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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 72 Man of La Mancha

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I was just expecting a movie about the importance of dreams in a cynical time. I wasn’t expecting the Spanish Inquisition...

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We watched;

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I couldn't get over how much the Burger King Man looks like Peter O'Toole's character

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I guess I’m in the minority here, but I rather liked it. It took some time for me to really get into it, but I loved the “we’re all Spider-man” ending.

What I also enjoyed is there was never a moment when it really leaned one way or the other in regards to being a cynic or a dreamer. Ultimately, it came down to “Our dreams might not save us, but they just might make life bearable.” It was a bitter end, but with some hope.

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

I guess I’m in the minority here, but I rather liked it. It took some time for me to really get into it, but I loved the “we’re all Spider-man” ending.

What I also enjoyed is there was never a moment when it really leaned one way or the other in regards to being a cynic or a dreamer. Ultimately, it came down to “Our dreams might not save us, but they just might make life bearable.” It was a bitter end, but with some hope.

I definitely liked a lot of it. I think it was very well made. I was reading criticism online about the singing, I thought the songs and acting were good.

As I said on Letterboxd, I think the story lost me a little, but I think a rewatch would be rewarding and make it click more for me, approaching it again with a little bit of familiarity.

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15 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I definitely liked a lot of it. I think it was very well made. I was reading criticism online about the singing, I thought the songs and acting were good.

As I said on Letterboxd, I think the story lost me a little, but I think a rewatch would be rewarding and make it click more for me, approaching it again with a little bit of familiarity.

I’m currently watching Terry Gilliam’s THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE and I’m really glad I watched this first ;) 

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Regarding the singing, I didn’t really have a problem with it. I don’t necessarily need songs to be note perfect as long as it fits the character.

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I liked parts of the movie and I liked the last act probably the most. There are just a few things that kinda took me out of it at the beginning. 

One of the things that confused me a bit was that they did that one whole musical number in the prison with the priest and the granddaughter and fiance and what not. That was the only musical number if I recall correctly filmed in the prison and not in the movie within the movie bit. It's not enough to ruin things for me I just found it a bit of an odd choice. Especially when those characters showed up later I didn't recognize them in the movie within a movie because their looks were different than that in the prison.

Personally I'm not sure how well it would have worked, and is probably more on par with the stage production, but I would have loved to have seen more of the acting out in prison. Each time we cut back and saw more and more of them getting into it I enjoyed that a fair bit and wish we could have seen them "performing" more.

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1 hour ago, Cam Bert said:

I liked parts of the movie and I liked the last act probably the most. There are just a few things that kinda took me out of it at the beginning. 

One of the things that confused me a bit was that they did that one whole musical number in the prison with the priest and the granddaughter and fiance and what not. That was the only musical number if I recall correctly filmed in the prison and not in the movie within the movie bit. It's not enough to ruin things for me I just found it a bit of an odd choice. Especially when those characters showed up later I didn't recognize them in the movie within a movie because their looks were different than that in the prison.

Personally I'm not sure how well it would have worked, and is probably more on par with the stage production, but I would have loved to have seen more of the acting out in prison. Each time we cut back and saw more and more of them getting into it I enjoyed that a fair bit and wish we could have seen them "performing" more.

I can agree with that.  Especially because this was supposedly Miguel de Cervantes telling the story to the prisoners.  He would have to have told them their parts then had them perform the parts.  This isn't like Marat/Sade where the Marquis de Sade created a play about the death of Marat using the inmates of an asylum.  I didn't care for the ending just because no one escapes "reality".  Like Aldonza sang about his tenderness destroying her, now all the prisoners got a glimpse of something glorious then it was taken away.  They have no more hope than before except for the exhortation about getting up again after each beat down.

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I just finished watching this. Tried on Sunday night but gave up shortly after we're introduced to Aldonza in the cafe.  Watched it now on my iPad while working and that made it easier to follow.  I did like it and am glad I gave it a second chance.

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2 questions:

1) Why did the muleteers abandon Aldonza at the side of the road?

2) Why did "Sancho" have to go with Miguel both to prison and to the Inquisition?  Sure he was the stage manager but the only one summoned was Miguel.  If the stage manager had to go wouldn't the actors as well?

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  • The niece was Julie Gregg, whose other notable credit was Sonny's wife Teresa in The Godfather (also released in 1972).
  • The ending credits used the same font/style as The Godfather even though they were released by different studios.  Was that font new or on sale? 🙂
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54 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

I can agree with that.  Especially because this was supposedly Miguel de Cervantes telling the story to the prisoners.  He would have to have told them their parts then had them perform the parts.  This isn't like Marat/Sade where the Marquis de Sade created a play about the death of Marat using the inmates of an asylum.  I didn't care for the ending just because no one escapes "reality".  Like Aldonza sang about his tenderness destroying her, now all the prisoners got a glimpse of something glorious then it was taken away.  They have no more hope than before except for the exhortation about getting up again after each beat down.

Isn’t that just life though? We watch and read “escapist” literature all the time. It doesn’t make our problems go away, but it offers us respite - even for a little while. 

And hope is the most powerful thing in the universe...

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54 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

2 questions:

1) Why did the muleteers abandon Aldonza at the side of the road?

2) Why did "Sancho" have to go with Miguel both to prison and to the Inquisition?  Sure he was the stage manager but the only one summoned was Miguel.  If the stage manager had to go wouldn't the actors as well?

1) They raped and humiliated her, they didn’t give a fuck about her.

2) If Cervantes message was enough to have him tried an executed, I assume the person who made it possible to be shown would be - in their minds - just as culpable.

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

1) They raped and humiliated her, they didn’t give a fuck about her.

2) If Cervantes message was enough to have him tried an executed, I assume the person who made it possible to be shown would be - in their minds - just as culpable.

1) I just expected they would keep her around to keep raping her.  Guess they figured she was too much trouble to hold onto.

2) I understand that.  It just seems like Cervantes or Sancho (do we ever get his real name?) wouldn't have a show to put on without actors.  I'm not arguing everyone should have been swept up.  I would prefer no one was.

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Just now, Cinco DeNio said:

1) I just figured they would keep her around to keep raping her.  Guess they figured she was too much trouble to hold onto.

2) I understand that.  It just seems like Cervantes or Sancho (do we ever get his real name?) wouldn't have a show to put on without actors.  I'm not arguing everyone should have been swept up.  I would prefer no one was.

2) Reading Wikipedia (that bastion of truth), it appears the opening scene was invented for the movie.  I think it would have been clearer if they had stuck to the stage where they were already in prison.  That Wikipedia link mentions other changes people have asked for in this thread.

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44 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

1) I just expected they would keep her around to keep raping her.  Guess they figured she was too much trouble to hold onto.

2) I understand that.  It just seems like Cervantes or Sancho (do we ever get his real name?) wouldn't have a show to put on without actors.  I'm not arguing everyone should have been swept up.  I would prefer no one was.

I do t think there were other actors. I’m assuming what they did was exactly what they did in the oubliette. They would just pick people out of the crowd to aid the performance. It would be impossible for the Inquisition to arrest everyone, but they could probably get Cervantes on a “corruption of the youth” or some such charge.

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Finally catching up on Musical Mondays, and got the chance to watch this on Saturday. I had no idea what to expect and certainly wasn't expecting it to be so silly. That windmill attack scene was easily my favorite. I'd say I enjoyed the movie overall and would watch it again. I agree that it is probably better the second time when I'm not so confused about what is going on. My biggest nitpick of it is that I got real tired real quick of the constant rape-y scenes with Sophia Loren. I loved her character and the acting, but it really got old by the end.

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I really enjoyed this from the music (add me to the list of people who didn't know The Impossible Dream was from this musical), to the set, to the quippy one-liners, to Peter O' Toole's physical comedy.  Ngl, I teared up a little at the end.

Re: the gang rape.  You could interpret it as being a necessary scene to show the differences between the brutal reality of Aldonza's life and Don Quixote's perception of Dulcinea, but on the other hand, I don't know if they had to beat us over the head with it so much?  But on the other other hand, maybe it's better that they didn't sugarcoat it? 

Anyhoo...did anyone else catch Sancho's line "hunger is the best gravy in the world"?  It's kind of a throwaway line, but it stuck out to me because Spain doesn't do gravy as we know it.  Apparently, the line in Spanish is "la mejor salsa del mundo es el hambre."  Usually, if you see salsa on menus, it means "sauce."  I mean, gravy is a type of sauce, but I feel like it's an odd translation choice, unless they meant this type of gravy...  

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1 hour ago, tomspanks said:

  Ngl, I teared up a little at the end.

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4 hours ago, tomspanks said:

I really enjoyed this from the music (add me to the list of people who didn't know The Impossible Dream was from this musical), to the set, to the quippy one-liners, to Peter O' Toole's physical comedy.  Ngl, I teared up a little at the end.

Re: the gang rape.  You could interpret it as being a necessary scene to show the differences between the brutal reality of Aldonza's life and Don Quixote's perception of Dulcinea, but on the other hand, I don't know if they had to beat us over the head with it so much?  But on the other other hand, maybe it's better that they didn't sugarcoat it? 

Anyhoo...did anyone else catch Sancho's line "hunger is the best gravy in the world"?  It's kind of a throwaway line, but it stuck out to me because Spain doesn't do gravy as we know it.  Apparently, the line in Spanish is "la mejor salsa del mundo es el hambre."  Usually, if you see salsa on menus, it means "sauce."  I mean, gravy is a type of sauce, but I feel like it's an odd translation choice, unless they meant this type of gravy...  

I think they did mean that type since this was an Italian-financed production.

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4 hours ago, tomspanks said:

I really enjoyed this from the music (add me to the list of people who didn't know The Impossible Dream was from this musical), to the set, to the quippy one-liners, to Peter O' Toole's physical comedy.  Ngl, I teared up a little at the end.

Re: the gang rape.  You could interpret it as being a necessary scene to show the differences between the brutal reality of Aldonza's life and Don Quixote's perception of Dulcinea, but on the other hand, I don't know if they had to beat us over the head with it so much?  But on the other other hand, maybe it's better that they didn't sugarcoat it? 

Anyhoo...did anyone else catch Sancho's line "hunger is the best gravy in the world"?  It's kind of a throwaway line, but it stuck out to me because Spain doesn't do gravy as we know it.  Apparently, the line in Spanish is "la mejor salsa del mundo es el hambre."  Usually, if you see salsa on menus, it means "sauce."  I mean, gravy is a type of sauce, but I feel like it's an odd translation choice, unless they meant this type of gravy...  

The comment about salsa/sauce/gravy reminds me of at least one Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode.  A financial scheme was described as "A game of Snakes & Ladders" (Chutes & Ladders in my childhood.)  Another reference was that a character's Swiss criminal record would include his dirty "nappies" (diapers).

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6 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

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I can’t say I’m surprised lol

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