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George At 

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Cuba


Largely overlooked at the time of its release in 1979, even Sean Connery can't quite save CUBA from being a muddled drama/historical romance drama that can never quite decide what it's about.

Connery plays British mercenary Robert Dapes, who arrives in Cuba just as Castro's internal forces seem poised to takeover the country. He's surprised to find former lover Alexandra living the life of the entitled as owner of a huge rum manufacturing plant. Alexandra is played by Brooke Adams (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Days of Heaven) and she and Connery have nice chemistry together as she battles her philandering, lazy husband Juan Pulido, played by Chris Sarandon (The Princess Bride, Fright Night) and his nonchalant abuse of his father's wealth.

One biography of Connery details that he took on the role before the script was finished and it shows. The film meanders all over the place, with romantic scenes, political maneuvering and enough lesser characters to confuse a "Game of Thrones" fan while never really clarifying any details of their motives. A young assassin wonders in and out of the plot, popping up only when needed as a story device.

It never gels and its SLOW, but its almost redeemed by the effortless Connery and two real scene stealers.

Denholm Elliott (Raider of the Lost Ark, Trading Places) is terrific as Skinner, bringing much needed levity and style to the film and Jack Weston (Wait Until Dark, Gator) is hilarious and perfect as the quintessential ugly American trying to close a deal in the middle of a bloody revolution.

Director Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night, Superman II) brings his usual visual style and throwaways to the entire film and David Watkin (Robin and Marian, Out of Africa) shoots every scene like a great painting, capturing the wealth, poverty and excitement of Cuba.

If you want to see a much better film about the same time period, check out Robert Redford and Sydney Pollack's "Havana".

CUBA is just too unfocused and slow moving to be anything more than a lesser Connery vehicle and it gets a C.

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