1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992) Poster

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2/10
Ridiculously inaccurate
mid-levels11 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The real story of Columbus is an adventure story with plenty of plot twists and interesting characters. So there was no need to fabricate history in this film. We have Columbus' journals that tell us what happened when he landed in the new world and the events that followed. This film set an agenda to make Columbus out to be a visionary who against the odds made good and the only problem was that everyone else didn't have his insight. Ridiculous! Columbus did something quite amazing in sailing to the new world but that doesn't mean that he didn't have serious flaws. For one, in the film he speaks about a "New World" but Columbus died believing he actually had found a passage to Asia so for him there was nothing new about it. The first encounter with the natives is also ridiculous in the film. In Columbus' journal we see that naked villagers came out onto the beach and that Columbus claimed the land for Spain and then took out his sword and tested the natives' knowledge of weapons. They had none and Columbus actually cut them. In the movie, Columbus is just walking through the jungle and he is approached by hostile natives ready to fire their arrows at him. He tells his men who are about to open fire to stop and that they must act peacefully. So Columbus becomes the peacemaker when in reality the natives were peaceful and he drew his sword on them. There are tons of these moments in the movie that make this movie a joke in terms of history. If directors are going to use real historical figures they need to represent them accurately. If they want to imagine or reimagine the colonial experience then they should use fictional characters.
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7/10
On Creating Worlds
OttoVonB18 September 2002
1492 casts a long shadow over my filmgoing life. It is one of the first films I remember seeing where I started thinking of all the activity that went into making a film. My young mind did not process a lot of the plot - and in retrospect I can partly blame the makers of this film - but I did notice shots, sounds, music. Perhaps the music more than anything.

So fast-forward a decade and a half at least... 1492 was massive in Europe when it came out. Ridley Scott, director of Alien, Legend and Blade Runner, was telling the story of Christopher Columbus, starring the venerable Gerard Depardieu, all to a score by Vangelis which flew off the shelves faster than any film score since, well, Blade Runner. What did they have to show for it.

We know the story, or we think we do: Columbus, an Italian immigrant, gets a grant from Queen Isabella of Spain to map a shorter route to India, sailing West. What he discovers is a whole new world, the Caribbean islands. But the "new world" experiment fails badly and before long utopia becomes a stage for jealousy, manipulation, superstition and even genocide.

It took several studios to co-finance this massive undertaking, based on a screenplay by journalist Rose Bosch. Supposedly, Scott immediately had his sights set on Depardieu, which paradoxically leads us to both the film's greatest asset and liability.

Depardieu exudes a very un-Hollywood brand of charisma: grounded, vulnerable, but also prone to hardness and anger. His Columbus is a tragic idealist, likable even when carried away by his own arrogance. It's hard to imagine anyone else in the role. It is a pity then that his English was nowhere near good enough to carry the film.

For many years, I had been warned and had only seen the film dubbed in my native French (it did help that Depardieu dubbed himself, as did supporting actor Tcheky Karyo), but upon seeing the film "as intended" I was simply baffled. This, coupled with a script that leaves a few motivations unexplained and sometimes gets bogged down, severely undermines a film that is otherwise brimming with first-rate craftsmanship.

Despite the odd heavy-handed use of orange gradient filters recalling the younger Scott brother's feature-length Air Force commercial, the film is littered with unforgettable imagery. Vangelis' music, though even more effective listened to on its own, plunges you headfirst into another world, one of infinite possibilities.

The net result is a very imperfect film, but as an exercise in world-creation, an admitted Ridley Scott hobby, you'l be hard pressed to find its equal.
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3/10
Awful!
silently_stressing7 March 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. I was expecting this to be interesting, I've always found historical movies to be somewhat exciting. You know, a mix of the truth and the glamour of Hollywood? However, this movie was a crock of crap.

It seems as though the makers considered Chris to be some kind of hero and visionary. In fact, at one point, he actually compares himself to the son of God. At one point, I couldn't help but burst out laughing at the sheer idiocy of the script. After that, I just couldn't take it seriously. Comparing himself to Jesus? Honestly.

I'll tell you what this movie is, and what it is not. It is a completely Hollywood-ized version of the events that really took place, so if you're into the falsehood factor, go for it. It is not a movie one should see if one has read up on some of the things in which Columbus was involved - enslaving and killing thousands, I mean.

It's only strong point is Gerard Depardieu's accent. That alone is almost worth watching it. The poor man speaks French very well, but his English comes out with a strong accent. In this movie, he plays Columbus - a man from Spain. So combine the French-ified English with an attempt at a Spanish accent, and there you go.

All in all? Please, don't waste your time. But if you like Gerard Depardieu a whole lot, by all means, take this opportunity to giggle at his expense.

Plus, he gets punched out by a monk.
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Setting History on it's Ear
Nicky-4325 October 2000
Director Ridley Scott and writer Roselyne Bosch play fast and loose with historical accuracy in this white-washed telling of Christopher Columbus' adventures.

Rather than seeing the Columbus of history plundering other lands in search of gold while brutally enslaving and mass murdering the natives, we are presented with a kind, gentle, benign Columbus (portrayed by the surrealistically cast Gérard Depardieu) who's surrounded by unscrupulous characters. Scott's Columbus is an idealistic visionary who only wants "a new world," yet is a pawn caught between bad people doing bad things. Poor Columbus ... all he wants to do is explore.

Of course, this calls for *a lot* of historical revisionism for the screenplay, which re-arranges events and the instigators of them (atrocities are shifted to the work of others rather than Columbus, and for different reasons; otherwise, it's omitted from the story).

But why fictionalize history (reality is always more interesting) with this pabulum, and then pass it off as "history"? Either no research was done, or they intentionally fabricated the story; there is no other option.

"Life has more imagination than we carry in our dreams," we are told just before the closing credits. Indeed. Too bad the writer didn't follow this advice. The truth would have made far better drama.
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1/10
Terrible movie.
lifeisashoe23 April 2017
This movie is filled with so many historical inaccuracies, its getting ridiculous already after 20 minutes of the movie. Everything from the "flat earth"-plot to turkeys in Europe. Its a disgrace. It portraits Colombus as some sort of hero who was nice to the natives. It was the other way around. This movie is beyond terrible.
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10/10
a good movie
gayromeo200015 October 2003
I think this movie got a score it doesn't deserve. First of all the story is about an adventurer who discovered America and who was rejected the honour for his efforts, it is all in the movie. It shows how Columbus went from being a hero to a nobody, it was his sons who had to fight for his honor after his death. The movie really presents this perfectly, all from Columbus' dreams until after he discovered America, got mocked and became a laughing stock. So this is not the typical hero movie you have seen, but it is rather true to its real story, at least as true as you can get in a movie lasting 2 hours from a story which goes over a period of 30 years out of an extraordinary man's life. The other movie made the same year about Columbus was more the typical hero movie, where it ended when Columbus discovered America. And the music in this movie is so good, it catches the moods in this movie so great, this music is as perfect to its story as the music in 2001. I want to recommend people to see this movie again and this time with another view, and try to remember what their seeing.
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10/10
probably my favourite movie ever
damienmuldoon27 November 2005
In 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the New World was marked with a deluge of movies, documentaries and T.V. dramas. Not only is this the best of those commemorative re-tellings, it is also a lesson in how good historical movies should be made. Ridley Scott's direction and Gerard Depardu's leading performance gives us a genuine feeling of what must have faced Columbus and his crew as they set off on a voyage that, in their time, was more dangerous than space travel. This movie does more than tell their story however. It recreates an epoch in a way that few other historical dramas ever have. Fifteenth century Spain is every bit as vivid as the unchartered jungles of Latin America. And it is a testament to Scott's skill as a director that he beautifully contrasts the splendor of Queen Isabella's court with the insect infested, monsoon ridden "New World". And yet we also see that while the hand of civilization has made Isabella's Spain so resplendent, it has also tainted it with corruption. No such corruption exists in the virgin forests of San Slavador. Not until the European's arrive that is.

Every single scene in this film is loaded with symbolism. Behind the dialog and interaction of characters, there is an abundant subtext that just craves to be explored. It is a film that you come to appreciate the more times you see it and come to understand better, the older you grow. Critics have been unenthusiastic and even dismissive of it. Don't dare listen to them until you have watched it at least three times yourself. It would also be careless of me to comment on this film without mentioning the brilliant score by Vangellis. Hovering between the atmospheric and the pure scary, it blends with the general aura of the film brilliantly. Pure magic.
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1/10
Good action, Bad History.
coqui568316 April 2002
I have rarely seen a big budget historical film filled with so many inaccuracies. One would think that a film of that caliber could have hired a writer who would have known that Columbus left Hispaniola with only two ships, since the Sta. Maria was destroyed. The film shows 3 ships departing. There is never a mention of a third or fourth voyage, nor of the discovery of Terra Firme. Further, there is not a single mention of the name Hispaniola (or La Española) in the film. The dramatic scene of landfall at Guanahaní is ruined by the appearance of the island. Watling Island is low and scrub covered, not hilly and forested. The birds on the island and the fauna are more proper of Costa Rica. The scene of the death of a crewmember from a snake bite is a comical sham. Not only were are there no poisonous snakes in the Caribbean, there are no snakes at all on Watling. The budget of the film could have bought a lot more! What a waste...
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10/10
The Best Columbus Film Ever Made
dentonsfarm16 October 2005
Ridley Scott's masterpiece, 1492: A Conquest of Paradise, is a visually compelling film and well acted. Those who gave low viewer ratings in the viewer comments obviously do not see the beauty of epic films. Epics are supposed to be kind of lengthy. It is, to me, the best depiction of Columbus I have ever seen. True, the lead actor is a Frenchman, but if you set that aside you can see that he looks and acts like what one would picture Columbus to be. Durring the sailing scenes it almost made you feel as though you were sailing along with Columbus. I think that the people who are down on the historical accuracies and "inaccuracies" of this film do not cease to realize that Columbus was out for more than spices from India but also a conquest to spread the Gospel to the people of the Far East. The other inaccuracies of the film have only been brought to light years after the films release. They discovered that Columbus was probably not from Genova.
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6/10
"Life has more imagination than we carry in our dreams…."
Spikeopath20 August 2011
1492: Conquest of Paradise is directed by Ridley Scott and written by Roselyne Bosch. It stars Gerard Depardieu, Armand Assante, Fernando Rey, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott and Tcheky Karyo. Music is scored by Vangelis and cinematography by Adrian Biddle.

"500 years ago, Spain was a nation gripped by fear and superstition, ruled by the crown and a ruthless inquisition that persecuted men for daring to dream. One man challenged this power. Driven by his sense of destiny he crossed the sea of darkness in search of honour, gold and the greater glory of God."

It barely made a dent at the box office, but neither did the other big Columbus release in 1992, Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. Meaning what? Both films are bad? Or that many went to see one that was bad and thought better than going to sit through another Columbus epic? Or maybe the topic, the anniversary of Columbus' voyage to the New World, just hadn't got the appeal that studios hoped for? All possible, but in the case of Ridley Scott's 1492: Conquest of Paradise, the lukewarm response is probably born out of it being a different kind of movie than that which was expected.

This is no rousing epic that's full of derring do and swagger, it's over talky for the non historical movie loving crowd, and crucially it goes against the grain of what Columbus, we are now led to believe, was like. It seems that Scott and Bosch were more happy to paint the famed explorer as a noble man of the people, a man of science, keeping his motives vague and his actions as dignified. With hindsight, it surely would have been more interesting to have had a Columbus picture portraying him as the self driven bastard he's been accused of being! I wonder how many more people would have paid to see that?

Film is not helped by Depardieu's performance as Columbus. Acting on direction of course, the restrained portrayal leaves the film without an heroic, passion fuelled edge, something that is badly needed in a film about such a momentous historical occasion. His fluctuating accent is also a nuisance. There's no doubting the professional performance the Frenchman gives, it's just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The other cast members jostle for screen time with mixed results, but Assante, Karyo and Wincott are good value for money. But they, like Depardieu, pale in the shadow of Scott's aesthetics.

This is where the film is a real winner. From the medieval make over for a moody Spain; to the capturing of ships setting sail from Port of Palos under an orange sky; to the wide angled shooting of Costa Rica, Scott and Biddle delight the eyes. When Bosch's screenplay allows, Scott is able to construct some truly indelible sequences, with garrotings, flaming pyres and a village assault serving notice that all is not lost here. But these, along with an extended sequence of men in unison trying to erect a giant bell, only make us notice just how much of a wasted opportunity this was. While Vangelis' stirring score also has one hankering after a narrative with more momentum.

Big flaws and frustrating, but not a complete disaster for those armed with the knowledge that this is no rousing and devilish experience. 6/10
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4/10
Sunk by a leaden script
hou-331 March 2017
What this weak movie brought home to me was the importance of a good script. Two days previously I rewatched The Mission, a masterpiece about European contact with the indigenous people of the Americas. The Mission has wonderful actors, inspired cinematography and a classic score, but what enables them all to synergise is Robert Bolt's intelligent, sensitive and beautiful script. It fills the film with radiance. By contrast, the script for 1492 is unbelievably poor, pedestrian to the last degree. I wonder that Ridley Scott allowed himself to be saddled with it. OK, Depardieu's English is not great, but from the start you can see that this fine actor can do nothing with these lines. Nor can Weaver and the others. Funny really, because the script is surely the least costly item in the budget.
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10/10
History is an orange for some
drlarue-124 April 2005
I first saw this movie in 1992 after hearing that I had missed something special from a friend who did see it in the theater. As one always interested in history since childhood, I looked into the history portrayed in this excellent film. Actually, it is adopted from Columbus's son's own memoirs and what is factually known. Columbus did strike out to find Asia, we all know that. But he actually did become idealistic and wish to create a New World for those weary of the old - and many were. This theme continued right into the development of the U.S., which may (or may not) be the best example of that intention. What many do not realize is how much this history intersects with the Knights Templar's search for a place to headquarter permanently after loosing it's hold in Europe in 1307-14. Sound crazy? Check the details! In Spain, the Templars were converted into an order called "Knights of Christ" and retained that famous cross that everyone is familiar with as present on the Santa Maria, but with no understanding. Prince Henry the Navigator was one and Columbus was made one. There is new (old) evidence that French Templars who settled in Scotland after 1314 made it to what is now Rhode Island (two archaeological evidences exist there, as well as evidence in Scotland). Some theorize (and this is much more theory than the aforementioned) that the hole on Oak Island was a stash created by the French Templars of the mysterious treasury that never has quite been accounted for and has given rise to numerous theories of Templars treasures in France and elsewhere. (Even the book - The Da Vinci Code utilizes parts of this foil in its plot). If you traced it truly, the diligent researcher will find that the Templars had its continuance as the Freemasonic brotherhood. The U.S. was founded by intention by French, American, and yes, British Masons. A strange coincidence? What has this to do with Columbus? Am I way off the subject. Well, no,... I would argue. That this movie is a visual and auditory masterpiece is without question. That the acting is everywhere from adequate to brilliant, (yes, who could play Moxica better, and how can anyone seeing this movie in English be so arrogant to complain that Depardieu has a French accent??) Columbus used the plans of Da Vinci (is a light going on?) for an ideal city for his ideal New World. That he had problems with his ideals becoming reality is more than commonplace for anyone who has tried to do something extraordinary, but especially when power is involved. His plan had to fail, even the weather was against it. No one in Europe understood hurricanes then.

I could go on, but there are dozens of points of historical discussion that this film prompts, including a thorough study of the Roman Catholic Church, the Reformation, the history of "Witch Trials" anti-Semitism in Europe, The Thirty Year War and the Wars of Religion, The Age of Reason, the rise of Science, etc., etc., etc! What a film packed with potential historical departures this is!! I pity those who miss all this richness.

When I read such negative reviews by those who claim the history is all wrong, I wonder what stereotype of history they think they were taught. It is no surprise to me that they seem to think the scene with the orange was about an orange! They didn't pay attention to this film long enough to understand the simplest scene! I gather they don't really pay much attention to history either, but have popular historical assumptions that they have been fed or imagined. This is a film that ought to be shown in every classroom in the New World as well as Europe, if nowhere else. And for those who claim they were bored - rent an Arnold shoot-em up and stay home during elections, your opinion is just that valuable.
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9/10
An excellent film
CJ-3210 January 1999
This is a great film, I really enjoyed watching it. We watched a small amount at school, and I just had to go out and borrow the video to watch it all. Gérard did a great job of playing Christopher Columbus, this film is also very informative and I did learn from it. I would recommend that everyone go and get this film on video and watch it.
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1/10
Conquest of Quality you mean. One of the worst movies ever.
storytym8 January 2003
Perhaps Ridley Scott's worst movie, and that's saying a lot.

Turgid, overwrought, anachronistic, inaccurate, laughable, sanctimonious, and egregiously politically correct.

A film to recommend to your vilest enemies.
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8/10
Great Historical account , with minor inaccuracies
leftyguns223 February 2005
As an avid historical buff I definitely consider this film a must see.

Unlike other film which are simply based on history, Conquest was more realistic than others. In most aspects anyway. I will discuss to some degree where I feel that "artistic license" was used.

The scene where victims of the inquisition, were executed many of them Jews was quite accurate. Contrary to popular belief, most were strangled before set on fire. The film showed that in detail.

The encounter with the natives took place on the beach according to most accounts, not inland as in the film , This is one of the first inaccuracies.

Another inaccuracy was that Sanchez , brilliantly portrayed by Armand Assante. According to histirical texts went on the voyage. His assignment to safeguard th e Spanish crown's share of any riches seized. another historical inaccuracy.

Later came the Moxica character portrays by Michael Wincott. He cut of the arm of a native who hadn't found any gold. This was very accurate the natives were given quotas of gold the had to find and give to the Spaniards as tribute. Those who didn't comply were often mutilated. Also many of the early colonists rose in rebellion against Columbus.

But the most profound dialogue in the entire movie was when Friar Rojas mentioned to Sanchez, referring to Columbus " what a waste of a life" Sanchez replies " If either of our names are ever remembered it will only be because of his" A must see for anyone who appreciates history.
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10/10
1492 is AWESOME!
Chris99714 April 2001
Warning: Spoilers
Simply an amazing look into the life of Christopher Columbus. We discover who he was, what made him tick, we see what he accomplished and how it really backfired on him. This film shows us largely what Columbus had to do to accomplish his discovery of the New World. It shows us that Columbus didn't know where he would wind up, some thought that they would fall off the edge of the world. Columbus didn't seem to think so, he already knew that the world was probably round. What he did not know was that they were not venturing on a new found, easy way to the Asian continent. Instead they were headed to an unfamiliar place, a place full of surprises, wonder and beauty. A gorgeous, lush, tropical, plant filled paradise. The scene where Columbus comes in contact with a new kind of people, the Indians, is simply well filmed and photographed. That scene captured the surprise Columbus had when he discovered that he was merely just a guest, in a foreign place. Somebody already intruding on a land that has already been conquered, by the Indians who inhabit Columbus's dream. It soon turns into his own nightmare, as he trys to accomplish his dream and the natives rebel against him and his men. Near the end of the film a hurricane hit's his New World, basically surprising him and shattering his dreams. Even before the hurricane the film demonstrates to us that his dream was already being ruined. Moxica a spanish nobleman who tallied along with Columbus on his second voyage back to the New World, basically causes havoc for him there. As a result, there are wars and battles that brew, murder, Indians become his slaves, everything falls apart for Columbus. The film not only captures the essence of Columbus's hardtimes, but it also captures some of the remarkable things he did accomplish. Like the raising of a bell in the New World, his first voyage through the vast Atlantic Ocean, his friendship with an Indian native named Utapan, the love he had for his wife and his kids. This film is a special film with excellent performances from Gerard Depardieu who plays the man Columbus. Also the supporting cast is great (Sigourney Weaver, Michael Wincott, Armand Assante, Fernando Rey, Tcheky Karyo). Ridley Scott who directed Gladiator, Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma and Louise, hit's a home run here and wins. Vangelis's musical score is excellent and adds an extra sense of wonder, to a film that is already full of it.
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If anything, see it for the music.
Paul-20422 February 1999
1492 was not an exciting movie, at times, even, it was boring. Not the usual Ridley Scott stuff. But it's all made up for by Vangelis' score. The main theme is a recognizable piece of music, so beautiful; and the rest of the score is enchanting. To tell the truth I wouldn't have liked this film so much, if it weren't for the music!
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1/10
Inaccuracy and lies
Alchemyi23 May 2019
The real Christopher Columbus didn't come in peace..he conquered,enslaved,sold ,executed the natives that lived there.He just saw an opportunity to exploit them.He introduced a practice : If a native resisted from working in the mines then they would have their noses or ears cut off.If they we're unable to find gold then they would have their hands cut off and have them tied around their necks until they bled to death... more than 10000 natives dies in this way and revolted.They did more than that to them...it was more like a genocide..and they present him like a hero in this movie..shame,such a shame.
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9/10
Under-Rated Masterpiece
guifig-gf28 March 2015
I'm in shock after watching this masterpiece of cinema, and realize that this is the most under-rated film in history. Must be a lack of maturity of the people today in recognize a true work of art and distinguish them of the trash we see every week in theaters today.

The film tells a wonderful story, intriguing and engaging, with great performances, great custom designs, perfect art direction, and editing, the soundtrack is completely awesome.

With the film we understand how fragile was the relationship of the Europeans and its interests with the wild natives, and how these interests led to destruction of a local culture and introduced a new millennium to the American continent. With the great performance of Gérard Depardieu, Sigourney Weaver, and Armand Assante also with the fantastic direction of Ridley Scott, we also realize how sad was the story of Christopher Columbus that after discovering the new world, had its failure to colonize it efficiently in the eyes of the Spanish crown, and had his belated recognition out of its time, this recognition that ended up to Americo Vespucci.

In the film we make a trip back in time, the scenes, the costumes, all landscapes, are extremely realistic and true to reality of the time, I guarantee to all that didn't watched this movie, after you do it will be one of your favorites. And I ask those who judge the film as bad or average, to revise their concepts immediately because I guarantee you that they are wrong.
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3/10
My interest sank(sorry!)
GeneralB6 October 1999
This film was pretty bad. The acting stank, it dragged out too long, and they got the history all wrong. They try to give Columbus 20th century values, and it just looks bad. I remember the scene where Columbus was showing his son an orange and the horizon and says "Its round." Well of course its round, its an orange!
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4/10
Not too good.
Maedhros3516 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
(Possible spoilers).

If there is any message the director of the movie wanted us to remember, it probably is that the late 15-century was a violent time. This message is brought not too-subtle, with graphic violent scenes of stranglings, people burning at the stake, mutilation and other means of maiming or killing people, earning the movie a rare "16" rating in Holland normally reserved for horror or adult movies.

Apart from the violence, the lack of depth in character in the movie, which has a long 2.5 hours of time to bring any development in the characters, makes it an experience enjoyable only to the absolute fan of the genre, comparable perhaps to movies like "Flesh and blood".

Columbus is naive, Moxica is evil, Sanchez is scheming, etc. etc.

A plus side of the movies is found sometimes by the way the landscape is filmed, both in Spain as in the New World. It would have been a nice movie perhaps, if it would have been cut back to 90 minutes, deleting most of the excessive violence.
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Only if you hate history
Angus-81 July 2001
Yes, too long, too boring, too much license on the culture, and the characters aren't very believable. Also very surprising how it can be so outrageously kind to Columbus since this film was produced at a time when politically correct forces were raking the guy into infamy. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the music was beautiful. Maybe too much so. A inconspicuously second-rate score might have been more appropriate.
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7/10
Brilliant and spectacular portrayal of the greatest explorer
ma-cortes27 February 2009
This interesting film deals with Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas and the effect this has on the indigenous people . 500 years ago , Spain was a nation gripped by fear and superstition. Centuries before the exploration of space, there was another voyage into the unknown . Ruled by the crown and a ruthless inquisition that persecuted men for daring to dream. One man named Christopher Colombus (Gerard Depardieu) challenged this power . Following the theories of Marino De Tiro and Toscanelli and driven by his sense of destiny , he left his lover Beatriz (Angela Molina) and crossed the sea of darkness in search of honor , gold and the greater glory of God . He discovers America along with Martin Alonso Pinzon (Tcheky Karyo) and sets off on various voyages . In 1502 Columbus sailed with his son Fernando on his last travel to the New World . They landed in Panama where the Indians revealed to them the existence of a new sea , the Pacifican Ocean . The biography that Fernando (Loren Dean) wrote about his father restored the name of Columbus to its place in history, but the glory had been taken by also Italian Americo Vespuccio . In 1992 , his descendant Christopher Columbus is an Admiral in the Royal Spanish Navy . Life has more imagination that we carry in our dreams .

This is a historical biography of the 15th discoverer made for the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage . It deals about his discovery of America , his fighting against enemies (Michael Wincott , Mark Margolis) and the fame that first greeted him . The man who explored the New World is shown in all his flawed complexity in this film . Colombus is well portrayed in a good acting by Gerard Depardieu who takes a contemporary approach as an ambitious adventurer who finally gets the Queen of Spain (Sigourney Weaver) along with a banker (Frank Langella) to agree to finance his voyage . Shot on location Salamanca (Spain) and Caribbean islands glamorously photographed by Adrian Biddle . Stirring and emotive musical score by Vangelis (chariots of fire) . The motion picture packed with pomp and pageantry is lavishly produced by the prestigious Garth Thomas and Iain Smith ; being spectacular and brilliantly directed by Ridley Scott at his best and as stylish as ever . Ridley is an expert on super-productions and a successful filmmaker as proved in ¨Someone to watch over me¨ , ¨Blade runner¨, ¨Black rain¨ , ¨Legend¨ in which his visual style is impressive . The picture belongs to his speciality , the historical genre , as ¨Robin Hood¨ , ¨Black Hawk down¨ , ¨Kingdom of heaven¨ , ¨Gladiator¨ and ¨Duelists¨ . Rating : Above average . Essential and indispensable watching for Ridley Scott followers and historical cinema lovers .

Other adaptations about this historic character are the following : Christopher Columbus (1949) with Fredric March , Florence Eldridge and directed by David McDonald ; Columbus(1985) with Gabriel Byrne, Faye Dunaway and directed by Alberto Lattuada ; The Discovery (1992) by John Glenn with George Corraface and Marlon Brando ; and Spanish/Italian TV version by Vittorio Cottafavi with Francisco Rabal as Colombus considered one of the best renditions about this immortal personage .
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10/10
how beautiful!
getmko18 August 2003
What a beautiful movie! 2+ hours of visual enjoyment, even if it doesn't tell you anything new about Columbus. Add to it the musical theme "Conquest of the Paradise" that has no equals in austerity and power! I gave it 10.
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1/10
This movie is a disgusting mockery of tragic events
zenithspider20 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I suggest everyone who reads this goes and watches History Buffs review of this movie, he tears apart this disgusting monstrosity.

I'll keep this brief. This movie is DISGUSTING!!! It's plagued with inaccuracies, exaggerations, and down right lies! This movie makes Christopher Columbus out to be some sort of visionary, a man who tries his best to keep peace. When in actual fact he sold off native women as sex toys, employed punishments of dismemberment, enslaved the native population, and exploited them to no end.

This movie frames his men as the true villains. And trust me they were horrible people. Doing such awful things as having bets about who could decapitate a man with one swipe first, and even throwing babies into rivers as the laugh. (I am seriously not joking there is actual accounts of this)

But this was all whole hardheartedly supported by Columbus himself. Now there are a lot of minor inaccuracies plaguing this movie as well, but the review I mentioned goes into detail about this.

So in short. This movie is a disgusting cowardly mockery of a real genocide. It frames a man on par with Hitler as a brave kind hearted visionary. Whilst pathetically covering up the real horrors this inhuman monster committed. And for those of you who claim hes just a victim of his time. You should know one of his men became a monk after witnessing what Columbus did. And that he was imprisoned in his own time.
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