6.7/10
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33 user 13 critic

We Were Strangers (1949)

Approved | | Adventure, Romance, Drama | 27 April 1949 (USA)
1932. The tyrannical and despotic government of President Machado has headed Cuba for seven years. The latest measure of that tyranny is the outlawing of public gatherings of more than four... See full summary »

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Peter Viertel (screenplay), John Huston (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jennifer Jones ... China Valdés
John Garfield ... Tony Fenner
Pedro Armendáriz ... Armando Ariete (as Pedro Armendariz)
Gilbert Roland ... Guillermo Montilla
Ramon Novarro ... Chief
Wally Cassell ... Miguel
David Bond ... Ramón Sánchez
José Pérez José Pérez ... Toto (as Jose Perez)
Morris Ankrum ... Mr. Seymour
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Storyline

1932. The tyrannical and despotic government of President Machado has headed Cuba for seven years. The latest measure of that tyranny is the outlawing of public gatherings of more than four people, such acts the government deeming treasonous. China Valdés, a young woman who works in an American bank in Havana, is generally non-political. However, she decides to join the revolutionary forces to avenge the murder of her activist brother Manolo - a murder she witnessed - at the hands of the government, the trigger pulled by a police officer she will eventually learn is named Armando Ariete. Her goal is to kill Ariete. Another of the revolutionaries, an American entertainment promoter named Tony Fenner, convinces her to hold off on her assassination, as he believes he has come up with a plan that can wipe out all the major government leaders in one fell swoop. Along with China and Tony, the Chief of the revolutionaries amasses a team of four non-related men - Guillermo, Ramón, Miguel and ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

CHINA VALDES...a woman of violent hates and fierce loves. TONY FENNER...a tough guy with a conscience...


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Rough Sketch See more »

Filming Locations:

Havana, Cuba See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$900,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Identified by critic Thom Andersen as an example of "film gris", a suggested sub-category of film noir incorporating a left-wing narrative. See more »

Goofs

This story is set in Cuba, a Spanish speaking country; however, the check that China presents at the bank is in English: TWO THOUSAND PESOS. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Subject Was Roses (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

We Dig All Day We Dig All Night
(uncredited)
Performed by Gilbert Roland
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Unique Hollywood revolutionary film
31 March 2005 | by treagan-2See all my reviews

This film is an astounding anomaly to Hollywood film-making, in that it is openly supportive of armed revolutionary terrorism, even if it means the death of innocent people. And since it was made in 1949, by Columbia Pictures, just as the Hollywood Blacklist was beginning, it is even more unusual.

The quality of the film is first-rate—a taut, well-constructed thriller, with convincing characterizations by the actors and strong direction by John Huston. The fact that it is about Cuba, made 10 years before the victory of the Fidel Castro-led revolutionary forces, is more coincidence.

The revolutionaries are seen as intense fanatics, yes, but each with a justification for their zeal. They are seen as different from each other, occasionally at odds, but essentially united in their purpose. They openly discuss the rights and wrongs of revolutionary violence, and come to a consensus to go ahead.

Jennifer Jones is impressive, as are Gilbert Roland, Pedro Armendariz, and John Garfield. I can't think of another studio-made American feature like this one, worth seeing for both its quality and its unique place in American movies.


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