Don Quixote DVD
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Directed by Grigori Kozintsev
Produced in 1957
Main Language - Russian with English subtitles
Kozintsev (Hamlet, King Lear) shoots Cervantes' novel in CinemaScope in the Crimea. The great Nikolai Cherkassov (Ivan the Terrible) is perfect in the role, says Michael Brooke.
The first colour and widescreen adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes' timeless classic remains one of the best: unlike Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam, Russian director Grigori Kozintsev actually completed his version, and it's as intelligent and visually handsome as you'd expect from the future maker of Hamlet (1964) and King Lear (1971), with the Crimea making a wholly convincing stand-in for sixteenth-century Spain.
Befitting the material, there's plenty of comedy, but Kozintsev is also keenly aware of the moral dimension of the central situation, in which a desperately deluded man tries to convince the world that he's a latterday knight errant, blithely shrugging off the copious laughter and mockery that greets everything he says and does. The great Nikolai Cherkasov, previously Eisenstein's Alexander Nevsky and Ivan the Terrible, could hardly be more perfect in the stooping, wispy-bearded title role, sporting a shaving bowl as though it were a finely-wrought helmet, though equal praise is due to the rotund comedian Yuri Tolubeyev as his notionally more rational but often equally confused sidekick Sancho Panza.
Michael Brooke on 20th August 2012
Author of 135 reviews
After years spent reading books of chivalry, a middle-aged Spanish gentleman (Nikolai Cherkassov - Ivan the Terrible) is convinced that he is the real-life knight-errant, Don Quixote de la Mancha. To this end, he commissions his battered horse Rocinante to be his steed and appoints fellow Manchegan Sancho Panza (Yuri Tolubeyev) to be his reluctant squire. Both Knight and Squire find themselves living anachronisms in 16th Century Spain, subject to constant humiliation and frequent defeat; safeguarded only by Sancho’s good humour and Quixote’s mad zeal.
Made in 1957, this adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes' novel from renowned Russian director Grigori Kozintsev (King Lear, Hamlet), was shot in CinemaScope on location in the Crimea.
Publisher: Mr Bongo
Length: 101 mins
Cat No: MRBDVD051
Format: DVD Colour