villain. They tried to split the difference, and it didn't work. But over-all, this film is not as bad as some make it out to be. Oh, and mention must be made of the beauty of Tailinh Forest Flower as the Indian chieftain's daughter. Wow!
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