5.8/10
4,313
55 user 76 critic

There Be Dragons (2011)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama, War | 25 March 2011 (Spain)
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Arising out of the horror of the Spanish Civil War, a candidate for canonization is investigated by a journalist who discovers his own estranged father had a deep, dark and devastating connection to the saint's life.

Director:

Roland Joffé

Writer:

Roland Joffé
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Cox ... Josemaría Escrivá
Wes Bentley ... Manolo Torres
Dougray Scott ... Roberto Torres
Rodrigo Santoro ... Oriol
Jordi Mollà ... Don José (as Jordi Mollá)
Derek Jacobi ... Honorio Soto
Golshifteh Farahani ... Leila
Geraldine Chaplin ... Abileyza
Unax Ugalde ... Pedro Casciano
Ana Torrent ... Doña Dolores
Charles Dance ... Monsignor Solano
Lily Cole ... Aline
Olga Kurylenko ... Ildiko
Alejandro Casaseca ... Jaime Torres
Yaiza Guimaré Yaiza Guimaré ... Pilar Torres
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Storyline

A young journalist long ago rejected by his now aged and dying father finds himself investigating one of his father's former friends, a candidate for canonization. Uncovering the two men's complicated relationship from childhood through the horrors of the Spanish Civil War unveils a compelling drama filled with passion, betrayal, love, and religion. An action packed story set during a murderous time in history that ultimately serves the present by revealing the importance and timeless power of forgiveness.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Even saints have a past. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and combat sequences, some language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 March 2011 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

There Be Dragons: Secrets of Passion See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,251,124 (Spain), 27 March 2011, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$705,537, 8 May 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,065,439, 29 May 2011
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD) | (re-edited)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Title Card: All wars begin long before the first shot is fired and continue long after the last bullet has done its job.
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Alternate Versions

Because of poor box-office performance in 2011, the film was re-edited and re-released in the USA in 2012, under the title "There Be Dragons: Secrets of Passion". This new version is shorter (106 minutes) and has a new music scored by Robert Folk. See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Bridesmaids (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An exploration of man's inner demons
27 April 2011 | by vincent-bullockSee all my reviews

Roland Joffé did not disappoint me with this film. I am a first generation spaniard and I find Joffé's portrayal of the Civil War honest and fair. The story is not engulfed by facts of history, it takes great care in exploring the mysteries of the characters' backgrounds.

On one side we have the historical figure of Jose Maria Escribar, tormented in his search for God and holding firmly to his ideals while submerged in a world of hatred and chaos. On the other Manolo, haunted by vengeance and confusion; fighting without a cause and desperately searching for something he can believe him, an answer to his inner chaos. Finally, Roberto, son of Manolo, must slowly unveil the terrible secrets his father has hidden within him and come to terms with finding out who the man that brought him up was.

The film explores the senseless nature of war and its consequences, the spiral of hatred that slowly engulfs men, the repentance for terrible mistakes and the struggle to forgive them. Each character follows a path filled with dilemmas and suffering at the end of which they must fight themselves and their dragons.

Technicalwise, the film is faultless. There is great care in every scene and as I can testify Joffé has done his homework. The detail to which the history and scenery of 1937 Spain has been recreated is astounding. Even so, the story talks about people, about soldiers; never about leaders or politicians. The film captures the essence of human conflict in its most raw form.

Do not expect an action packed war film. For those who have interest in the roots of Opus Dei, this film will not help you there. It deals with the repercussions of war and strife in people, it does not deal with the grander scale of things.

If nothing else this film will reassure you that war is and always will be a futile tragedy, all victories are Pyrrhic and the aftermath leaves bitter resentment and pain. An interesting perspective in this film is that of the many bystanders who are forced to choose the side they support and so they must be separated from loved ones forever. When a few want war, the rest have no say. As long as the hatred of so few is not buried, war will rise once more.

There Be Dragons is a deeply personal and spiritual film. It is very intense and reflects unapologetically the worst side of humanity. It is true to the title, where this film takes you, there be dragons.


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