Don Quixote

Don Quixote

Director: G.W. Pabst

Cast: Feodor Chaliapin Sr., George Robey, Oscar Asche

     
 

The French/British Don Quixote is a faithful rendition of the Cervantes novel, with a poignant ending added by director G.W. Pabst. Opera star Feodor Chaliapin stars as Cervantes' "Knight of the Woeful Countenance," an aged, addled Spanish gentleman so devoted to stories of long-ago chivalry that he decides to relive those…  See more details below

Overview

The French/British Don Quixote is a faithful rendition of the Cervantes novel, with a poignant ending added by director G.W. Pabst. Opera star Feodor Chaliapin stars as Cervantes' "Knight of the Woeful Countenance," an aged, addled Spanish gentleman so devoted to stories of long-ago chivalry that he decides to relive those bygone days. With his faithful squire, Sancho Panza (George Robey), Don Quixote rides off to tilt at windmills and to worship chubby milkmaid Dulcinea (Renée Valliers) as his lady fair. Sancho manages to save Quixote from killing himself, but cannot prevent the old gent from returning home utterly disillusioned. Director Pabst alters Cervantes' original ending by having the dispirited Quixote pass away as he watches his precious books on chivalry going up in flames. There are actually two versions of Don Quixote, one in English and one in French; the French-language version has a different supporting cast, but Pabst draws the same deep emotions and brilliant bits of business from both. Though the film unfailingly comes to life in front of an audience, Don Quixote is generally out of favor with devotees of G.W. Pabst, who consider the film a step down from his brilliant silent work.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Translating an epic novel such as Don Quixote to the screen is no easy task, and some Cervantes purists may carp at G.W. Pabst's decisions as to what to include and where. Most people, however, will be delighted with this powerful yet amusing adaptation. And while it may be heresy to some to move the legendary tilting at windmills sequence from early in the book to near the end of the picture, the truth is that in this particular instance, it works better. The book-burning ending, decried by many, is equally justifiable; it's not in the book, but it works beautifully onscreen (and had particular relevance at the time of the film's release, due to a recent rash of Nazi literary repression). Quixote benefits from its directors sure hand and even more so from his clear, dominating vision; the project clearly means a lot to him personally, and that connection fills every frame. Pabst is greatly aided by the dominating performance of Feodor Chaliapin, whose operatic presence is right at home with the larger-than-life Quixote. He's mesmerizing at all times, even when what he's doing is closer to grandstanding than acting. He gets fine support from George Robey and Renée Valliers, but it's Chaliapin who owns the film acting-wise. There are flaws, to be sure, including Jacques Ibert's controversial score; but on the whole, Quixote is a moving and exhilarating experience.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/30/2006
UPC:
0089948436799
Original Release:
1933
Source:
Video Artists Int'l
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
0:55:00
Sales rank:
37,004

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Feodor Chaliapin Don Quixote
George Robey Sancho Panza
Oscar Asche Police Captain
Emily Fitzroy Sancho's Wife
Frank Stanmore Priest
Miles Mander The Duke
Lydia Sherwood Duchess
Dannio Carrasco
Wally Patch Gypsy King
Sidney Fox The Niece
Renee Valliers Dulcinea
Genica Anet Servant at Inn

Technical Credits
G.W. Pabst Director,Producer
Alexandre Arnoux Screenwriter
Dargomisjsky Songwriter
Nicolas Farkas Cinematographer
Jacques Ibert Score Composer
Paul Morand Screenwriter
Nelson Vandor Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Chaliapin: Adventures of Don Quixote
1. Chapter 1 [:32]
2. Introduction; Selling Property to Buy Books [5:54]
3. Song: "Sierra Nevada" [3:16]
4. Presentation of "Amadis of Gaul" [5:05]
5. Song: "This Castle New" [2:12]
6. Battle With a Herd of Sheep [2:53]
7. In Search of Dulcinea and a New Helmet [3:09]
8. Freeing the Prisoners [4:20]
9. Song: "Knights Never Eat" [3:13]
10. The Trap Is Set [4:13]
11. Song: "The Song I Sing" [4:18]
12. The Joust [6:08]
13. The Windmills [3:53]
14. The Burning of the Books [2:07]
15. Song: "Don't Cry, Sancho Dear" [2:59]
16. Closing Credits [:59]

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