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||IMDB Rating: 6.1/10 from 304 votes
||Release: 5 December 1949 (Sweden) /
||Genre: Action, Adventure, Biography
||Director: David MacDonald,
||Stars: Abraham Sofaer, Dennis Vance, Derek Bond, Edward Rigby, Felix Aylmer, Florence Eldridge, Francis L. Sullivan, Francis Lister, Fredric March, James Robertson Justice, Kathleen Ryan, Linden Travers, Niall MacGinnis, Nora Swinburne, Richard Aherne
||Synopsis: Using a letter of introduction from Queen Isabella's former confessor, Christopher Columbus gains access to the Spanish court where he tries to convince authorities of the practicality of his proposed voyage to reach to Far East by sailing west. Court intrigue and the efforts of Francisco de Bobadilla, whose financial interests would be hurt by Columbus' success, are roadblocks to the voyage, but the navigator perseveres and ultimately prevails. Written by firstname.lastname@example.org
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Watch Christopher Columbus - Alternative Versions.
I'm not sure what compelled Fredric March and Florence Eldridge to do
this British film for J. Arthur Rank based on the life of Christopher
Columbus. Or at least an interpretation of that life as come down in
popular culture. It didn't add much to either of their reputations, but
I suppose did no harm.
March is in the title role of the intrepid Genoese sea captain who is
credited with the discovery of America. By America of course we mean
the western hemisphere and not the USA. Columbus never did make it in
any of his four voyages to the lower 48.
One thing that is a weakness of this film for American audiences is
that this it is not made clear that King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella
were joint rulers, she was not just a consort Queen. Earlier in Spanish
history, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile married and that
marriage unified Spain as a nation. But both were monarchs in their own
right. It's clear to me, but I fear not to others as to why Florence
Eldridge as Queen Isabella can in fact act independently as she does.
Francis L. Sullivan is Count Bobadilla who became Columbus's enemy at
court and he plays it in the grand and florid Sullivan manner. He's
always a joy to watch in any film, no matter how good or bad it is.
The greatness of Columbus lies in two things, the fact that he had an
idea about sailing west in an effort to find a shorter route for trade
with the Orient. He was in fact, wrong as you can be on that score. He
based his calculations on the fact that he thought the earth much
smaller than it really was. But he persisted and eventually sold the
notion to the Castilian Queen.
Secondly though, whatever else he was, Columbus was one incredibly good
sea captain. In a voyage into unknown territory he kept his crew
together for about two months until land was sighted in what is now the
The film itself has quite a few dry patches. It's dull retelling of an
exciting adventure. For their time, the special effects are good, but
are pretty dated now. It's obvious the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria are
all models in a tank.
A couple of films were done in time for the 500 anniversary of the
first voyage that were more accurate in the detail. You probably are
better off seeing either of them.
Tags for Christopher Columbus Full Movie
, Dennis Vance
, Derek Bond
, Edward Rigby
, Felix Aylmer
, Florence Eldridge
, Francis L. Sullivan
, Francis Lister
, Fredric March
, James Robertson Justice
, Kathleen Ryan
, Linden Travers
, Niall MacGinnis
, Nora Swinburne
, Richard Aherne
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