All Classic Video - Adventures of Don Quixote (1933) - Full Classic Movie
Adventures of Don Quixote (1933) - Full Classic Movie
Adventures of Don Quixote (1933) is the English title of a film adaptation of the classic Miguel de Cervantes novel, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, starring the famous operatic bass Feodor Chaliapin. Although the film stars Chaliapin, it is not an opera. However, he does sing three songs in it. It is the first sound film version of the Spanish classic. The supporting cast in the English version includes George Robey, René Donnio, Miles Mander, Lydia Sherwood, Renée Valliers, and Emily Fitzroy. The film was made in three versions—French, English, and German—with Chaliapin starring in all three versions.
Feodor Chaliapin as Don Quixote
George Robey as Sancho Panza
René Donnio as Carrasco (as Donnio)
Renée Valliers as Dulcinea
Emily Fitzroy as Sancho Panza's wife
Sidney Fox as Maria the niece
Miles Mander as Duke of Fallanga
Wally Patch as Gypsy King
Oscar Asche as Police Captain
Lydia Sherwood as Duchess of Fallanga
Frank Stanmore as Priest
The producers separately commissioned five composers (Jacques Ibert, Maurice Ravel - who wrote three songs -, Marcel Delannoy, Manuel de Falla and Darius Milhaud) to write the songs for Chaliapin. Each composer believed only he had been approached.
Ibert's music was chosen for the film, but this caused him some embarrassment as he was a close friend of Ravel's. Ravel considered a lawsuit against the producers. He dropped the action, and the two composers remained close friends. EMI released excerpts from the soundtrack of the French version on 78-rpm and LP discs.
The film condenses the novel significantly and scrambles up the order of Don Quixote's adventures. There are several changes. Don Quixote is "dubbed" a knight not by an innkeeper, but by a traveling actor who is appearing as a king in a play that Don Quixote mistakenly believes to be real. As in the later 1957 Russian film version of the novel, the attack on the windmills is moved to near the end of the film. The mill workers are seen returning from their labor, and unlike the novel, Don Quixote is caught up by the windmill but not thrown. The windmill is stopped by the mill workers, who then assist Sancho is carrying Quixote down.
The final scene is the most radically changed of all. Totally defeated, and brought home imprisoned in a cage, Don Quixote sees that his niece, the village priest, and Sanson Carrasco (who in this version is the niece's fiancee, as in Man of La Mancha) have burnt his beloved books of chivalry. The shock literally kills Don Quixote; he collapses and dies in Sancho's arms, while the townsfolk, who only a few moments prior, were laughing and jeering at him as he sat in the cage, are deeply moved and now kneel in respect for the dead "knight". In a bit of trick photography, the pages of the original 1605 edition of Cervantes's novel arise from the flames rather than being consumed by them - a sign that Don Quixote has achieved immortality.
Dulcinea, who actually appears in the film, is depicted as a not-too-bright milkmaid, and cruelly, she is among those who laugh the hardest when Don Quixote is brought back in a cage.
Don Quixote's name is actually Don Quixote in this version. He is never referred to as Alonso Quixano.