5.7/10
2,222
24 user 22 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, 23 December 1979, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$5,610,280, 31 December 1980
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

Gutman and Miss Wonderly were characters in The Maltese Falcon (1941), and Dapes is an anagram for Spade, the lead character in that movie. See more »

Goofs

The story is supposed to take place in 1959 but the limousine is a 1961 Chrysler. 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 »

Connections

References Casablanca (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Timbales and Bongo
(uncredited)
Written by Mongo Santamaria
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating backdrop but an ultimately disappointing film
13 February 2006 | by David198See all my reviews

This drama/love story could have been excellent. Played out against the last months of the corrupt and US/UK-supported Batista regime, the collapse of the old society as Castro's fidelistas begin to take over is shown compellingly. The point is well made that a revolution will only succeed if the people are behind it which, in this instance, they clearly were.

It's a shame that the movie couldn't have been filmed in Cuba, as of course all the famous landmarks of Havana are missing, but its real problems are threefold.

Firstly the storyline is confusing, complicated and unconvincing, with none of the characters being allowed to hold one's attention.

Secondly, the acting is poor. Even Sean Connery - who is normally excellent - seems to have had his mind on other things the whole time.

And thirdly, for some inexplicable reason, the chanting of 'Fidel' as Castro enters Havana in triumph morphs into a Nazi crowd chanting 'Sieg Heil'. Whatever was this trying to say? When Castro actually came into power, one of the first things he did was to open all the 'whites-only' clubs to black people, and to make it clear in an early speech that there was no such thing as a superior race. To liken Castro to Hitler is a travesty of the facts.

So, ultimately a flawed film. Watch it not for the story or the 'message' but for what is going on in the background.


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