Up 379 this week

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  21 August 1992 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.4/10 from 2,216 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 14 critic

Genoese navigator overcomes intrigue in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and gains financing for his expedition to the East Indies.



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 39 titles
created 09 Apr 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 22 Dec 2011
a list of 38 titles
created 25 Mar 2012
a list of 35 titles
created 25 Jul 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992)

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) on IMDb 4.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Christopher Columbus: The Discovery.

User Polls

1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae
The Formula (1980)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A detective uncovers a formula that was devised by the Nazis in WW II to make gasoline from synthetic products, thereby eliminating the necessity for oil--and oil companies. A major oil ... See full summary »

Director: John G. Avildsen
Stars: George C. Scott, Marlon Brando, Marthe Keller
Free Money (1998)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

Walrus-like warden, Sven "Swede" Sorenson, a cross between Bluto and Wimpy, runs the prison, murders convicts who escape, and has the FBI on his trail in the form of agent Karen Polarski, ... See full summary »

Director: Yves Simoneau
Stars: Marlon Brando, Donald Sutherland, Thomas Haden Church
The Freshman (1990)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Clark Kellogg is a young man starting his first year at film school in New York City. After a small time crook steals all his belongings, Clark meets Carmine "Jimmy the Toucan" Sabatini, an... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Bergman
Stars: Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby
The Brave (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A down-on-his-luck American Indian recently released from jail is offered the chance to "star" as the victim of a snuff film, the resulting pay of which could greatly help his poverty stricken family.

Director: Johnny Depp
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Marshall Bell
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel, and the the slow corruption of the children in their care.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Marlon Brando, Stephanie Beacham, Thora Hird
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A psychiatrist must cure a young patient that presents himself as Don Juan, the greatest lover in the world.

Director: Jeremy Leven
Stars: Johnny Depp, Marlon Brando, Faye Dunaway
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two men kidnap a girl off the streets, take her to a beach house owned by a drug-addicted stewardess, and hold her for ransom.

Directors: Hubert Cornfield, Richard Boone
Stars: Marlon Brando, Richard Boone, Rita Moreno
Burn! (1969)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Marlon Brando, Evaristo Márquez, Renato Salvatori
The Appaloosa (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Man tries to recover a horse stolen from him by a Mexican bandit.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Marlon Brando, Anjanette Comer, John Saxon
Morituri (1965)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A German living in India during World War II is blackmailed by the English to impersonate an SS officer on board a cargo ship leaving Japan for Germany carrying a large supply of rubber for... See full summary »

Director: Bernhard Wicki
Stars: Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Janet Margolin
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country... See full summary »

Director: George Englund
Stars: Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Sandra Church


Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Columbus (as George Corraface)
Beatriz (as Catherine Zeta Jones)
Alvaro Harana (as Benicio del Toro)
Mathieu Carrière ...
King John (as Mathieu Carriere)
Manuel de Blas ...
Glyn Grain ...
Nitzan Sharron ...


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 measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some action violence, and for nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

21 August 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cristóbal Colón: el descubrimiento  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)


$8,251,071 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind's first choice for director was Ridley Scott. Four months after rejecting their offer, Scott started working on a rival Christopher Columbus project which ultimately became 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992). As a consequence of this, the Salkinds unsuccessfully tried to sue Scott for stealing their idea. They were forced to drop their lawsuit when it was proved that "1492"s producer Alain Goldman and writer Roselyne Bosch's first proposal of a Christopher Columbus project predated theirs. See more »


Christopher Columbus: [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.
See more »


Version of Christoph Columbus (1923) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet...?"
22 June 2008 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery a swashbuckler? Is it a revisionist history? A celebration? Condemnation? All or none of the above? Well, yes it is, and that's just part of the problem.

To be honest, it's not really THAT bad. It's not that good, but it's not that bad. Aspiring to Warner Bros. in the 30s to evoke the spirit of Errol Flynn, but only making it to Fox in the 50s and their Richard Conte Deluxe-CinemaScope costumers, the Salkinds' much ridiculed version is not quite as moronic as its reputation would imply.

Many of the key incidents Ridley Scott omitted are to be found here: the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, Colon's ineptitude leading to the wrecking of one of his ships, with the relationship between him and the Spanish Court much more convincingly essayed. To Ferdinand, the New World means finance, to Isabella, converts. Both are allowed more depth than in 1492: Conquest of Paradise; Isabella in particular is penned in far more detail than Sigourney Weaver's conspiratorial flirt. Sadly, this high-point of the script brings the low point of the casting, to hysterical effect.

Isabella may have been a gung-ho Catholic zealot not averse to having a few hundred heretics tortured to death, but it's hard to believe she was quite as jolly hockey sticks as Rachel Ward's head girl of the chalet school incarnation here. On the other hand, as the king, Tom Selleck, the poor deer, wanders through it all like a man emerging from a serious road accident, aware of his wounds but too numb to take it all in. You just can't help feeling sorry for him.

Other casting is similarly erratic. Although hardly memorable, Marlon Brando's Torquemada is at least allowed a motive and rationale for his cruelty that is very much of the time. Robert Davi and Oliver Cotton are both very good in drastically underwritten roles, but Nigel Terry, whose ham acting has near-ruined many a good film, makes the most of the opportunity to ruin a naff one by undermining many of their scenes. A young Catherine Zeta Jones here seems dead set on being the next Rachel Ward: with her disturbing tendency to stare at the ceiling in moments of high emotion as if waiting for a song cue, she is just part of the scenery.

Yet the odd thing about The Discovery is that while critics were quick to sneer in anticipation of Ridley Scott's version, it actually comes down much harder on its hero. George Corraface's Columbus has a much nastier side to him than Depardieu's victim of snobbery and class warfare; whereas Scott constantly found or invented excuses, here the explorer has the kind of contradictory fanaticism that sees no need of them, as capable of exploitation and cruelty as of great dreams, and certainly more mercenary in his motives. If Depardieu's incarnation fails his dream for all the right reasons, Corraface's succeeds for all the wrong ones, and he is good enough in these later scenes to dispel at least some of the memory of his incessant would-be dashing grinning of the first half.

But the darker side is never tapped by either the confused script or John Glen's painting by numbers direction (at one point Timothy Dalton was set to star but pulled out three days before filming after reportedly falling out with his former Bond director). The photography is distinctly available light - there is no vision or style here, and despite the higher budget it looks cheaper than its main rival. The New World seems to be little more than a stretch of highly desirable beachfront property ripe for timeshare development, making it hard to see what all the fuss was about. Only Cliff Eidelman's rich and sweepingly romantic score attains the epic status the film aspires to.

Too old-fashioned (or not old-fashioned enough) for its own good, this may have made marginally more than 1492 at the US box-office, but it's no surprise that it's now no more than a footnote to Scott's film (which itself is no more than a footnote to Scott's career these days).

8 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
hero or villian? sliverfreak9
Summer 2008 Showings KajeKi
Benecio del Toro wickes02
Chattanooga Filming Locations? howatdk

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: