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Dawn of America (1951)

Alba de América (original title)
The story of Cristóbal Colón's tribulations to get financial support for a maritime expedition which should have provided a new commercial route to the Far East but discovered America instead.


Juan de Orduña


José Rodulfo Boeta (screenplay), José Rodulfo Boeta (dialogue) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
Antonio Vilar ... Cristóbal Colón
María Martín ... Beatriz (as Mery Martín)
José Suárez ... Rey Fernando el Católico
Virgilio Teixeira ... Pedro de Arana
Manuel Luna ... Isaac
Eduardo Fajardo ... Gastón
Jesús Tordesillas ... Fray Juan Pérez
Ana María Custodio ... Madre de Beatriz
José Marco Davó ... Martín Alonso Pinzón
Ernesto Vilches ... Cabrero
Alberto Romea ... Cardenal Mendoza
Nicolás D. Perchicot ... Fray Antonio de Marchena
Fernando Sancho ... Pedro Salcedo
Francisco Pierrá ... Miembro de la junta
Arturo Marín ... Pedro Vázquez de la Frontera




The story of Cristóbal Colón's tribulations to get financial support for a maritime expedition which should have provided a new commercial route to the Far East but discovered America instead.

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User Reviews

A dated and spectacular portrayal of the greatest explorer , made in big budget but with lousy interpretations
30 November 2016 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Spanish epic movie , being starred by all-Spanish--¡star cast and is packed with strong ideological charge , great production and spectacular scenes . It takes an old approach the ambitious adventurer , Christopher Columbus/Antonio Vilar , who thanks to Fray Juan Pérez/Jesús Tordesillas , Queen's confessor , finally gets the Queen of Spain , Isabel/Amparo Rivelles to agree to finance his voyage . This ¨Colón¨ concerns the essential story of discovery with political confrontation behind , including known characters , Fray Marchena , R.R.C.C. , Martín Alonso Pinzón , Juán De La Cosa , Rodrigo De Triana , among others . When is about a mutiny aboard his boat , Cristóbal tells his life by means of a long flashback . As Colón following the theories of Marino De Tiro and Toscanelli and driven by his sense of destiny , tries to convince firstly to Juan II , King of Portugal , of the practicality of his proposed voyage to reach to Far East by sailing west . Being rejected by Juan II , Colón , then , goes to the Rabida Monastery and asks for help Fray Juan Perez who convinces Queen Isabella and Fernando De Aragón (José Suárez) that his plan to reach the East by sailing west is practical . Throughout seven years Colón bears great number of intrigues , particularly the Jew banker Isaac (Manuel Luna) , a traitor , the French named Gastón (Eduardo Fajardo) as well as other events as Granada war , including fight against Boabdil el Chico , all of them roadblocks to the voyage , but thanks to the efforts of Colón , the navigator perseveres and ultimately prevails . As driven by his sense of destiny , the famous discoverer left his lover Beatriz (Maria Martin) and crossed the sea of darkness in search of honor , gold and the greater glory of God . In 1492 accompanied by others sailors , three magnificent navigators : Martín Alonso Pinzón (José Marco Davo) , Vicente Yáñez Pinzón (Antonio Almoros) and Juán De La Cosa (Antonio Casas) aboard their boats : ¨La Pinta¨ , ¨Niña¨ and ¨Santamaría¨ , Cólon and his seamen set off for America and finally arrive in the island of San Salvador.

This picture contains a lot of historical remarks with inclusion some re-enacting of fundamental deeds as the capitulations of Santa Fé between Colón and Catholic Kings or Granada conquest . This film was highly budgeted by CIFESA as well as sponsored by the Spanish government when infuriated by the British -prohibited by censorship- ¨Christopher Columbus¨(1949) by David McDonald with Fredric March in which the Spanish people were panned by critics , and the extreme contempt , being really scorned ; that's why here was impulsed to make a patriotic movie and being largely financed . As Admiral Carrero Blanco promoted a lavish film with quite a few budget (10 million pesetas) patronized by Culture Institute . It caused a strong confrontation between a splendid movie ¨Surcos¨(1951) by J.A. Nieves Conde that was supported by the General Director of Cinema and ¨Dawn of America¨ , it resulted in the firing of the General Director José Maria García Escudero . The flick is spoiled by overacting , most play similarly to stage actors ; as the influence of the theater in players results to be extreme and embarrassing , specially by Antonio Vilar who gives a ridiculous performance , usually looking at horizon and declaiming silly and symbolic sentences . The settings (Sevilla studios) are acceptable though mostly made in ¨Carton-Piedra (stone)¨ , as well as matte-painting . Decent cinematography in black and white by Alfredo Fraile , the finales scenes when three boats arrive in San Salvador were actually shot in Benidorm when there wasn't tourism . And atmospheric and evocative score by Juán Quintero . The motion picture was lavishly produced by CIFESA , the most known production company during Francoist period , that often financed these false but breathtaking historical spectacles . Being regularly directed by Juán De Orduña who made a dull , tiring and overlong film . Alba De America is considered to be one of the worst super-productions of the powerful Francoist company CIFESA and it caused its fall and it went subsequently bankrupt . With director Florian Rey , Orduña formed the production company "Goya Films" . Juán adapted to cinema famous novels such as : ¨Zalacaín El Aventurero¨ , ¨Cañas Y Barro¨ , ¨El Frente De Los Suspiros¨ , ¨Nobleza Baturra¨ , ¨Lola Se Va a Los Huertos¨ , being especially known for his historical renditions such as : ¨Teresa De Jesús¨ , ¨La Leona De Castilla¨ , ¨Agustina De Aragón¨ and ¨Locura De Amor¨ . His most successful picture was ¨El Ultimo Cuple¨ with Sara Montiel .

Other adaptations about this historic role are the followings : Christopher Columbus (1949) with Fredric March , Florence Eldridge and directed by David McDonald ; Columbus (1985) with Gabriel Byrne , Faye Dunaway and directed by Alberto Lattuada ; The Discovery (1992) by John Glenn with George Corraface and Marlon Brando ; and ¨1492¨ by Ridley Scott with Gerard Depardieu , Sigourney Weaver . And Spanish/Italian TV version by Vittorio Cottafavi with Francisco Rabal as Colombus considered one of the best renditions about this immortal character .

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Release Date:

14 October 1952 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Dawn of America See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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