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Christopher Columbus 

After his proposal to sail west to the East Indies is rejected by Portugal, Columbus overcomes court intrigue in Spain to gain support for his expedition.




Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 win. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Gabriel Byrne ...  Christopher Columbus 4 episodes, 1985
Rossano Brazzi ...  Diego Ortiz De Vilhegas 4 episodes, 1985
Virna Lisi ...  Dona Moniz Perestrello 4 episodes, 1985
Oliver Reed ...  Martin Pinzon 4 episodes, 1985
Raf Vallone ...  Jose Vizinho 4 episodes, 1985
Max von Sydow ...  King John of Portugal 4 episodes, 1985
Eli Wallach ...  Father Hernando De Talavera 4 episodes, 1985
Nicol Williamson ...  King Ferdinand 4 episodes, 1985
Faye Dunaway ...  Queen Isabella of Spain 4 episodes, 1985
Michel Auclair ...  Luis De Santangel 4 episodes, 1985
William Berger ...  Francisco De Bobadilla 4 episodes, 1985
Keith Buckley ...  De Torres 4 episodes, 1985
Mark Buffery Mark Buffery ...  Bartholomo Colombo 4 episodes, 1985
Anne Canovas ...  Beatriz Enriquez 4 episodes, 1985
Elpidia Carrillo ...  Coana 4 episodes, 1985
Massimo Girotti ...  Duke Medina Celi 4 episodes, 1985
Larry Lamb ...  Don Castillo 4 episodes, 1985
Stefano Madia ...  Federico 4 episodes, 1985
Audrey Matson Audrey Matson ...  Dona Felipa Perestrello 4 episodes, 1985
Murray Melvin ...  Father Linares 4 episodes, 1985
Jack Watson ...  Father Marchena 4 episodes, 1985
Hal Yamanouchi ...  Guacanabo 4 episodes, 1985
Claudio Aliotti Claudio Aliotti ...  Diego as an Adult 4 episodes, 1985
Patrick Bauchau ...  Don Rodrigo 4 episodes, 1985
Kasimir Berger Kasimir Berger ...  Diego as a Child 4 episodes, 1985
Sal Borgese ...  Juan 4 episodes, 1985
Charles Borromel Charles Borromel ...  Xarmiento 4 episodes, 1985
Tony Camilleri Tony Camilleri ...  Riquelme 4 episodes, 1985
Scott Coffey ...  Vallejo 4 episodes, 1985
Cyrus Elias Cyrus Elias ...  Alaminos 4 episodes, 1985
Francesco Lattuada Francesco Lattuada ...  De Triana 4 episodes, 1985
Patrick Longhi Patrick Longhi ...  Ferdinand 4 episodes, 1985
Alexander Lopez Alexander Lopez ...  Diego Taino 4 episodes, 1985
Antonio Marsina ...  Vicente Pinzon 4 episodes, 1985
David Mills David Mills ...  Dr. Chanca 4 episodes, 1985
Lino Mintoff Lino Mintoff ...  De Gamma 4 episodes, 1985
Brizio Montinaro Brizio Montinaro ...  Ocampo 4 episodes, 1985
Joseph Murphy Joseph Murphy ...  Escobedo 4 episodes, 1985
Luca Orlandini Luca Orlandini ...  Diego as a Teenager 4 episodes, 1985
Iris Peynado ...  Selina 4 episodes, 1985
Jean-François Poron Jean-François Poron ...  Alonso De Mardan 4 episodes, 1985
Erik Schumann Erik Schumann ...  Benguela 4 episodes, 1985
Gregory Snegoff ...  Francisco Pinzon 4 episodes, 1985
John Suda John Suda ...  Ruiz 4 episodes, 1985
Sergio Testori Sergio Testori ...  Arias 4 episodes, 1985
Fabiola Toledo ...  Dona Maria De Toledo 4 episodes, 1985
Josefina Vetencourt Josefina Vetencourt ...  Clara De Moya 4 episodes, 1985
Heinz Weiss Heinz Weiss ...  Noscomb 4 episodes, 1985
David de Keyser David de Keyser ...  Of various roles 4 episodes, 1985
Alexander Lopi Alexander Lopi 4 episodes, 1985
César Olmos César Olmos 4 episodes, 1985
Robert Rietty Robert Rietty ...  Of various roles 4 episodes, 1985


The epic mini-series tells the story of the legendary Italian-born explorer Diego de Geona Taino, later known as Christopher Columbus, from his birth in c.1450 Genoa, Italy, to his young adult years as an expert sailor and navigator who, with money funded from the monarchy of Spain, sailed to the unknown West to find Asia in 1492, and instead found a 'New World' of the modern day West Indies to South America, and then follows his later years in his 50's as a tired, ailing man whose dreams of exploration and discovery to which he passed onto his son, and other followers, just before his death in 1506. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Italy | USA | France | West Germany



Release Date:

19 May 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cristofor Columb See more »

Filming Locations:

Dominican Republic See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


"Cristoforo Colombo" theme song (Riz Ortolani - L. Raggi, Benjamin) performed by Plácido Domingo. See more »


Version of Dawn of America (1951) See more »

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User Reviews

an outstanding mini-series about a great man & his dream
12 December 2007 | by spj-4See all my reviews

I chanced upon this mini-series soon after my parents died & I was enthralled by it!

My father was a sailor & his love of the sea, the wild blue yonder beyond & man's curiosities were most impressive to someone who prefers having his feet on the ground but loves being near the water! So this "Christopher Columbus" mini-series was the more appealing to me at the time!

Having signed on as a 19-year-old so long ago, he could not expected his youthful idealism to be a contract unrelenting, until he was 31-years-old. As was the case at the time. And often forced to encounter tolerance & undisciplined natures & contributions from his sons, MUCH beyond what he was forced to tolerate! Surely, no youth of today, in the modern world of contemporary mass-media, would accept such binding obligations of blindness to commands of superior-ranked but often dictatorial officers!

While his family were raised to speak their mind in his absence! Surely this must have infuriated him! He was ship-shape but he came to expect such questioning to tempered by humility & obedience, but found it was not reciprocated much by the family he also sought to serve! As such, in many ways, he was a double loser in this world's terms, always the servant, but it was on such as his humility & self-control that lands were conquered by the likes of Christopher Columbus & Captain James Cook.

His consolations of life as many a sea-man of good heart, was to bury a few quiet ales whenever the opportunity arose & burrowed his head into the Sunday papers, for comic light-hearted relief & look for a naval or cowboy movie of simplicity on TV viewed from the armchair comfort he had worked hard for in many voyages. Surely still seeking a tilt of the prevailing tide, in his favour, that the world did not otherwise allow!

The magnificence of Christopher Columbus' immense & unlikely undertaking, was far from his patient & mostly unanswered appeals for his journey that was to open the dimensions of the Northern Hemisphere beyond imaginings. While Spain was persecuting anyone who dared to think differently among their own, in an era of inquisitions & persecution of those on a whim accused of heresy. But so this foreigner, eventually by much patience & personal hardship, was given an opportunity to lead an expedition that would yield remarkable treasures for the Spanish, yet just as remarkably came to conversely have his role diminished in the eyes of many to the tune of bigoted religiousness!

For me, this fine mini-series, strongly built on a major article I chanced upon in a "National Geographic" magazine of maybe 20 years ago, that I don't have access to now. But what I read of the epic encounter of great patience & faith by Columbus in finding even an opportunity to land on hostile coastlines of furious seas, was fleshed out all the more in this fine dramatic production, seemingly faithful to historical fact.

"Christopher Columbus", the mini-series will remain close to my heart as long as I am privileged to have it so, no matter how stark & ambivalent the memories! EVERYTHING about this production is TOP CLASS!!!

I would liken it & similarly recommend Keith Michell's version of the adventures of Captain James Cook!!!

They are remarkably similar in vision, grandeur of their accomplishments heralded, yet ABSURDLY, in the eyes of many, mostly taken for granted in their brave & selfless journeys of immense sacrifice & danger, to themselves & their crews & those they sought to bring towards the modern day reality where we are able to communicate across the planet in seconds, without leaving the firm ground we mostly live on.

This mini-series on "Christopher Columbus" also features the fine acting of stars like Gabrielle Byrne & Faye Dunaway. The settings are magnificent & the whole thing is put to together like an artistic masterpiece carefully & accurately restored, with clear research & fore-thought in its production.

Highly recommended!

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