Great Performances (1971– )
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Monsignor Quixote 

In this modern adaptation of the Don Quixote theme based on a novel by Graham Greene, Quixote is an old Spanish village priest who travels through Spain with his friend, Sancho, the ... See full summary »


Rodney Bennett


Graham Greene (novel), Christopher Neame




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alec Guinness ... Father Quixote
Leo McKern ... Sancho Zancas
Ian Richardson ... Bishop of Motopo
Graham Crowden ... The Bishop
Maurice Denham ... Senor Diego
Philip Stone ... Father Leopoldo
Rosalie Crutchley ... Teresa
Valentine Pelka ... Father Herrera
Don Fellows ... Professor Pilbeam
Gareth Kirkland Gareth Kirkland ... Paco
Clive Merrison ... Shop Assistant
Roland Oliver Roland Oliver ... Stout Guardia
Carl Forgione Carl Forgione ... Second Guardia
Peter Gale Peter Gale ... Undertaker
Colin Haigh Colin Haigh ... Guardia by River


In this modern adaptation of the Don Quixote theme based on a novel by Graham Greene, Quixote is an old Spanish village priest who travels through Spain with his friend, Sancho, the village's mayor and his car called Rocinante. On their way he has to master the same adventures as his ancestor. Written by Robert Zeithammel <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

13 February 1987 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Euston Films, KQED See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ian Richardson and Rosalie Crutchley, who appear respectively in this film as a bishop and Father Quixote's housekeeper, played similar roles in another Don Quixote film, "Man of La Mancha". In that film, Richardson played the village priest and Rosalie Crutchley his housekeeper. See more »

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User Reviews

Alec Guinness as a modern Don Quixote but even more sympathetic as a priest.
19 April 2018 | by clanciaiSee all my reviews

The genius of Graham Greene transfers Miguel de Cervantes' classical novel to modern times, introducing Alec Guinness as a village priest, who has the bad luck to encounter a monsignore (Ian Richardson) who is so delighted with him, that he persuades the bishop to create Alec a monsignore. He should never have done that. As a monsignore Alec feels completely out of place and goes for a holiday together with Leo McKern, who is an old communist and former mayor of the village, but who actually studied theology in his youth but turned marxist instead. The two are actually a little like Don Camillo and Peppone in Guareschi's stories filmed with Fernandel in the 50s, and doubtlessly Graham Greene has been inspired by that couple.

On the road in good company with Leo and all his wine bottles, the couple encounter some adventures, which prompt the bishop to bring Alec back home by force and put him to bed, with fatal consequences, just like in the Cervantes novel. Here also, like in the novel, the greatest asset is the conversations and discussions between the two vagabonds. Don Quixote's delusions are here transformed into Alec's catholic faith and belief in the holy trinity, which Leo mocks, persisting that Marx is more real. Perhaps the funniest scene is when Alec practically defines the holy trinity by three bottles of wine, all three containing the same wine, although three different bottles.

Like in the novel, the adventures of the errant priest ends up in a melancholy way, and as always, Graham Greene's catholicism gets the better of him.

But it's a wonderful film, the dialog is brilliant all the way, there are even more ingeniuities than usually in Graham Greene's stories, and the Don Quixote paraphrase is a success all the way, even unto the unavoidable sadness.

Rosalie Crutchley also makes a great performance as his house-keeper, but there is no Dulcinea here, only Rosinante.

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