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Man of La Mancha


About a decade ago, we had the good fortune of seeing Brian Stokes Mitchell on Broadway in a revival of MAN OF LA MANCHA. It's a good thing I hadn't seen the 1972 filmed version or I NEVER would have bought a ticket in NYC.

The movie is unwatchable.

There's so much talent involved it's hard to imagine what happened. The stars really have to align to make something this bad.

Peter O'Toole is a great actor. "Lawrence of Arabia" and "The Stunt Man" are movies I watch again and again, he's terrific.

But who told him he could sing and why would you cast him in a singing part?

Maybe he was inspired by Lee Marvin croaking his way through "Paint Your Wagon" three years before, but at least that movie adaption was fun, well shot and enjoyable.

This mess......

O'Toole was eventually dubbed by another singer for his numbers, not very effectively.

Director Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak, The Hospital, Love Story) stages an incredibly boring first 20 minutes as our title character is jailed, then he bursts into song (?) and suddenly we are in fantasy sequences outside and.....its just a plodding, confusing mess.

I've seen the entire play and I had no idea what the hell was going on.

Sophia Loren survives better than most of the cast, giving her song a decent go in a thankless part.

With a $12 million budget and $3 million at the box office, it was a massive flop.

Between this and "Lost Horizon" the following year, the movie musical was killed for almost ten years until "Grease" revived the genre at the end of the decade.

Yeah, there's no Greased Lightning in this mess. No electricity of any kind for that matter.

Forget the Impossible Dream, this things an impenetrable nightmare.

Tilting at windmills has never been so lackluster. LA MANCHA gets an F.

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