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Havana (1990)

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In 1950s Cuba, a professional gambler falls for a woman heavily involved in the revolution movement.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Judith Rascoe (story), Judith Rascoe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Jack Weil
Lena Olin ... Bobby Duran
Alan Arkin ... Joe Volpi
Tomas Milian ... Menocal
Daniel Davis ... Marion Chigwell
Tony Plana ... Julio Ramos
Betsy Brantley Betsy Brantley ... Diane
Lise Cutter Lise Cutter ... Patty
Richard Farnsworth ... Professor
Mark Rydell ... Meyer Lansky
Vasek Simek Vasek Simek ... Willy
Fred Asparagus Fred Asparagus ... Baby Hernandez
Richard Portnow ... Mike MacClaney
Dion Anderson ... Roy Forbes
Carmine Caridi ... Captain Potts
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Storyline

Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, Roberta and her Cuban husband, the revolutionary Arturo, are arrested and tortured. Arturo is reported "shot while trying to escape," but Jack manages to get Roberta free again. He can't, however, keep her from continuing to support the revolution. Jack has to make a choice between the beautiful woman who keeps putting herself in harms way and the biggest poker game of his life; between the man he could be and the man he is. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A gambler who trusted no one. A woman who risked everything. And a passion that brought them together in the most dangerous city in the world.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Havanna See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,175,360, 12 December 1990

Gross USA:

$9,243,140
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The picture featured about 2000 extras and background artists requiring around 8000 to 10000 outfits and costumes with many of these requiring many and frequent costume changes throughout the film's production. See more »

Goofs

There was no Santo Domingo in 1959.The Capital city of the Dominican Republic at the time was Ciudad Trujillo. It became Santo Domingo in 1961. See more »

Quotes

Professor: Take the advice of an old man. There's nothing like a woman, or two. They love men. Even jerks. The biggest jerk you ever knew somewhere somehow has a woman that's nuts over him. Women are perfect. The rest is bullshit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Sydney Pollack (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Damisela Encantadora
Written by Ernesto Lecuona
See more »

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User Reviews

Bad Reputation Undeserved.
1 March 1999 | by Doctor_BombaySee all my reviews

Many will claim that Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford were on auto-pilot while making this film. Based on their previous collaborative efforts, the well-received Three Days of the Condor, The Way We Were, The Electric Horseman, and Out of Africa, which swept the Academy Awards, people wanted to see their movies. They could make any movie they wanted. They made Havana, and NOBODY wanted to see it.

Maybe Pollack, brilliant in his own right, set his watch according to Redford's schedule at this time, and history shows that, subsequent to Havana, and its box office failure Sydney Pollack basically quit directing. His influence in film is still served, and may be better served as a producer, witness Sliding Doors, Sense and Sensibility, Fabulous Baker Boys, and Searching For Bobby Fischer, all of which he helped bring to the screen.

But, back to the matter at hand-Redford as a gambler, Lena Olin, his distraction (and what a distraction)--the film feels good, looks good, and gives us some perspective on Cuba in the waning hours of Batista.

Olin (pre-Romeo is Bleeding, post Unbearable Lightness of Being) is properly introduced to American audiences, and is not inappropriate as leading lady to one of Hollywood's leading stars, Redford, who, even on auto-pilot, delivers a strong, engaging performance.

I understand this film was heavily maligned at release, and failed dismally at the box office, but I enjoyed it. It is a beautiful film to watch with attractive leads - and that alone stands it well ahead of many of the alternatives out there today.


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