Luis Bunuel's Robinson Crusoe Reviews

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Matheus C
Super Reviewer
½ October 21, 2011
An atypical Bu˝uel that shows how the director was wrong for this kind of material. Despite the lushy colour photography, it has too little swashbuckling and excitment to keep fans of the adventure genre entertained and not enough of the Bu˝uel trademarks to keep his admirers scratching their heads. One can see the director's subversiviness creeping in beneath the surfice, but it must be questioned if the social commentary of bourgeois master and submissive slave (which contribute to a not all that likeable protagonist) is due more to the dated content of the novel or Bu˝uel's own beliefs.
Harlequin68 Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ May 10, 2010
[font=Century Gothic]"Robinson Crusoe" is an entertaining adaptation of the venerable classic wherein Mr. Crusoe(Daniel O'Herlihy), the third son of an affluent family, goes to sea to find his fortune in 1659, only to be shipwrecked on a deserted island. After a rough start, he makes the best of it by salvaging what he can of the ship's stores and creating a new life for himself ashore.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]What distiniguishes this version is that it is directed by Luis Bunuel during his exile in Mexico. Curiously, it does not reflect Bunuel's attitudes towards religion, instead suggesting that Crusoe's being cast away is divine punishment for his serving aboard a slave ship, followed by his taking to the bible. Also, Crusoe's relationship with Friday(Jaime Fernandez) will always be at least a little problematic, as it could be read either in favor of imperialism or very much against it.[/font]
Eric B
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2009
If you're a Bunuel devotee who hasn't been able to track down this film, do not panic. It's a surprisingly ordinary telling of the familiar Crusoe story, and is most interesting simply because it's a rare Bunuel film in English. (I believe "The Young One" is the only other?) It was also his first work in color.

Dan O'Herlihy's lead performance is adequate, with a heavy dose of old-fashioned narration, but Jaime Fernandez's ooga-booga turn as Friday is a cringe. The costumes are equally embarrassing, though the details of Crusoe's makeshift shelter are well done. The soundtrack is corny -- quite a jolt, considering how many Bunuel films have no score at all -- and some of the master/slave aspects of the Englishman-meets-natives tale seem dated and racist today. No doubt, Bunuel fans will scour the film looking for hints of his trademark perversity, but there's not much to find beyond two pedestrian hallucination sequences, a distant shot of Crusoe stomping on some unwelcome rats, a closeup of a sand lion devouring an ant and a short exchange questioning Christianity. I'm amazed to discover O'Herlihy was Oscar-nominated for Best Actor -- the idea of him competing against Marlon Brando in "On the Waterfront" is a laugh.
Courtney S October 4, 2007
Very strange, especially because it's a Luis Bunuel film (his first in English and in color), but it brings up a lot of good issues.
Alonso A ½ March 18, 2013
Bu˝uel's least Bu˝uel film, but still entertaining.
Dave J Dave J November 8, 2012
Thursday, November 8, 2012

(1953) Robinson Crusoe
ADVENTURE

Dan O'Herlihy as the title character Robinson Crusoe keeping a log /journel and as a narrator after being shipwrecked onto an unhabited island, aside from his dog and cat appearing to be the only survivors left, he makes the most of what he has with the help of whatever provisions he can muster. Directed by well renown surrealist artist Luis Bu˝uel which is more involving than say "Cast Away".

3 out of 4
Art S ½ May 21, 2012
Bunuel's commercial resurrection in Mexico continued in earnest with his adaptation of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe which is an enjoyable, largely straightforward, adventure yarn. There are a few trademark Bunuelian scenes, for example, insects and dreams both make an appearance; but society is left largely unscathed by his usual critiques save for some bitter comments about money and O'Herlihy's occasional worry about keeping up appearances. Instead, this is a reflection on the human need for companionship, if not society, and the way that isolation could turn you into one wild-eyed freaky dude in a wacky fur hat.
KevinRobbins KevinRobbins ½ February 22, 2012
I learned to master everything on the island except myself.

Robinson Crusoe finds himself stranded on an island with limited resources. He makes the best of his situation and is ultra resourceful in terms of making shelter and finding ways to have enough supplies to survive. He also encounters cannibals and other threats on his small island. Will Crusoe live out his days on the island eventually going crazy due to being alone for so long or will he eventually be rescued?

"He will not forgive you. You will die like a dog."

Luis Brunuel, director of The River and Death, The Phantom of Liberty, The Milky Way, Diary of a Chambermaid, and Death in the Garden, delivers The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe. The storyline for this picture is interesting, specifically the interactions between Crusoe and the island natives. The setting and action scenes were better than average and the cast delivers solid performances. The cast includes Dan O'Herlihy, Jaime Fernandez, Felipe de Alba, and Jose Chavez.

"I have become a passable good shot."

The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe was a movie my wife came across while flicking through the channels. She DVR'd it because we love these old school classics. I will say this movie was very interesting and fun to watch the story unfold; however, there were few unique elements that made this feel like more than a Disney made for TV movie. I do recommend seeing this if you are a fan of old school pirate/action pictures from this period.

"She was gone."

Grade: B-
Steven O ½ February 21, 2012
Such poor cinematography and lighting! Looks like a high school project. Simple script. Where is the art? Fernandez (Friday) is the better actor.
Craig P December 13, 2011
Very mainstream film by surrealist Luis Bunuel standards, but still includes many of his common criticisms of wealth, class and religion. A very entertaining, engrossing and well made movie.
Matheus C
Super Reviewer
½ October 21, 2011
An atypical Bu˝uel that shows how the director was wrong for this kind of material. Despite the lushy colour photography, it has too little swashbuckling and excitment to keep fans of the adventure genre entertained and not enough of the Bu˝uel trademarks to keep his admirers scratching their heads. One can see the director's subversiviness creeping in beneath the surfice, but it must be questioned if the social commentary of bourgeois master and submissive slave (which contribute to a not all that likeable protagonist) is due more to the dated content of the novel or Bu˝uel's own beliefs.
datarush datarush ½ May 10, 2010
Its probably because I've been watching TV's Lost that I picked up this oldie. I saw this movie once upon a time, and as I watched it again I finally came to the part that I remembered. Up to that moment I was thinking that I must've mistaken this movie for another.

Its a fairly accurate adaptation of Dafoe's story. I don't see how anyone could live alone for 20+ years without going a little nuts, and they do spend some time with Crusoe wrestling with his own sanity. Once he rescues Friday all the old stereotypes poke their ugly heads out of the sand, whereas before you could forget that Crusoe is a castaway slave trader. It does make the interesting point on how common cannibalism was not so long ago in the Pacific.

The DVD was from a restored version of the film, and while they've certainly cleaned it up, the picture is soft and the colors are undersaturated. The audio wasn't fixed well if at all and has a lot of blips, beeps and is a bit shrill. For a foreign produced film using a cheap film variant it I suppose its better than it being lost. The DVD gets a 7/10 for existing.
Harlequin68 Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ May 10, 2010
[font=Century Gothic]"Robinson Crusoe" is an entertaining adaptation of the venerable classic wherein Mr. Crusoe(Daniel O'Herlihy), the third son of an affluent family, goes to sea to find his fortune in 1659, only to be shipwrecked on a deserted island. After a rough start, he makes the best of it by salvaging what he can of the ship's stores and creating a new life for himself ashore.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]What distiniguishes this version is that it is directed by Luis Bunuel during his exile in Mexico. Curiously, it does not reflect Bunuel's attitudes towards religion, instead suggesting that Crusoe's being cast away is divine punishment for his serving aboard a slave ship, followed by his taking to the bible. Also, Crusoe's relationship with Friday(Jaime Fernandez) will always be at least a little problematic, as it could be read either in favor of imperialism or very much against it.[/font]
jazza923 jazza923 ½ May 10, 2010
7.5/10. Very interesting early Bunuel film, and it is not typical of his style. Amazingly, Daniel O'Herlihy was nominated for an Oscar, not that he was bad, on the contrary, but this is an obscure Mexican independent film, and Oscar in the 50's rarely noticed these films.

Beautiful filming of the classic story, likely the best version of the novel. (Surprisingly, Robinson Crusoe on Mars is a close second). O'Herlihy is magnificent. Simply excellent in all respects. A must see.
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