Man of La Mancha
by Arthur Hiller


USA (San Francisco, Golden Gate Theater) - November 29, 1972 - Man of La Mancha - 132'
UK - December, 1972 - Man of La Mancha - 132'
Spain (Madrid) - December 25, 1972 - El hombre de la Mancha - 125' (attendance: 458,047)
Italy - September 8, 1973 - L'uomo della Mancha - 134'
France (Paris) - September 27, 1973 - L'homme de la Manche -
West Germany - November 10,  1974 - Der Mann von La Mancha - 120'

Italian poster Spanish poster American poster American DVD


Locked up in a dungeon, awaiting a trial before the court of the Inquisition, Miguel de Cervantes tells his cell mates a story (created by his fantasy) of a nobleman of La Mancha, Don Quixote, who, inspired by the ancient tales of chivalry, attires himself in dilapidated armor and departs, riding a bony nag, in the company of an impromptu squire named Sancho. Don Quixote wants to renew the splendors of the knights errant; he fights windmills which he mistakes for giants; he meets a humble scullery maid whom he calls Dulcinea and elevates to the rank of sweet damsel; he takes a beating from some merchants whom he had ordered to recognize the incomparable beauty of Dulcinea; and he conquers the helmet of Mambrino (in reality, a common barber’s basin). He makes an innkeeper, whom he mistakes for a lord, equip him as a knight, and at last returns hom where Dulcinea joins him to bow lovingly over his deathbed. (Enrico Lancia)
Story: Inspired by the novel of Miguel de Cervantes ‘Don Quixote of La Mancha
and by the musical play ‘Man of la Mancha’ by Dale Wasserman


Dino De Laurentiis Cinematrografica Studios, Rome (Italy)

Filming dates: January through March 1972


Peter O’Toole (Don Quixote / Alonso Quijana / Miguel Cervantes)
Sophia Loren
(Dulcinea / Aldonza)
James Coco
(Sancho Panza)
Harry Andrews
(governor / inkeeper)
John Castle
(the Duke / Sanson Carrasco)


Photography (DeLuxe):

Giuseppe Rotunno
Art direction and costume design:
Luciano Damiani
Sophia's Makeup Artist:
Giuseppe Annunziata
Sophia's Hair Stylist:
Ada Palombi

Sophia's Dance Coach:
Gillian Lynne
Still Photographers:
Douglas Kirkland, Tazio Secchiaroli
Arthur Hiller for Produzioni Europee Associate (Rome)


Sophia sings six different songs: It's All the Same, The Dubbing, Man of La Mancha, Aldonza, Dulcinea, and The Impossible Dream. Most songs were altered or cut in order for Sophia to sing them. Songs by O'Toole are dubbed by Simon Gilbert.

Sophia and O'Toole spend hours playing poker on the set and they happen to be both great cheaters. One day, as she is thrusting her winnings into her Gucci handbag, O'Toole grabs it hollering blue murder and savagely rips it to shreds. The event is know as the famous Gucci handbag rip-up.

Sophia gets $ 750,000 to star in the movie version of the Broadway musical.

Sophia's voice is dubbed by Elsa Fábregas (Spanish) and Rosemarie Kirstein (German).


"The only performance that really survives the movie is Sophia Loren's. She can sing, more or less, and she can also radiate
warmth and concern."
Roger Ebert.

"The less glossy she is, the more attractive she becomes, especially in the legs-apart, blouse-ripped, eyes-flashing, posture. (...) I love that cow. (...)
The more I was with Sophia, the more edible she looked.""
Peter O'Toole

"I would not have accepted to direct this musical had Sophia not been part of it. With her, I have peace of mind. She is a real professional, always on time, and she never complains."
Arthur Hiller

"Sophia is the greatest broad I've ever met. She's so beautiful, kind, witty, humble, everything. When we first met she melted me with a direct look. Right smack in the eyes. Later she told me that Vittorio De Sica taught her to do that whenever she met somebody for the first time."
James Coco

"When he (Peter O'Toole), Miss Loren (never sufficiently appreciated as the great comedienne she is) and Mr. Coco are not being interrupted to sing, "Man of La Mancha" almost comes to life."
Vincent Canby, New York Times,  12 dec, 1972

"Sophia Loren is a ravishing Dulcinea, but she seems to be playing a kind of high-stepping variation of Two Women.
Time Magazine, 25 dec, 1972

Copyrights for all photos belong to their respective owners.
© Excelsior Communication - 2007

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