We Were Strangers

Overview

Set in the Cuba of 1933, We Were Strangers stars John Garfield as revolutionary-minded Tony Fenner. A member of an underground movement dedicated to toppling the despotic Machado regime, Tony supervises the booby-trapping of a cemetery where several top Cuban officials are planning to converge for a state funeral. Also involved in the assassination scheme is China Valdes Jennifer Jones, whose brother had been executed by the government. As often happens in a John Huston film, the best-laid schemes of the ...
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Overview

Set in the Cuba of 1933, We Were Strangers stars John Garfield as revolutionary-minded Tony Fenner. A member of an underground movement dedicated to toppling the despotic Machado regime, Tony supervises the booby-trapping of a cemetery where several top Cuban officials are planning to converge for a state funeral. Also involved in the assassination scheme is China Valdes Jennifer Jones, whose brother had been executed by the government. As often happens in a John Huston film, the best-laid schemes of the protagonists go tragically awry. Based on a portion of Robert Sylvester's novel Rough Sketch, We Were Strangers was scripted by frequent Huston collaborator Peter Viertel. The film has the curious distinction of being lambasted by both the left-wing and right-wing critics in the U.S. Audiences were likewise underwhelmed, compelling Columbia Pictures to withdraw the film from distribution early on.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
We Were Strangers is a largely ignored John Huston effort which never quite comes together but will be of interest to fans of the director. Part of the problem lies with a script that feels as if it were rewritten to accommodate a studio concerned about insulting anyone. While it is clear that the sympathies lie with the rebels (and even with their willingness to resort to violence that will take innocent lives), everything feels a little too generic. The central romance also seems grafted on, even though it occupies a huge role in the film. This is not helped by the lack of chemistry between John Garfield and Jennifer Jones. Individually, Garfield and Jones are more than adequate, but less than inspired; there's a lot of huffing and puffing from both of them, but it never seems quite real. By contrast, Gilbert Roland comes across as the genuine article, someone who seems to have the revolutionary blood coursing through his every vein. Pedro Armendáriz also impresses, turning in a powerful performance in a role that is fairly two-dimensional. As for the direction, Huston's work is polished and efficient, but lacking in fervor. He just doesn't seem to have his heart in it. The result is a more than respectable film with some thrilling moments that just doesn't come together in the way that it should.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/22/2005
  • UPC: 043396072947
  • Original Release: 1949
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:46:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jennifer Jones China Valdes
John Garfield Tony Fenner
Pedro Armendariz Armando Ariete
Gilbert Roland Guillermo
Ramon Novarro Revolutionary Leader
Wally Cassell Miguel
David Bond Ramon
Jose Perez Toto
Morris Ankrum Bank manager
Leonard Strong Bombmaker
Robert Tafur Rubio
Mimi Aguglia Mama
Argentina Brunetti
Spencer Chan
Freddie Chapman Altar Boy
Lelia Goldoni Consuelo
Roberta Haynes Lolita
Ted Hecht Enrico
Rodolfo Hoyos Jr.
John Huston Clerk
Robert Malcolm Priest
Paul Marion Truck Driver
Tina Menard
Rodd Redwing
Julian Rivero Flower Vendor
Felipe Turich Spy
Harry Vejar Watchman
Peter Virgo Contreras' Chauffeur
Billy Wilson
Alfonso Pedroza Sanitation Man
Herschel Graham
Abdullah Abbas
Gertrude Chorre
Thomas Quon Woo
Joe Sawaya Bits
Fred Godoy Contreras
Tito Renaldo Manolo
Technical Credits
John Huston Director, Screenwriter
George Antheil Score Composer
Jules Buck Associate Producer
Lawrence W. Butler Special Effects
Al Clark Editor
Louis Diage Set Decoration/Design
Sam P. Eagle Producer
Jean Louis Costumes/Costume Designer
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Cary O'Dell Art Director
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
Peter Viertel Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start
2. Tony Fenner
3. The Plan
4. Snooping Ariete
5. Breaking Ground
6. Joking About Death
7. A Beast in the House
8. Delirium
9. Assassination
10. Bombshell
11. Tommy Guns & Dynamite
12. Viva la Revolution!
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Scene Selections
   Play Previews
   English Subtitles
   Japanese Subtitles
   French Subtitles
   Spanish Subtitles
   Subtitles Off
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