Don Quixote (1947 film)

Don Quixote or Don Quixote de la Mancha (orig. Spanish title Don Quijote de la Mancha) is the first sound film version in Spanish of the great classic novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It was directed and adapted by Rafael Gil and released in 1947. A huge undertaking for Spanish cinema in its day, it was the longest film version of the novel up to that time (two hours and twelve minutes, plus an intermission), and very likely the most faithful, reverently following the book in its dialogue and order of episodes, unlike G.W. Pabst's 1933 version and the later Russian film version, which scrambled up the order of the adventures as many film versions do. Characters such as Cardenio, Dorotea, and Don Fernando, which are usually omitted because their respective subplots have little to do with the main body of the novel, were kept in this film.

Don Quixote
Directed byRafael Gil
Produced byJuan Manuel de Rada
Screenplay byRafael Gil
Story byMiguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Based onDon Quixote
by Miguel de Cervantes
StarringRafael Rivelles
Juan Calvo
Fernando Rey
Sara Montiel
Music byErnesto Halffter
CinematographyAlfredo Fraile
Edited byJuan Serra
Distributed byCIFESA
Release date
  • 2 March 1948 (1948-03-02) (Spain)
Running time
137 minutes
107 minutes (U.S.)
Box officeESP 769,579 (Spain)

The film, which starred Rafael Rivelles as Don Quixote and Juan Calvo as Sancho Panza, featured a young Fernando Rey as Sanson Carrasco and popular Spanish actress Sara Montiel as Antonia, Quixote's niece. The music for the film was composed by Ernesto Halffter, and the movie was shot on location in La Mancha and other Spanish regions.

It did not fare as well in the United States, where it opened in 1949, as it had in Spain. In its American runs, it was whittled down to a more customary length of 107 minutes. [1]



  • Mira, Alberto. Historical Dictionary of Spanish Cinema. Scarecrow Press, 2010.
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