The Saragossa Manuscript

The Saragossa Manuscript

1965
Drama
Fantasy
3h 2m
In the Napoleonic wars, an officer finds an old book that relates his grandfather's story, Alfons van Worden, captain in the Walloon guard. A man of honor and courage, he seeks the shortest route through the Sierra Morena. At an inn, the Venta Quemada, he sups with two Islamic princesses. They call him their cousin and seduce him; he wakes beside corpses under a gallows. He meets a hermit priest and a goatherd; each tells his story; he wakes again by the gallows... (imdb)
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The Saragossa Manuscript

1965
Drama
Fantasy
3h 2m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 69.79% from 342 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(342)
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Rated 08 Sep 2007
83
77th
Astonishing, with one caveat: it's very hard to get into this movie. The first half meanders on and on. The story is told largely in flashback, and the main thread goes nowhere and eventually gets tedious. But suddenly things click when Avadoro starts his tale: a magnificently circular and layered story that satisfies with wit, charm, and ingenuity. Everything comes together and heads for its wonderful conclusion. If you can make it through the early parts, it's a journey well worth taking.
Rated 01 Sep 2007
85
95th
Don Quixote meets Baron Munchhausen and they spend 1001 Nights together. Based on a novel, a frame-tale nesting many tall tales, sometimes several one within the other, with everything coming together eventually. Has' adaptation is majestic; marvelously directed and played, packed with intrigue and humor, ghosts and witchcraft, foolhardy swordsmen and gorgeous temptresses. The sets are mesmerizing. A rare union of artistic excellence and enthralling fantasy adventure.
Rated 14 Aug 2010
9
97th
Stories within stories ad infinitum. Frolicking freely through time with incessant charm and wonder, but not without a healthy dosage of death for balance. Circular narrative, dizzying even. Three hours is perhaps a bit too long but it was well worth it.
Rated 12 Dec 2010
91
95th
Great stories in a beautiful surreal film. Reminiscent of Buñuel it uses dark comedy to make pointed remarks about class and religion. The layers of narrative get a bit thick at times, with stories within stories within stories, but it's not too difficult to follow and very rewarding.
Rated 04 Jul 2010
86
71st
A pioneering work of post-modernist narrative structure in film, but flawed, principally due to second-rate acting and a rather conventional visual imagination. The best thing about it is probably that it provided Bunuel with the inspiration he needed to develop the elliptical narrative structure he used to such great effect in his final films. I have to admit, though, that it kept my interest throughout the three hours.
Rated 15 Apr 2012
50
29th
Has its share of eye candy (cinematography and gypsy cleavages) and credit is due for the ambitious narrational device of nesting stories within stories where several of the strands become interconnected later on. This gimmick surely holds great potential, but unfortunately the individual stories did not appeal to me whatsoever (other than in the two ways listed initially). Also, the film is too long and it features a brand of humor that I don't really care for.
Rated 25 Nov 2011
45
21st
There's a lot to take in -- some of it magical and arresting, some of it . . . not. It's a mess of a film that's worth seeing, but I wouldn't call it the masterpiece that many do.
Rated 02 Mar 2008
60
36th
# 802
Rated 22 Aug 2011
85
86th
Stories with stories within stories. Complex tale comparable to later Bunuel in it's anti-linear narrative and absurdity. Often gets too convoluted or too confusing for its own good, but usually stays in the realm of entertaining, funny, weird, and layered.
Rated 19 Apr 2020
100
95th
Complexo, enigmático, com narrativa surreal e fragmentada retratando a Espanha medieval tanto nas suas superstições (primeira parte) como na vida cotidiana (segunda parte). É longo, mas recompensador, especialmente pela força da narrativa - são histórias dentro de histórias que ao final se amarram.
Rated 02 Mar 2012
79
85th
In three words: 1) Stroke of genius 2) Slow pace 3) Boobs
Rated 08 Mar 2010
82
93rd
"Something like quotients, which can be divided infinitely."
Rated 25 Apr 2018
100
94th
I got really excited when the title credits rolled and I saw 'Music By Krzysztof Penderecki.'
Rated 14 Apr 2024
75
53rd
Rated 22 Nov 2021
13
45th
Rated 23 Aug 2011
77
65th
Imagine Bunuelian plotting and symbolism punctuated by Mel Brooks' humdingers. I was mostly amused, but moments of the production feel stilted, trying just that tiny bit too hard to be surreal and clever. The film's playful use of time, luckily, feels effortless.
Rated 20 Dec 2017
92
91st
Agora, isso é uma narrativa intrincada, em meados do filme estava quase desistindo porque os contos dentro dos contos estavam por um fio de perderem a mão, mas a amarração tão brilhante não deixou o filme degringolar - é realmente um momento único no cinema, eu particularmente não recomendaria que tentassem de novo ligar esse tipo de emaranhado narrativo, o resultado foi feliz por pouco. BlurayRip no MakingOff.
Rated 28 May 2016
90
95th
Story nested in another story and another...Funny and engaging.
Rated 07 Dec 2009
84
82nd
Labyrinthine tale from sunny Poland, a mindfuck in the sense that you will literally feel like someone is having sexual intercourse with your brain whilst watching it. It's sometimes rough, sometimes lovely and sometimes maddeningly frustrating and probably shouldn't be attempted while enebriated. But when it's good it's fucking amazing.
Rated 15 Jan 2010
61
22nd
775
Rated 02 Dec 2011
58
16th
#832

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