Movie Time: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Poster for "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote"

Can’t hide it: I’ve been an avid fan of Terry Gilliam’s work since his cutout animations for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Sometime in the 1980’s, my college roommate Tim and I did a paper on Gilliam’s three latest movies at the time: Time Bandits, Brazil, and The Adventures of Baron Münchhausen. Regrettably, we lost that paper to the mists of time and maybe a Commodore 64 floppy disk.

So, I have followed the long and complex history of Gilliam’s attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. At first Gilliam planned to make this a time-travel fantasy. In the original script, marketing executive Toby Grisoni (Johnny Depp) would end up replacing Sancho Panza as Don Quixote’s squire. But the movie’s filming was beset by a nearly comic sequence of misfortunes. The actor playing Don Quixote took ill, the location was too close to an Air Force base, and then it flooded. Soon the completion bond agency took over, and shut the movie down. Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe, who had been filming the standard “Making of…” supplement, turned the disaster into the documentary Lost in La Mancha (2002).

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