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Lost in La Mancha (2002)

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Terry Gilliam's doomed attempt to get his film, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018), off the ground.

Directors:

Keith Fulton, Louis Pepe
2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Grisoni Tony Grisoni ... Himself - Co-Writer
Philip A. Patterson ... Himself - First Assistant Director (as Phil Patterson)
René Cleitman René Cleitman ... Himself - Producer
Terry Gilliam ... Himself - Writer & Director
Nicola Pecorini Nicola Pecorini ... Himself - Director of Photography
José Luis Escolar ... Himself - Line Producer
Bárbara Pérez-Solero Bárbara Pérez-Solero ... Herself - Ass't. Set Decorator
Benjamín Fernández Benjamín Fernández ... Himself - Production Designer (as Benjamin Fernandez)
Andrea Calderwood Andrea Calderwood ... Herself - Former Head of Production, Pathé
Ray Cooper Ray Cooper ... Himself - Longtime Gilliam Colleague
Gabriella Pescucci ... Herself - Costume Designer
Carlo Poggioli ... Himself - Co-Costume Designer
Bernard Bouix Bernard Bouix ... Himself - Executive Producer
Fred Millstein Fred Millstein ... Himself - Completion Guarantor
Jeff Bridges ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Director Terry Gilliam is the latest filmmaker to try and bring Miguel de Cervantes y Saavedra's "Don Quixote de la Mancha" to the big screen, the movie to be called The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Before filming even begins, Gilliam, who has moved from Hollywood studio to European financing, will have to scale back his vision as his budget has been slashed from $40 million to $32 million, still astronomical by European standards. But Gilliam is a dreamer, much like his title character, and his vision for the movie is uncompromising, meaning with the reduced budget that there is no margin for error and that some of his department heads may have to achieve miracles with their allotted moneys. During pre-production and actual filming, what Gilliam does not foresee is contractual and health issues with his actors, and the effects of Mother Nature. The question is does Gilliam have a Plan B if/when things go wrong. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They've got a story...but have lost the plot.

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official page

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | French

Release Date:

2 August 2002 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Don Kihotis horis telos... See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£42,824 (United Kingdom), 4 August 2002, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,303, 2 February 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$734,514, 22 June 2003
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On June 4, 2017, Terry Gilliam announced that production of The Man Who Killed Don Quixote had finally wrapped. A few days later, he jokingly posted on Facebook that he had accidentally deleted the film. See more »

Quotes

Terry Gilliam: [as a storm comes in, disrupting filming] Which is it, King Lear or Wizard of Oz?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Thanks to The Cast and Crew of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the U.S. home video version has a listed running time of 93 minutes, the version on the tape runs only 89 minutes. See more »

Connections

References Chocolat (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Documentary Of A Director's Worst Nightmare
6 February 2003 | by Gazzer-2See all my reviews

Filmmaker & Monty Python alumni Terry Gilliam has dreamed for years of making a movie about Don Quixote. He finally got the chance to make his dream movie, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote," in 2000, starring Johnny Depp and, in the title role of Don Quixote, French actor Jean Rochefort. But due to budget problems, shooting schedule problems, horrible weather problems, and the unfortunate ill health of actor Rochefort, the production was a disaster from the word go. After only 6 days of troubled shooting, "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" was completely abandoned.

Fortunately, out of the wreckage of Terry Gilliam's never-finished film comes "Lost In La Mancha," a brilliant documentary that captures everything that went wrong with the movie, from the first eight weeks of pre-production (which wasn't smooth sailing either) to the disastrous six-day shoot that followed. We see both sides to Gilliam throughout the movie---one minute he's giddy with delight at making his dream movie, the next minute he's blowing his obscenity-laden top over his project collapsing all around him. And it's not just Gilliam who suffers, as *everyone* involved with the movie, both in front of & behind the camera, gets dragged down right along with him as all hell breaks loose on the doomed production.

Watching "Lost In La Mancha" is not only fascinating, but it's also very educational, giving the viewer a first-hand look at what goes on behind the scenes of mounting a movie, including all of the business aspects involved such as financing & other professional agreements that have to be made before a single frame is shot. It's also a sad documentary to watch, too. Looking at all the terrific hardware, costumes and set pieces that were created for the movie (including marvelous life-size marionette puppets that can march in perfect synchronicity), plus the widescreen footage of the scant few scenes Gilliam shot before the production was shut down, the viewer is given a genuine glimpse of the movie that *might* have been, and is all the more saddened---and sympathetic with Gilliam & his team---because of it.

Happily, though, all is not lost for "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" just yet. Terry Gilliam is reportedly preparing for a second attempt at shooting the movie, and, having seen the movie's potential in this excellent documentary, I wish Gilliam all the best in the world in finally bringing his Don Quixote movie to the big screen. Judging by the glimpses of it in "Lost In La Mancha," I definitely believe it will be a truly great movie. :-)


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