Lost in La Mancha

2002, Documentary, 1h 32m

103 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

A remarkable behind-the-scenes look at a movie that wasn't, Lost in La Mancha is an incisive, entertaining document of the difficulties inherent in the moviemaking process. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Visionary director Terry Gilliam has a dream. He wants to film the classic story of Don Quixote by recasting it as a trippy, time-traveling, mistaken-identity adventure with Johnny Depp as Quixote. After struggling for years to get financing, insurance and a cast in place, Gilliam travels to Spain and promptly watches his dream fall apart. From flash floods to cast no-shows to serious injuries, Gilliam and his crew suffer one setback after another.

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Critic Reviews for Lost in La Mancha

Audience Reviews for Lost in La Mancha

  • Jan 13, 2012
    Fascinating behind the scenes look at another attempt to make Don Quixote. Considering that Terry Gilliam was in charge, it is genuine shame that this movie didn't come to fruition. I would have been something.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2011
    A well-made documentary focusing on the failure of "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote."
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2011
    Terry Gilliam: At least if we're going to be fucked, let's know we're fucked ahead of time.  "They have a story... but they've lost the plot" Lost in La Mancha is a fascinating documentary of Terry Gilliam's failed attempt to bring Don Quixote's story to life in film. He had worked over a decade on the film and says countless times throughout this documentary that he has ran through it in his mind several times. Jeff Bridges narrates and there are several interviews from the crew and actors, including Johnny Depp, working on the picture.  Gilliam and his team have to work through endless amounts of bad luck, including planes flying over while they are shooting, bad weather and a lack of funds. Worst of all, the actor playing Don Quixote(Jean Rochefort) isn't in the best of health. It's said that Gilliam isn't the only one to try and fail to make an adaption of Quixote. Orson Welles tried for many years to make Quixote, but never ended up finishing it. Lost in La Mancha is a pretty entertaining and extremely interesting look at some of the struggles that occur during production. It's definitely worth a watch if you enjoy seeing how films are made, or in this case tried to be made.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 13, 2010
    This documentary is a great example of "Development Hell," a place where good ideas for movies go to die. Gilliam seems prone to this problem since the box office bomb that was "Baron Munchausen" and in this film he finds himself growing desperate after funding dwindles, the budgetary schedule remains tight, and actors go missing from the set. The film details what "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" would have been, given the right circumstances, but its death seemed to be known from the start. What with the age of the lead actor, the problems on set, weather issues, and budgetary restraints, it's amazing that directors Fulton and Pepe didn't know they were making a memorial for Gilliam's lost dream from the start of production. While this film has still not been made, Gilliam holds out hope that the right time and funding will converge and his long held dream will become a reality. Knowing Gilliam's vision and his films thus far we can only hope the stars finally align for him.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer

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