The Saragossa Manuscript (1999)

The Saragossa Manuscript




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In this Polish mystery, an Army captain is traveling in the mountains near Madrid. While on his journey, he finds himself mixed up with a princess, ghosts, and a series of inexplicable events.

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jerzy Skarzynski, Tadeusz Myszorek, Tadeusz Kwiatkowski
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 26, 2002
Cowboy Booking International

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as Capt. Alfons van Wor...

as Don Avadoro

as Dona Rebeca Uzeda

as Pascheco's Father

as Don Gaspar Soarez

as Princess Emina

as Princess Zibelda

as van Worden's Father

as van Worden's Mother

as Inezilla

as Envoy of the Holy In...

as Don Pedro Velasquez

as Don Lopez Soarez
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Critic Reviews for The Saragossa Manuscript

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

The director's eye for baroque black-and-white imagery puts him behind only Bava and Welles, while the film's sharp social satire gives heft to its ambition.

Full Review… | April 3, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

By any standard, a long strange trip.

Full Review… | April 2, 2008
Village Voice
Top Critic

Infus[es] a similar unearthly cadenceo the swashbuckling genre that Jodorowski did to the western with El Topo.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

These trials suggest a goofy, sprawling, all-purpose allegory so overstuffed with symbolism that it plays as a kind of epic spoof of the form.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Has reaches the epitome of his dazzling talent for warping cinematic time in this three hour epic, a giddy, almost unclassifiable work with elements from such disparate genre works as "The Brides of Dracula" to swashbucklers and European sex farces.

Full Review… | April 10, 2015
Reeling Reviews

I do not hesitate to call "The Saragossa Manuscript" a masterpiece in every way.

Full Review… | April 9, 2015
Reeling Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Saragossa Manuscript

Great movie. Kinda sucky American DVD though. The aspect ratio looks wrong and no extras to speak of. This film has so much going on it practically cries out for a scholarly commentary.

Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer


a stupendous surrealist mindfuck of a movie based on what can only be a fantastic book by a complete madman...takes place in spain but filmed in polish and from there it only gets weirder. the intricate story structure folds back on itself multiple times, with characters including gypsies, bandits, moorish princesses and a kabbalist. i probably need to watch it again to get them all straight but i'm a sucker for films that begin with a magical book :) btw this film was made in 1965, not 1999!

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer


Polish black and white film about Alfonso van Worden, captain in the Walloon Guard. What happens to him, and then what happens to other people, and then stories that turn into other stories ..... a bit like the Thousand and One Arabian Nights, except it only took me four consecutive evenings to get all the way through it - partly the 3 hour viewing time, partly the multiple plots requiring concentration, and mostly because I'm rubbish at remembering names and faces. Which is not to say its dull, it isn't, more to say my brain hurts easily.

According to Wikipedia, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Luis Buñuel, David Lynch, Lars von Trier, Harvey Keitel and Jerry Garcia have at various times described The Saragossa Manuscript as their favorite film. Bet their brans didn't hurt.

Lesley N

Super Reviewer

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