Grigori Kozintsev - Don Quixote (1957) - DVD
After years spent reading books of chivalry, a middle-aged Spanish gentleman (Nikolai Cherkassov) is convinced that he is the real-life knight-errant, Don Quixote de la Mancha. To this end, he commissions his battered horse Rocinante to be his steed and appoints fellow Manchegan Sancho Panza (Yuri Tolubeyev) to be his reluctant squire. Both Knight and Squire find themselves living anachronisms in 16th Century Spain, subject to constant humiliation and frequent defeat; safeguarded only by Sancho s good humour and Quixote s mad zeal.
Don Quixote, made in 1957, is the first version of the novel in colour and CinemaScope, shot on location in the Crimean region. In adapting Cervantes, Grigori Kozintsev anticipates the style of his renowned Shakespeare adaptations (Hamlet, King Lear); crafting a film of comparable visual richness and poetic wit. The legendary Nikolai Cherkassov (Alexander Nevsky, Ivan the Terrible) adds a third to his roster of iconic screen roles with his stirring performance as the Knight of the Rueful Face.