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The Saragossa Manuscript - (Mr Bongo Films) (1965) [DVD]

Zbigniew Cybulski , Kazimierz Opalinski , Wojciech Jerzy Has    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: £17.45 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Saragossa Manuscript - (Mr Bongo Films) (1965) [DVD] + The Hourglass Sanatorium (Restored Edition) - (Mr Bongo Films) (1973) [DVD] + Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (Remastered edition) [1970] [DVD]
Price For All Three: £40.93

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Product details

  • Actors: Zbigniew Cybulski, Kazimierz Opalinski, Iga Cembrzynska-Kondratiuk, Joanna Jedryka, Aleksander Fogiel
  • Directors: Wojciech Jerzy Has
  • Format: Anamorphic, DVD-Video, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: Polish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • DVD Release Date: 26 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 175 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0013KAAX8
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,128 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

During Napoleon's invasion of Spain, two soldiers discover a strange manuscript at an Inn. The book chronicles the adventures of Alfonso van Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski - Ashes and Diamonds). Alfonso's passage through the dangerous Sierra Morena Mountains is repeatedly interrupted by seemingly random encounters with an assortment of larger than life figures. Tunisian princesses inform Alfonso that he is their cousin and their betrothed; an occult scholar ensnares Alfonso with confounding stories about feuds between Merchants and hardships faced by gypsies. And of course, Alfonso never did expect the Spanish Inquisition.

Adapted from explorer Jan Potocki's magnum opus, Wojciech J. Has's The Saragossa Manuscript is a major cult film of the 1960s. Its admirers include film-makers Luis Buñuel and David Lynch as well as musician Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. Its approach to storytelling, admiringly described by comics artist Neil Gaiman as 'a labyrinth inside a maze', features stories within stories; alternatively frightening and comical in its mind-bending exploration of human nature.

Product Description

United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: Polish ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), English ( Subtitles ), WIDESCREEN (1.78:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Anamorphic Widescreen, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Alfons (Zbigniew Cybulski) is a young army captain who meets two women of Moorish ancestry at what appears to be a deserted inn near Madrid. They tell Alfons he is the descendant of a noble family and that he must undergo a series of challenging missions to prove himself. A magician tries to take his soul, and he is visited by ghosts near the mountains of Madrid. Author Jan Poticki committed suicide a year after the symbolic and allusive book this movie was based on was published. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Cinema Writers Circle Awards, Spain, ...The Saragossa Manuscript ( Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie )


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Saragossa see it 26 Jun 2008
Format:DVD
Influenced perhaps by such works as The Canterbury Tales, Don Quixote, and The Arabian Nights, 'The Manuscript Found In Saragossa' is seen as one of the monuments of 19th century European literary culture. In recent years arguably it has influenced such writers as John Barth and Robert Irwin (The Arabian Nightmare for instance). A baroque work, full of stories, of stories within stories, and again stories within stories within stories, featuring gypsies, Moors, scientists, occultists, lesbian princesses, the spirits of hanged men, the Wandering Jew and etc, with characters interchanging and reappearing in different guises, Potocki's book was never going to be an easy translation to screen.

The task was taken up in 1965 by director Wojciech Has and writer Tadeusz Kwiatkowski, and the results in his original cut ran to over three hours. Seen today, and belatedly issued in the UK, The Saragossa Manuscript is a remarkable discovery, one that any serious cinephile should experience at least once.

The story concerns one Alphonse von Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski - an actor more familiar to some perhaps from Wadja's films like Ashes And Diamonds) and his attempts to travel through the Sierra Morena to Madrid in the 18th century: a milieu redolent, at first, of the dashing bawdry of Tom Jones but which soon blazes a complex metaphysical path of its own. His story is found by a Belgian officer in the embattled Spanish town of Saragossa, in the form of a manuscript with alluring pictures, left in an abandoned house. Von Worden, it turns out was this discoverer's grandfather, it's his thwarted attempts at making progress, and the confusing diversions which interrupt the way, as well as their final effects upon him, that make up the protracted story which follows.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astonishing, amazing & addictive!!! 4 Sep 2008
Format:DVD
It's very hard to write something constructive after such a great review like Richard Bowden's. I won't go into any details then, I will simply state you will love this movie from the first sight. You will be shocked, amazed and astonished and I guarantee you won't be able to stop thinking about it for a couple of days.
That's very unusual movie, I think it's still very progressive even after 44 years of it's existence, Penderecki's soundtrack gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it.
Well, I think I have seen this movie about 100 times and I am 33, means that I will have a chance to watch it at least another 200 before I die. And that makes me so happy...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
People have loved storytelling since the beginning of time. Stories that captivate us, stories that give us chills, stories that excite us, and stories that make us think are all great, but some stories do all of these such as The Saragossa Manuscript (Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie). The Saragossa Manuscript is quite possibly one of the best Polish films ever made and is one of my favorites. Based on the novel written by Jan Potocki, this classic Polish movie directed by Wojciech Has is not straightforward, but rather resembles a complicated tapestry.

During the Napoleonic wars in Spain, two soldiers from opposing sides become fascinated by the same object. A French officer finds a manuscript on the second floor of a tavern, but is soon captured by the Spanish. The Spaniard seeing the importance of the tome translates it to the Frenchman who is unable to read the book as it is written in Spanish. The book describes the adventures of one of the Spaniard's ancestors, Alfonse Van Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski). Humorously, when the Spanish troops tell their commander "we are being surrounded" he only tells them "close the door, you are letting in a draft."

Alfonse Van Worden is trying to pass the Sierra Morena Mountains of Spain in the 18th century on his way to Madrid. But his passage is no simple task, as ghosts, gypsies and inquisitors complicate his voyage. At the inn cared for by people too afraid to spend the night there themselves, Van Worden is taken to a basement by a mysterious woman. He meets two beautiful Moorish princesses that make him drink from a chalice made from a human skull. He wakes up on the hillside near two hanging men with many skulls strewn about the ground.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
People have loved storytelling since the beginning of time. Stories that captivate us, stories that give us chills, stories that excite us, and stories that make us think are all great, but some stories do all of these such as The Saragossa Manuscript (Rekopis znaleziony w Saragossie). The Saragossa Manuscript is quite possibly one of the best Polish films ever made and is one of my favorites. Based on the novel written by Jan Potocki, this classic Polish movie directed by Wojciech Has is not straightforward, but rather resembles a complicated tapestry.

During the Napoleonic wars in Spain, two soldiers from opposing sides become fascinated by the same object. A French officer finds a manuscript on the second floor of a tavern, but the town is soon captured by the Spanish. The Spaniard, seeing the importance of the tome, translates it to the Frenchman who is unable to read the book as it is written in Spanish. The book describes the adventures of one of the Spaniard's ancestors, Alfonse Van Worden (Zbigniew Cybulski). Humorously, when the Spanish troops tell their commander "we are being surrounded" he only tells them "close the door, you are letting in a draft."

Alfonse Van Worden is trying to pass the Sierra Morena Mountains of Spain in the 18th century on his way to Madrid. But his passage is no simple task, as ghosts, gypsies and inquisitors complicate his voyage. On the hillside is an inn that is cared for by people who too afraid to spend the night there themselves. Van Worden disregards the superstitious people, only to be taken to a basement of the inn by a mysterious woman. In the basement, he meets two beautiful Moorish princesses that want him to be their husband, but quickly make him drink from a chalice made from a human skull.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars saragossa manuscript a peek into ourselves
visually crisp, but sound rendition a bit bland. I only have a 'bar' speaker, which is subpar, but I recall
the actual re-release premier in san Rafael, ca, at which the echo... Read more
Published 8 months ago by davenieskoski
5.0 out of 5 stars The Raconteur
When you watch this take a piece of string with you to find the way out, as you are led into a multiple labyrinth of people narrating their lives in a world where traditional... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent transfer [Restored Edition DVD]
Mr Bongo really did a great job with this movie. This is a dream come true for the surrealist at heart or people who just love oniric/labyrinthian films. Read more
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by Roberto I. Quesada
5.0 out of 5 stars The Saragossa Manuscript
Masterpiece of historical fantasy based on remote book of XVIII century, written by eccentric aritocrat Jan Potocki. Read more
Published on 31 Oct 2009 by visa
1.0 out of 5 stars Saragossa Manuscript
I first saw this film in a small London cinema in 1968, when I was a student. I rated the film then as a masterpiece, the best film I had ever seen. I went to see it three times. Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2009 by Mr. Richard G. Chambers
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Although this had some beautiful set pieces, the adaptation was sketchy. Naturally, it was going to be impossible to do justice to the excellent sprawling book of the same name. Read more
Published on 27 April 2009 by fiddle
4.0 out of 5 stars Return to Saragossa
Three hours of labyrinthine picaresque epic that caused much beard stroking among art house fans when it was first released in the 60's. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2009 by AD Macnabb
5.0 out of 5 stars a sophisticated film brimming with mystical and occult elements
People have loved storytelling since the beginning of time. Stories that captivate us, stories that give us chills, stories that excite us, and stories that make us think are all... Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2009 by Richard J. Brzostek
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique
A truly weird and wonderful film. It would be impossible in any review to get across what makes it so good. Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2008 by Andy K
5.0 out of 5 stars What a film!
This film is astounding. I thouroughly enjoyed it and could watch it again and again. Wojciech Has has done it yet again and puts him for me personaly among my top three art house... Read more
Published on 20 Oct 2008 by J. Rolfe
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