Monday, October 12, 2020

"1492: Conquest of Paradise"

Director Ridley Scott's historical feature "1492: Conquest of Paradise" (1992) dramatizes Italian explorer 'Christopher Columbus' and his travels to the 'New World', starring Gérard Depardieu, Armand Assante and Sigourney Weaver:

"...'Columbus' (Depardieu) is obsessed with making a trip westwards to Asia, but lacks crew and a ship. He is approached by 'Martín Pinzon', a shipowner from 'Palos', who introduces Columbus to the banker 'Santángel'. 

"'Queen Isabella I' (Weaver) owes money to Santángel. Columbus meets with the queen, who grants him his journey in exchange for his promise to bring back sufficient amounts of riches in gold.

"Columbus tricks many crewmen by telling them that the voyage would only last seven weeks. Nine weeks go by and still no sign of land. At night, Columbus notices mosquitoes on the deck, indicating that land is not far off. 

"Some days later, Columbus and the crew spot an albatross flying around the ship, before disappearing. Suddenly, out of the mist they see 'Guanahani' ('San Salvador') with lush vegetation and sandy beaches, their first glimpse of the 'New World'.

"They befriend the local natives, who show them gold they have collected. He then informs them he will return to Spain to visit the Queen, leaving behind a group of crewmen. 

"But back in Spain, the Queen is disappointed with the small amount of gold brought back. On his 2nd expedition, Columbus takes 17 ships and 1,500 men with him back to the island, However, all the crewmen left behind are found to have been killed. 

"When the tribe is confronted by Columbus and his troops, they tell him that other strangers came and savaged them. Columbus chooses to believe them, but his commanding officer 'Moxica' is not convinced. Nevertheless they begin to build the city of 'La Isabela' and hoist the town bell into its tower.

"Four years later, Moxica cuts the hand off one of the natives, accusing him of lying about the whereabouts of gold. The word of this act of violence spreads throughout the native tribes and they all disappear into the forest. 

"Columbus begins to worry about a potential war arising, with the natives heavily outnumbering them. Soon, the tribes arrive to fight the Spaniards and the island becomes war-torn, with Columbus' governorship being reassigned with orders for him to return to Spain.

"Columbus is replaced by 'de Bobadilla'. It is then revealed that 'Amerigo Vespucci' had already sailed to mainland America. Columbus returns to Castile, sentenced to prison, but bailed out by his sons. 

"When summoned by the Queen he tells her of his dream to see the New World again..."

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "1492: Conquest of Paradise"...