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1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

1 rating: 3.0
Action & Adventure movie directed by Ridley Scott

Brazilian Pressing DVD . All Regions NTSC, Sound in English with Optional Portuguese subtitles *****Big budget account of Christopher Columbus' discovery of the Americas. Released in 1992 to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery. Shows the … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: Ridley Scott
1 review about 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)

An overlooked film worthy of renewed attention

  • Jan 17, 2011
Rating:
+3
It's a shame this movie didn't get much attention while it was out in theaters. 1492: Conquest of Paradise is a pretty good historical drama, especially considering it focuses on such a consequential and controversial event. Gérard Depardieu plays a great Columbus, combining the fervent hope of an explorer and weariness of middle-age. The settings are gorgeous and look very authentic. I love how they use mist in the forests to create an air of mystery. Vangelis' soundtrack also mixes classical Spanish themes with New Age. Overall, the film really gives viewers the sense that the characters are landing in a new world.

Unfortunately, the film hasn't aged all that well. The film and sound quality are fine, but certainly could use some updating. At times, the editing seems in a bit of a rush to move on to the next scene. It's a pretty dark movie so I had to brighten my TV screen just to watch it. The transitions are just a bit too abrupt for the drama of the moment.

1492: Conquest of Paradise takes a fairly benign view of both Columbus and the American Indians. There is a bit of the de Montaigne trope about the American Indians being "noble savages." savages. Columbus goes out of his way to prevent a confrontation between the Spanish and American Indians. In the film, Depardieu's Columbus exclaims to Queen Isabella that "nature is there God" and "there is no crime," while in his historical journals he takes a more dismissive view. I guess this is better than the alternative of portraying them as primitive. Only the Spanish nobility come off as violent and barbaric. I don't think 1492: Conquest of Paradise goes so far as to whitewash history - it does portray the Spaniards as aggressors - but viewers should not take it as definitive historical fact.

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