Lost in La Mancha (2002)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  2 August 2002 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 9,162 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 64 user | 86 critic | 35 from Metacritic.com

Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, off the ground.


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2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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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 »

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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
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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 »


Referenced in Ser o estar (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

Impossible Dream?
7 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

"The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" has the makings of a brilliant film. It's a twisted take on Cervantes from the mind of director Terry Gilliam, starring Jean Rochefort, Johnny Depp, and Vanessa Paradis. The only problem is that the film has not been made. It REFUSES to be made.

Filmmakers Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe initially set out to chronicle Gilliam as he made his quixotic dream come true. Instead they captured the floods, bombings, and various "acts of God" that shut the movie down. The result is "Lost in La Mancha", a documentary about a courageous but capsizing production. It works because by presenting Gilliam's story, Fulton and Pepe also illustrate the joy and pain that all filmmakers experience to some degree. We often witness Gilliam's frustration, but we also see his delight when his vision briefly comes to life.

One is left with a new appreciation for the daring movies that do make it through production, as well as some hope for the completion of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". Gilliam is depicted as a dreamer, not a failure. "Lost in La Mancha" is an enjoyable celebration of those who tilt at windmills.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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