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Cuba (film)

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Title: Cuba (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Chris Sarandon, Denholm Elliott, 1979 in film, Richard Lester, Cuba (disambiguation), Martin Balsam, David Rappaport, Héctor Elizondo, Walter Gotell, Jack Weston
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cuba (film)

File:Cuba film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Richard Lester
Produced by Arlene Sellers
Alex Winitsky
Written by Charles Wood
Starring Sean Connery
Brooke Adams
Chris Sarandon
Hector Elizondo
Jack Weston
Denholm Elliot
Music by Patrick Williams
Cinematography David Watkin
Editing by John Victor-Smith
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) 21 December 1979
Running time United States 122 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Cuba is a 1979 film directed by Richard Lester and starring Sean Connery, set during the build-up to the 1958 Cuban Revolution.

Connery stars as a British mercenary who travels to Cuba, which is on the brink of revolution with the authority of dictator Fulgencio Batista collapsing every day. Connery runs into a former lover there (Brooke Adams), who is neglected by her Cuban husband (Chris Sarandon). The film ends with Havana falling to Fidel Castro's revolutionaries and most of Connery's employers fleeing the island aboard one of the last flights out.

The same historical events were featured five years earlier in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Part II and would be covered again by Sidney Pollack in his 1990 film Havana, starring Robert Redford. Lester's film was perhaps the most stylish of the three, aided by its stirring Spanish locations, "with a marvelous sense of atmosphere."[1]


The film's sense of historical accuracy is marred by the opening scene which shows an airliner landing in Havana and the wrong date "1959" is superimposed on the screen. It should read "1958", the last year of the revolution. Cuban President Batista fled the capital when Fidel Castro and his guerrillas entered Havana on New Year's Day 1959.

Former British Major Robert Dapes (Sean Connery) arrives in Cuba under General Bello's (Martin Balsam) orders to train the Cuban army to resist Fidel Castro's upcoming revolution. Before he even begins his task, he encounters an old flame, Alexandra Lopez de Pulido (Brooke Adams), whom he repeatedly tries to pursue. The plot winds around the tremendous wealth of the present leaders, the mostly American tourists who seem to ooze money, the poverty-stricken and ex-urban slums where most Cubans live, and the rum and cigar factory that Alexandra's husband owns and that Alexandra runs.

When Alexandra's husband takes her out and expects her to sit and have a drink with a potential (factory) investor and his prostitute, she leaves the restaurant and runs into Robert. Furious with her husband, she is more open to spending time with him and reminiscing about their old affair in North Africa (when she was 15 and he was 30). They find a motel and make love. It is clear that they care for each other. But he will not stay in Cuba. Will she leave with him?

The next day virtually every Cuban worker goes on strike, including those in Alex's factory. Alex watches the events go by, believing things will soon return to normal. Robert begs her to leave, either to be with him or just to escape Cuba. She refuses.

Not seeing Alex at the airport, Robert boards the plane. Meanwhile, Alex is at the airport, outside the wire fence, watching him board the plane and weeping.

This movie weaves many more plots around these events, as various Cubans, Brits, and Americans try to make something of the revolution. What is most stunning about this movie, however, is that it unwinds like a James Bond movie but "inside out." Robert is the cool, competent, knowledgeable spy: but he is inserted into a history that imposes on him an almost complete passivity: he is supposed to engineer Fidel's defeat; he knows Fidel will win. And instead of powerfully sweeping his gorgeous counterpart off her feet, she's always one step ahead of him, and he must let her go.



External links

  • Internet Movie Database
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