Review: ‘Man of la Mancha’

Man of La Mancha, produced in the style of the [1965 Mitch Leigh-Joe Darion-Dale Wasserman] musical play from which it was adapted, is the fanciful tale of Don Quixote, that fictional Middle Ages lunatic living in a personal world of chivalry long-since past. The Arthur Hiller production of Dale Wasserman's book is more a vehicle for music than the narrative.

Man of La Mancha, produced in the style of the [1965 Mitch Leigh-Joe Darion-Dale Wasserman] musical play from which it was adapted, is the fanciful tale of Don Quixote, that fictional Middle Ages lunatic living in a personal world of chivalry long-since past. The Arthur Hiller production of Dale Wasserman’s book is more a vehicle for music than the narrative.

Peter O’Toole enacts the dual role of Miguel de Cervantes and his classic character, a difficult assignment which the actor undertakes with heroic overtones. Sophia Loren appears in the dual Dulcinea-Aldonza role, and James Coco is Sancho Panza, the ever-faithful squire.

O’Toole persuasively brings to life the demented would-be knight. Loren, no songbird she, does her own warbling, as does Coco, but O’Toole’s numbers actually are sung by Simon Gilbert, a London actor-singer of fine voice.

1972: Nomination: Best Adapted Score

Man of la Mancha

Production

United Artists/PEA. Director Arthur Hiller; Producer Arthur Hiller; Screenplay Dale Wasserman; Camera Giuseppe Rotunno; Editor Robert C. Jones; Music Laurence Rosenthal (adapt.); Art Director Luciano Damiani

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 129 MIN.

With

Peter O'Toole Sophia Loren James Coco Harry Andrews John Castle Brian Blessed
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