Chasing Windmills in’… La Mancha’

Man of La Mancha
This motion picture is adapted from a musical play,  “Man of La Mancha,” and stars Peter O’Toole, Sophia Loren and James Coco.

The story is set in Spain of the 15th century and deals with an ancient man who has an “impossible dream” of a conquest. A conquest of overcoming injustice, fear and all those who promote evil in the world. But the elderly man is handicapped by his age and the delusion which he has of himself that he is a young, courageous knight.

O’Toole plays the characterization of Don Quixote de La Mancha, the man with the “Impossible dream.” His portrayal is an outstanding performance. The gestures, mannerisms and reading of dialogue give one the feeling of the sincerity of the old man in what he must do to complete the conquest. Also it gives one insight into the insanity that has denied the old man of his mind.
On the other hand, I feel that Sophia Loren’s acting was not outstanding. On a scale of one to ten I would rate her seven. You just might like her singing if you are among those who are tone deaf. I must say that there is only one point where Miss Loren shows her true talents as an actress. She is miscast in the part of Aldonsa. Just a drawing card.

Coco portrays the part of Sanso Panso.

The story starts of slowly but picks up for the major part of the picture but in my opinion the climax comes much too early in the picture, thus leaving me with the feeling that it is anticlimactic. The sound track has all the songs of “Man of La Mancha” and the dancing is well staged but again another “but.” The song “The Impossible Dream” has much too much importance In the picture because in my opinion again it’s a drawing card. Most people know the song “The Impossible Dream” much better than the title song.

Arthur Hiller, who has done many a major motion picture, has done a very good Job of production for this one. Photography staging and directing are also well done. On the whole, I would say that the picture “Man of La Mancha” is a quite good watch on a lazy sunday afternoon, with the rain beating down.

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