72 user 23 critic

Man of La Mancha (1972)

The funny story of mad but kind and chivalrous elderly nobleman Don Quixote who, aided by his squire Sancho Panza, fights windmills that are seen as dragons to save prostitute Dulcinea who is seen as a noblewoman.


Arthur Hiller


Dale Wasserman (musical play), Dale Wasserman (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Don Quixote De La Mancha / Miguel Cervantes / Alonso Quijana
Sophia Loren ... Dulcinea / Aldonza
James Coco ... Sancho Panza
Harry Andrews ... The Innkeeper / The Governor
John Castle ... Sanson Carrasco / The Duke
Brian Blessed ... Pedro
Ian Richardson ... The Padre
Julie Gregg ... Antonia
Rosalie Crutchley ... The Housekeeper
Gino Conforti ... The Barber
Marne Maitland ... Captain of the Guard
Dorothy Sinclair Dorothy Sinclair ... The Innkeeper's Wife
Miriam Acevedo Miriam Acevedo ... Fermina
Dominic Barto Dominic Barto ... Muleteer (as Dominic Bartó)
Poldo Bendandi ... Muleteer


This musical version of Don Quixote is framed by an incident allegedly from the life of its author, Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote is the mad, aging nobleman who embarrasses his respectable family by his adventures. Backed by his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza, he duels windmills and defends his perfect lady Dulcinea (who is actually a downtrodden whore named Aldonza). Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Musical Adventure! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


This was one of the last films to receive a limited-release, reserved-seat "roadshow" engagement prior to its general release. Lost Horizon (1973) was the last of the "big film musicals" to receive this kind of release during the time period. See more »


Miguel (pronounced Mee-GELL) is mispronounced by various characters as "Mee-GWELL", including Peter O'Toole when introducing himself to the other prisoners. See more »


Aldonza: [singing, to Don Quixote] If you feel that you see me, not quite at my virginal best, / cross my palm with a coin, and I'll willingly show you the rest.
Don Quixote: [speaking] Never deny that thou art Dulcinea.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, we see the animated sails of a windmill, which, with each turn, begin to reveal, and finally become, a sketch of the face of Don Quixote. The camera moves in for an extreme closeup of the facial features, which, as the camera gets close, reveal themselves to be a giant prop in an outdoor stage presentation during a festival. As the opening credits end, the sketch of that prop dissolves into the real item. See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD features the MGM logo in the credits, but not the United Artists one, although the film is a United Artists release. The VHS release featured both logos, and the original theatrical release only the United Artists one, along with the Transamerica logo (Transamerica once owned UA). See more »


Referenced in Barney Miller: Bureaucrat (1975) See more »


The Impossible Dream
Music by Mitch Leigh
Lyrics by Joe Darion
Sung by Simon Gilbert
See more »

User Reviews

POWERFUL Story ! 5 stars
7 June 2004 | by SanFranNiceRnSee all my reviews

This is one of my favorites movies, and although I am also a big fan of the play, this movie did no injustice to it whatsoever.. perhaps it would only make someone more motivated to see it performed LIVE on stage. Either way, it is very touching and something that imprints itself upon your heart.

I found similarities between this film and Life is Beautiful, not only the unconventional mentality of the leading characters, but the power we have to positively impact others. If you enjoy L.I.B., this is a MUST SEE !!

From the dismal dungeon jail to to the imaginative world of Don Quixote, Peter O'Toole is outstanding as the chivalrous errant knight. His performance is amazing. James Coco provides comic relief and Sophia Loren is moving as Dulcinea. The gentleness Don Quixote shows Dulcinea is beautiful.

This touching story within a story embraces and captives you as it takes you on a journey of valor, romance, suspense, deceit, comedy, and self examination. I would recommend experiencing at least once.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Italy | USA



Release Date:

8 September 1973 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Man of La Mancha See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)


Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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