5.7/10
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24 user 23 critic
A British mercenary arrives in pre-Revolution Cuba to help train General Batista's Army against Castro's guerrillas while he also romances a former lover now married to an unscrupulous plantation owner.

Director:

Richard Lester

Writer:

Charles Wood
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Connery ... Major Robert Dapes
Brooke Adams ... Alexandra Lopez de Pulido
Jack Weston ... Larry Gutman
Hector Elizondo ... Captain Raphael Ramirez
Denholm Elliott ... Donald Skinner
Martin Balsam ... General Bello
Chris Sarandon ... Juan Pulido
Danny De La Paz Danny De La Paz ... Julio Mederos
Lonette McKee ... Therese Mederos
Alejandro Rey ... Faustino
Louisa Moritz ... Miss Wonderly
Dave King ... Miss Wonderly's Press Agent
Walter Gotell ... Don Jose Pulido
David Rappaport ... Jesus
Wolfe Morris ... General Fulgencio Batista
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Storyline

In the late 1950s, a British hireling is sent to Cuba to train Batista's army. They must be trained to fight Castro's army. While there, the Brit encounters an old love, who is married. While Castro's army wins more and more, their love revives. Written by R. Kessen <rhkessen@cs.vu.nl>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Part Heaven... Part Hell... Pure Havana.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

21 December 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kuba See more »

Filming Locations:

Cádiz, Andalucía, Spain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$527,540, 25 December 1979

Gross USA:

$5,610,280

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,610,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Holmby Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The storyline of this movie and Havana (1990) have been remarked as being noticeably similar. See more »

Goofs

While Battista is watching a 16mm version of "Horror of Dracula" sequences are shown out of context. The scenes showing Christopher Lee's legs and hands disintegrating are shown prior to his hand-to-hand fight with Cushing. See more »

Quotes

Maj. Robert Dapes: It's important to name things as they really are...
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although all previous versions were uncut the 2003 UK DVD version was edited by 24 secs to remove scenes of real cockfighting. See more »


Soundtracks

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
(uncredited) (1943)
Written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane
Instrumental version heard at Christmas party
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lester's most under-appreciated misunderstood film and also his funniest
2 February 2013 | by jacegaffneySee all my reviews

Perhaps the reason I like this film so much is because I don't, normally, like the cinema of Richard Lester. I've always found it too frenetic to be funny and too fragmented to be involving on any human level. However, CUBA is, arguably, the most misunderstood picture to close out the decade of the 70s. It is a brilliant visual satire of a society in total materialistic collapse with every character in the picture (save the white knight James Bond figure played by Sean Connery who is rendered completely ineffectual by the chaos that is tumbling down upon him)is literally on the take. What is extraordinary here is that the mise-en-scene is as visually dazzling and stylistically coherent CAPTURING chaos as it is satirically barbed, subtle and consistently ingenious. You really have to WATCH this movie. There's always something inventive and extremely droll going on around the edges. The supporting cast of Jack Weston, Hector Elizondo, Walter Godell, Martin Balsam, Chris Sarandon, Denholm Elliott and Alexandro Rey (unrecognizable)was flawlessly assembled but because the film doesn't ANNOUNCE its satirical intentions and Lester refuses to telegraph his gags and put anything in the center of the frame, most people came away from the picture pooh-faced. Well, there is one other problem with CUBA and Lester has to take the brunt of the responsibility for it which is, in his corrosively ebullient fervor (and perhaps because, as a director he never responded to women very much), he left poor, ultra-lovely Brooke Adams out to dry as a character. It's clear that he has nothing but contempt for the "Casablanca" aspect of the story involving her and Connery but he should have done a better job disguising the fact. I think Connery is terrific in his role making the pathos of his Gable-like flawed hero comical and deeply affecting. Lester was even more successful in JUGGERNAUT satirizing a genre while squeezing the maximum thrills out of it at the same time. CUBA doesn't work successfully on both levels in the way that JUGGERNAUT does. But it is the most impressively detailed and dynamically precise cinematic rendering of what the last days of a politically corrupt regime looks like - as it goes into free-fall - that a mainstream commercial film maker has ever given us.


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