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The Saragossa Manuscript (1965)

Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie (original title)
Upon finding a book that relates his grandfather's story, an officer ventures through Spain meeting a wide array of characters, most of whom have a story of their own to tell.

Director:

Wojciech Has (as Wojciech J. Has)

Writers:

Tadeusz Kwiatkowski, Jan Potocki (novel)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zbigniew Cybulski ... Alfonse Van Worden
Iga Cembrzynska ... Princess Emina
Elzbieta Czyzewska ... Donna Frasquetta Salero
Gustaw Holoubek ... Don Pedro Velasquez
Stanislaw Igar ... Don Gaspar Soarez
Joanna Jedryka ... Zibelda
Janusz Klosinski ... Don Diego Salero
Bogumil Kobiela ... Senor Toledo
Barbara Krafftówna ... Camilla de Tormez
Jadwiga Krawczyk Jadwiga Krawczyk ... Donna Inez Moro
Slawomir Lindner Slawomir Lindner ... Van Worden's father
Krzysztof Litwin ... Don Lopez Soarez
Miroslawa Lombardo Miroslawa Lombardo ... Van Worden's mother
Jan Machulski ... Count Pena Flor
Zdzislaw Maklakiewicz ... Don Roque Busqueros
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Storyline

In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest route through the Sierra Morena. At an inn, the Venta Quemada, he sups with two Islamic princesses. They call him their cousin and seduce him; he wakes beside corpses under a gallows. He meets a hermit priest and a goatherd; each tells his story; he wakes again by the gallows. He's rescued from the Inquisition, meets a cabalist and hears more stories within stories, usually of love. He returns to Venta Quemada, the women await with astonishing news. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Mr Bongo Films

Country:

Poland

Language:

Polish

Release Date:

9 February 1965 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

El manuscrito encontrado en Zaragoza See more »

Filming Locations:

Olsztyn, Slaskie, Poland See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,456, 23 May 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$118,971, 12 November 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Kamera Film Unit See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Quotes

Don Pedro Velasquez: We are like blind men lost in the streets of a big city. The streets lead to a goal, but we often return to the same places to get to where we want to be. I can see a few little streets here which, as it is now, are going nowhere. New combinations have to be arranged, then the whole will be clear, because one man cannot invent something that another cannot solve.
Alfonse Van Worden: I no longer follow.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Originally released in a cut version in the US, the film was restored to it's original 182-minutes running time and premiered at the New York Film Festival in September 1997. The restoration project, supervised by Edith Kramer, was initially sponsored by Grateful Dead's leader Jerry Garcia and later completed by Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. The restored version includes a dedication to Jerry Garcia. See more »

Connections

Version of Agadah (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Ode to Joy
Taken from Symphony's No. 9 IV movement ("Finale")
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

Love it or hate it, it's unique.
26 August 2004 | by birckSee all my reviews

The comments on this film seem evenly distributed between favor and disfavor. At this date, I can't understand why anyone would not like it, but that's me. I first saw it in 1967, while I was in college. I loved it, and went so far as to locate and purchase the book(s) from which it was adapted. And that was before the internet, and Amazon, and Bookfinder. One of the books I didn't manage to get until I got to London. Reading it, I was amazed to realize that the film actually includes remnants of every story in the book(s): when, for example, Alphonso opens a door to find a bewigged scholar interrupted while declaiming "...Then the first skeleton tore out his own arm-bone and began hitting me with it..."-the whole story is there in the book, i.e., what the skeletons were doing there in the first place. The books, Manuscript Found At Saragossa and the New Decameron, are rightly considered Literary Treasures of Poland, along the lines of Notre-Dame á Paris in France, War and Peace in Russia, or Moby-Dick here. It's about stories and storytelling.

By the end of the film, to say the least, the viewer has been presented with a convincing picture of sixteenth-century Europe from different angles, and it's safe to say that no other film, before or since, in color or Black-and-white, has done it better.


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