Christopher Columbus: The Discovery
|Christopher Columbus: The Discovery|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Glen|
|Produced by||Alexander Salkind
|Screenplay by||John Briley
|Story by||Mario Puzo|
Benicio del Toro
|Music by||Cliff Eidelman|
|Edited by||Matthew Glen|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Release date(s)||21 August 1992|
|Running time||120 min.|
Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, a 1992 historical film directed by James Bond alumnus John Glen. It was the last project developed by the father and son production team of Alexander and Ilya Salkind (best known for the Superman films), and follows the events after the fall of Islamic Spain which led up to and including the voyage of Columbus to the New World in 1492.
Its behind-the-scenes history involved an elaborate series of financial mishaps, which later brought about an emotional falling-out between both Alexander and Ilya; indeed, as a frustrated Alexander would later lament, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "I know, after this, that I'll never make movies again."
The titular Genoese navigator overcomes intrigue in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and gains financing for his expedition to the East Indies, which eventually leads to the discovery of the Americas.
- Marlon Brando received top billing for his supporting part as Tomás de Torquemada
- Tom Selleck as King Ferdinand V
- Georges Corraface as Christopher Columbus. He replaced Timothy Dalton, who was originally chosen to play the title role.
- Rachel Ward as Queen Isabella I. She replaced Isabella Rossellini, who was originally chosen to play the female lead.
- Robert Davi as Martín Pinzón
- Catherine Zeta-Jones as Beatriz Enriquez de Arana
- Oliver Cotton as Harana
- Benicio del Toro as Alvaro Harana
- Simon Dormandy as Bives
- Michael Gothard was cast as the Inquisitor's spy, but also as a potential replacement for the role of Tomás de Torquemada in case Brando did not show up for filming. Brando did indeed miss the first day of filming, and Gothard took over the role. However, Tom Selleck told the director that without Brando, he would quit the film. Word apparently got out, for Brando was on the set the next day, and assumed the role of Tomás de Torquemada, with Glen reshooting the scene.
- Branscombe Richmond as Indian Chieftain
Timothy Dalton and Isabella Rossellini, originally chosen to star in the picture, backed out when director George Pan Cosmatos was replaced by John Glen shortly before shooting began. Dalton later filed a suit against the producers for breach of contract and fraud. Glen had previously directed Dalton in both of his appearances as James Bond: The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.
Critically, the film received mostly negative reviews, with a rotten 10% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 reviews. Brando's performance in particular was singled out as his "worst".
It won one Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actor – Tom Selleck, and nominated for another five, including; Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actor – Marlon Brando, Worst New Star – Georges Corraface, Worst Screenplay – Mario Puzo and Worst Director – John Glen.
The film was released on VHS format. It has not been released on DVD in North America, but is available in other format regions on DVD.
- 1492: Conquest of Paradise, another big budget, all-star epic about Columbus also released in 1992.
- Carry On Columbus – A comedy-film about Columbus released in 1992.
- The Magic Voyage, an animated film about Columbus also released in 1992.
- "Columbus: A Filmmaker's Odyssey". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- "EPIC `1492' FILM CAPTURES ENERGY OF EXPLORER'S TIMES BEDEVILED VISIONARY Series: DISCOVERING COLUMBUS: 1492 – Second of Three Parts.". Morning Call. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
- Brennan, Judy (24 November 1993). "A Family Feud in Wake of 'Columbus' : Movies: Ilya Salkind has sued Alexander, his father and producing partner, for breach of contract, fraud and racketeering.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Willman, David (6 May 1992). "Christopher Columbus Sails Right Past Bankruptcy". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Mathews, Jack (15 May 1991). "Can Two Columbus Projects Stay Afloat?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Sellers, Robert (2010). Hollywood Hellraisers: the Wild Lives and Fast Times of Marlon Brando, Dennise Hopper, Warren Beatty, and Jack Nicholson. Skyhorse Pub. p. 270.
- Timothy Dalton – Biography
- Davidson, Casey (8 November 1991). "Dalton's Discovery". Entertainment Weekly.
- Fox, David J. (25 August 1992). "Weekend Box Office `Unforgiven' at Top for Third Week". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- "Revenues of Summer Movies Never Quite Fired Up Box Office". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
- Rainer, Peter (24 August 1992). "Columbus: Adrift at Sea With No Paddle". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Canby, Vincent (22 August 1992). "Review/Film; It's Goodbye, Columbus, As Torquemada Waves". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
- Brenner, Paul (n.d.). "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery". ArtistDirect.
- Christopher Columbus: The Discovery at the Internet Movie Database
- Christopher Columbus: The Discovery at Rotten Tomatoes
- Christopher Columbus: The Discovery at AllMovie