IMDb Rating 4.9 10 793


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August 15, 2019 at 02:14 PM


Sid Haig as Antonio
Omar Sharif as Che Guevara
Robert Loggia as Faustino Morales
Jack Palance as Fidel Castro
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
740.27 MB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 6 / 45
1.39 GB
23.976 fps
12hr 0 min
P/S 10 / 57

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wjfickling 6 / 10

Not as wretched as reputed, but good for a few laughs

This film was almost hooted into oblivion by the critics at the time of its release, so when I saw it on one of the Cinemax channels last night, I was surprised that it wasn't much worse. A few months ago I saw the highly acclaimed docudrama on Fidel on Showtime, and this film, while not as good as the Showtime drama, is not all that much worse either.

First the bad stuff. Jack Palance's portrayal of Fidel Castro must rank as one of the worst performances ever to appear on screen. During the first half of the film, he spends most of the time rolling a lit cigar around in his mouth and making weird facial grimaces, most of which he seems to have forgotten by the second half. Moreover, he makes Castro come across as a dim-witted doofus who is always helped to see the right course by the brilliant Che, rather than portraying Castro as the brilliant strategist and tactician he was. Secondly, although the film is in English, much of the spoken dialogue sounds like a dubbed movie. Maybe that's because one of the principal supporting actors is Italian.

That having been said, the film's history is, quite surprisingly, fairly accurate. It accurately depicts how Castro's forces were almost completely wiped out after the arrival from Mexico, and Castro was left with a force numbering less than twenty. Nevertheless, he survives and gradually wins the support of the peasants, so that eventually he has a guerrilla force numbering in the thousands. The fact that Guevara was unable to pull off the same feat in Bolivia, due largely to his own megalomania that prevented his listening to the Bolivian peasants, is accurately portrayed as well. This isn't available on video and isn't likely to come to a theater, so you can probably see it only on cable. If it comes along, it's worth a watch.

Reviewed by clanciai 8 / 10

Omar Sharif brilliant as Che Guevara, Jack Palance less brilliant as Castro but good enough.

It is interesting to note that the film was made only the year after his death. I remember when it was issued - there was very much hush-hush about it, and Richard Fleischer would not publicly reveal the sources of many arguable details of the script. The account is convincing enough, and there has been no protests against any untruthfulness. Omar Sharif as Che makes a convincing character of great controversy and self-contradictoriness, while it is possible at the same time to understand him - why he abandoned the Castro regime as a hopeless case of either becoming a puppet of Russia or of America, to try to make an inter-South-American revolution of his own. Of course, it was utterly unrealistic, which he failed to realize, having no detachment but rather an obsession with any revolution at any cost.

Jack Palance has been criticized for his almost caricature of Castro, but he has made the best of it, Castro was actually like that, and Palance has studied him carefully.

There is nothing wrong with the film as film either. The quality has its flaws, but the direction and cinematic realization is practically flawless.

The greatest credit of the film, though, is the unmasking of Che as the tragic megalomaniac he was, a sick man gone wrong from the beginning and getting stuck in a vicious circle of violence going irrevocably from bad to worse, his pride outgrowing him into arrogance and inhumanity leading only one way into self-destruction, a man obsessed with constantly worsening his own tragedy, made clear enough by Omar Sharif.

In brief, an underrated film of great documentary objectivity charting the psychology of man at his most destructive.

Reviewed by kayaker36 7 / 10

Sensitive Performance by Sharif Hoists It

It was brave of the makers of this film to release it in 1969 when the U.S. war against Communist North Vietnam still raged. It does depict a **failed** attempt to foment revolution in the Third World and on balance it is a negative portrayal of a professional revolutionary. Given the times, any depiction of Guevara and Fidel Castro showing them as human was a bold move.

In the U.S. most publicity has been garnered by Castro's bitterest enemies (those wonderful folks who brought you the **Elian** affair). Fidel has his supporters here, and around the world, also. Many of them seem to have posted comments at this site. The title of this movie is "Che!", not "Fidel!". Naturally, Castro's role will be a secondary one, a decision Castro's supporters seem unable to forgive.

Everyone knows how the story ends, and that is where the movie starts, with Che Guevara's body being transported by helicopter down from the one-room schoolhouse where he was apparently executed after being wounded and captured by an elite unit of the Bolivian Army. It's a strikingly beautiful, almost elegiac shot with the slopes of the Andes stretching to the horizon in the background. The movie proceeds in a semi-documentary style, the story told in flashbacks by Guevara's old Comrades (and some old enemies). Some of the Comrades, visibly aged, give their interviews from prison cells.

While Guevara's early life in Argentina isn't depicted, there is a soundless, striking scene early in the film of Cuban women protesting the dictatorial Battista regime, only to be massacred by Cuban soldiers ("We heard you calling, Cuba and we came...") that well explains what motivated young Ernesto and other youths from Latin America's upper classes to join the Cuban revolutionaries. From there we trace Che's transformation from idealistic medical graduate to hardened guerrilla fighter--summed up in a moment when in the heat of battle he picks up a rifle and leaves his doctor's kit on the ground.

I also disagree with the many criticisms of the portrayal of Fidel Castro by Jack Palance. Palance's movie career was distinctly on the down slope when he accepted the part, but he always had **macho**. Here he captured the 6'4" Castro's dominating physical presence in a land of mostly short statured people.

It is a real pity that this motion picture has completely disappeared. There is not a commercial version of it available anywhere. In the future, perhaps after Omar Sharif has died, this portrait of one of the twentieth century's most charismatic figures will be recognized as the rare achievement it is.

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