Man of La Mancha

Synopsis: This musical version of Don Quixote is framed by an incident allegedly from the life of its author, Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote is the mad, aging nobleman who embarrasses his respectable family by his adventures. Backed by his faithful sidekick Sancho Panza, he duels windmills and defends his perfect lady Dulcinea (who is actually a downtrodden whore named Aldonza).
Director(s): Arthur Hiller
Production: United Artists
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
132 min

By edict of the Inquisition...

to spread subversive thought

is heresy.

By edict of the Inquisition...

offenders will submit

to purification...

by sword or flame.

By edict of the Holy Office

of the Inquisition...

to read or interpret

the Bible...

is a sole province

of the Church.

You must by no means

prevail with yourself...

that these giants

you speak of...

were ever real men

of this world...

and true substantial

flesh and blood.


What you say of all of them...

is fable and fiction,

lies and dreams.

The Holy Bible...

which cannot deviate

an atom from the truth...

tells us of

that huge Philistine Goliath...

who was fourteen and a half

feet high...

which is an prodigious stature.

You blaspheme

by quoting the Holy Bible...

for your purposes.

The interpretation

of holy writ...

is the sacred function

of the Friars.

We cannot all be Friars.

And there are many ways

God leads his children home.

Religion is knight-errantry.

Miguel de Cervantes.

Truth is only revealed...

or dreamt.

Miguel de Cervantes...

in the name of the Holy Office

of the Inquisition...

you are under arrest.

Anything wrong

with the accommodations?

Oh, no, no, no.

They're quite... interesting.

This is what

we've come to regard...

as the common room.

For those who wait.

Do they wait long?

An hour...

a lifetime.

Who knows?

Do they all await

the Inquisitions?

Ah, no, seor.

Not all of them.

Most of these...

are merely

thieves and murderers.


If you want anything,

just shout.

If you are able.

What did he mean by that?

He meant to frighten us.

I think they intend us to stay.

You think? God!

Calm yourself.

There's a remedy

for everything but death.

That may be

just the remedy we need.

Good day, gentlemen, ladies.

I regret being thrust upon you

in this manner.

I hope you'll not find

our company objectionable.

I'm no stranger

to similar surroundings.

I've been in prison

more than once.

- Many times.

- Many times.

And often I have thought

the world to be a prison...

a very cruel one...

where all have desires...

few of which are fulfilled.

But how thoughtless of me to...

Enough! Enough!

Noise, trouble, fights.

Kill each other if you must...

but for God's sake,

do it quietly.

Who are you?

Huh? Speak up!


Don Miguel de Cervantes.

Oh, a gentleman!

Doesn't prevent me

from going to bed hungry.

And that?

My assistant.

May I have the honor?

They call me the Governor.

- What's your game?

- Game?

Your speciality, man.

Cutpurse? Highwayman?

Nothing so rewarding.

I'm a poet.

They're putting people

in prison for that?

No, no, no, not for that.

Too bad.

Might I meet this gentleman?

Your name, sir?

Names have no meaning here.

I'm called the Duke.

And your speciality?


I invent false information

about a country...

and sell it to others

stupid enough to believe it.

Seems a sound proposition.

What brought you here?

A lapse of judgment.

I told the truth.

- Did you like your job?

- Quite.

Do you like yourself?

I believe I could learn

to dislike you.

Well, now,

let's get on with the trial.

Trial? What trial?

Yours, of course.

And what have I done?

We'll soon find something.

But we don't understand.

We've only been here

a few hours.

My dear sir, no one enters

or leaves this prison...

without being tried

by his fellow prisoners.

And if I'm found guilty?

- You will be.

- The sentence?

We generally fine a prisoner

all his possessions.

All of them?

It's not practical to take more.

But these things

are my livelihood.

I thought you said

you were a poet.

Of the theater.

Of the theater.

- You see?

- What?

Come here. Come here.



Properties and costumes.

You see, I'm a playwright

and an actor.

So these poor things...

couldn't possibly be

of any use to you.

Oh, no, wait!

You'll break it!

Take them! Take them!

Oh, no, Don Miguel!

No. Take them, I say.

Only leave me this.

Heavy. Valuable?

Only to me.

I'll let you ransom it.

I have no money.

How unfortunate.



Still worthless!

No! Wait!

You said a trial!

By your own words,

I demand a trial!

Oh, very well, then.

I hereby declare this court

to be in session.

Now, then,

what are you here for?

We are to appear

before the Inquisition.


No, not exactly.

You see, we were presenting

an entertainment.

An entertainment?

How does an entertainment

get into trouble...

with the Inquisition?

Perhaps they found

an entertainment...

is not always what it seems.

Why are you here?

Somebody has

to stage-manage the stage.

These two have empty holes

in their heads.

Governor, if you don't mind...

I should like

to prosecute this case.

You, sir? Why, sir?


spinning nonsense

out of nothing.

Blurring men's eyes to reality.



A stone prison crushing

the human spirit.

Poetry demands imagination.

And with imagination,

you may discover a dream.

The trial! On with the trial!

Miguel de Cervantes,

I charge you...

with being an idealist,

a bad poet...

and an honest man.

How plead you?



Your Excellency...

ladies and gentlemen,

my defense.

But you just pleaded guilty.

Had I said innocent,

you would surely

have found me guilty.

Since I've admitted guilt...

the court is obliged

to hear me out.

For what purpose?

The jury may

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Dale Wasserman

Dale Wasserman (November 2, 1914 – December 21, 2008) was an American playwright. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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