A wealthy Havana club owner and his family are torn apart by the violent sociopolitical upheaval brought about by the transition from the dictatorial regime of Batista to the Marxist revolution led by Fidel Castro in 1950s Cuba.
In 1930s New York Orson Welles tries to stage a musical on a steel strike under the Federal Theater Program despite pressure from an establishment fearful of industrial unrest and red activity. Meanwhile Nelson Rockefeller gets the foyer of his company headquarters decorated and an Italian countess sells paintings for Mussolini.Written by
The Diego Rivera mural, as depicted in the film, is not his original Rockefeller Center version design (for which in-progress photographs exist), but of the smaller re-creation Rivera did a year later in Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The Rockefeller Center mural was larger, whereas the spatial arrangement of features in the re-creation (and in the film) is more compact. See more »
This is a romantic look at 1930's liberalism, with a ham-handed script that pits the evil fascists against the enlightened intellectuals.
It tries to be a little of everything, and doesn't quite pull it off. It alternates from a comedy, to poignant vignettes of depression era poverty, to a musical, to farce, to political drama. I just felt Robbins couldn't make up his mind as what this film was supposed to be. I am guessing that most of it wound up on the cutting room floor, and maybe a longer film would have allowed some of these themes to develop more completely.
It has one of the largest casts I've ever seen. It seems everyone in Hollywood wanted to get in on this one.
The biggest problem I had with the film was that if you weren't one of the warmly-portrayed socialists, then you were either a simple minded right wing alarmist, or a big businessman in bed with the fascists.
One thing is clear - Robbins and Sarandon yearn for the days when being part of the far, far left was fashionable.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this