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Lost in La Mancha (2002)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  2 August 2002 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9,100 users   Metascore: 74/100
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Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground.


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An advertising executive jumps back and forth in time between 21st century London and 17th century La Mancha, where Don Quixote mistakes him for Sancho Panza.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jack O'Connell, John Hurt


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Grisoni ...
Himself - Co-Writer
Himself - First Assistant Director (as Phil Patterson)
René Cleitman ...
Himself - Producer
Himself - Writer & Director
Nicola Pecorini ...
Himself - Director of Photography
Himself - Line Producer
Bárbara Pérez-Solero ...
Herself - Ass't. Set Decorator
Benjamín Fernández ...
Himself - Production Designer (as Benjamin Fernandez)
Andrea Calderwood ...
Herself - Former Head of Production, Pathé
Ray Cooper ...
Himself - Longtime Gilliam Colleague
Gabriella Pescucci ...
Herself - Costume Designer
Himself - Co-Costume Designer
Bernard Bouix ...
Himself - Executive Producer
Fred Millstein ...
Himself - Completion Guarantor
Narrator (voice)


Director Terry Gilliam is the latest filmmaker to try and bring Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra's "Don Quixote de la Mancha" to the big screen, the movie to be called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Before filming even begins, Gilliam, who has moved from Hollywood studio to European financing, will have to scale back his vision as his budget has been slashed from $40 million to $32 million, still astronomical by European standards. But Gilliam is a dreamer, much like his title character, and his vision for the movie is uncompromising, meaning with the reduced budget that there is no margin for error and that some of his department heads may have to achieve miracles with their allotted moneys. During pre-production and actual filming, what Gilliam does not foresee is contractual and health issues with his actors, and the effects of Mother Nature. The question is does Gilliam have a Plan B if/when things go wrong. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They've got a story...but have lost the plot.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

2 August 2002 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Don Kihotis horis telos...  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£42,824 (UK) (2 August 2002)


$34,514 (USA) (20 June 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Fulton and Pepe embarked on their second feature about director Terry Gilliam intending to make a television documentary about the development and pre-production of Gilliam's long-awaited passion project. Having intimate knowledge of Gilliam's chaotic working methods, they knew they were in for something dramatic. But they had no idea that the story would develop into its own quixotic tragedy. After the failure of Gilliam's production, Fulton and Pepe were wary of finishing their film. Gilliam assured them that "someone has to get a film out of this. I guess it's going to be you." See more »


Johnny Depp: [in character, to a fish] You wanna fuck with me? Fucker!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks to The Cast and Crew of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" See more »

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User Reviews

This is one of the saddest, most painful films I've ever seen.
27 January 2004 | by (Atlanta, Georgia) – See all my reviews

I thought I had it bad on the set of my little student film in college.


Watching this documentary was very difficult and very interesting at the same time. I enjoyed it, despite the tragedy that played out on the screen.

What makes the film so heartbreaking is that you know that the film will inevitably fail. So the entire movie-watching experience is steeped in dramatic irony. We, the viewers, know the outcome of this ill-fated film project known as "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote." But the filmmakers themselves, at the time of the filming, obviously do not know that all their actions are essentially in vain.

A great film, and a powerful warning to those who thinking making movies is easy.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Will Gilliam ever make his Don Quixote? Spielbergo
Of course the movie collapsed! Alan Smithee
The "documentary" IS the movie! rana3528
An animated Don Quixote? tuco4life
HAHAHA IM SO SILLY!! k8doyle33
the man who killed don quixote Deppist
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