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