Luis Bunuel's Robinson Crusoe - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Luis Bunuel's Robinson Crusoe Reviews

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October 14, 2010
Well made classic version of the Daniel Defoe novel that was helmed by the great Luis Bunel. The plot is straight forward from the novel of a man who becomes marooned on a tiny island in the Pacific and must cope with the wilds of the jungle, isolation, and the onslaught of savages. Well directed and the DVD copy that exists is nicely mastered as well. Much better than most adaptions out there which is partly the run time is short so it keeps things moving in a well told tale.
½ August 8, 2010
Good film directed by Luis Bunuel and starring Dan O'Herlihy in the title role. Pretty much by the book story of the shipwrecked hero who manages to survive on an island for years and years. It's entertaining, it goes by quickly. I think the first half was better than the second because it was more about his seclusion. Though the finale was pretty good.
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
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]
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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 30, 2010
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.
½ March 1, 2010
Bunuel does a standard Hollywood adventure film, and his signature is relegated to only a handful of images and scenes, like the one in which Friday questions the logic of Christianity. Worth watching, but not the best.
February 26, 2010
Show it don't narrarate it. Come on!
½ February 4, 2010
Nothing particularly Bunuelesque about this. It's even odd that this is Mexican film, given that it's so similar to Hollywood films of the time. Entertaining take on this famous story.
September 29, 2009
Adequate adaption, but nothing to write home about. Simply a paycheck for Bunuel.
½ January 4, 2009
Chronicalling man's relationship with God, his environment and of course with himself. Intriguingly scripted and directed by Louis Bunel, this is a surprisingly straightlaced retelling of the Crusoe myth. Perhaps Bunel saw enough abstraction in the tale so the visuals didn't need to add any surrealism. The 50's advert feeling of the voiceover is a distraction, but made up for by some compelling touches - symbolism of the parrot, Crusoe's mini-civilization and the politically catastrophic realtionship with Friday. Indeed, this last element provides a systhesis of imperialism and a telling insight into the architecture of appropriating another culture. Particuarly noticable is the way Crusoe starts off as instinctively suspicious of Friday who starts froma position of subjugation and has to earn his way to freedom. Further treatise of language and power, "If you want something, ask first"; "You Fri-day: me Mas-ter"
December 1, 2008
Bunuel's only english language movie. OK version, liked it a lot when I was a kid. Recently restored and re-released with DVD package
September 14, 2008
One of Bunuel‚??s only English language films. I have never read the novel so I can‚??t judge the value of this as an adaptation. Still, it‚??s an enjoyable film with a good performance by Dan O‚??Herlihy. It was shot in some sort of technocolor-like process called "Pathecolor" and looks pretty cool. Also, I have no idea if it derives from the novel or not, but the scene where Crusoe tries to explain Christian theology to Friday is quite hilarious and seems to fit nicely with Bunuel‚??s anti-religious attitudes
½ July 25, 2008
Clearly it's not great, but the direction is pretty solid. What I will say in its favor is that it dispenses with the survival thriller angle in order to preserve the psychological issues and social microcosm inherent in the castaway premise.
½ July 10, 2008
Good adaptation of Dafoe's classic story. Main lead Dan O'Herlihy isn't a very engaging actor and the first part of the movie where he's alone is quite mediocre. Things pick up a lot of pace with the entrance of Friday, and just when it gets great with the appearance of the pirates, it abruptly ends. Also it's quite shocking that there isn't anything shocking in this Bunuel movie.
July 3, 2008
Not exacly a movie masterpiece but pretty entertaining and fun all the way through. It looks like a cheap production that Bunuel just was forced to make.
May 15, 2008
One of the only two Hollywood movies that Bunuel made. The other one (The Young One) is not very succesful and neither is this. Based on the classic Defoe story a man strands on a deserted island and lives there for 18 years. The plot is not very adaptable for the screen and the voice over seemed corny. Dan O'Herlihy's performance is great though, but that is the only reason to watch this, maybe apart from the dazzling imagery.

At least, though, this isn't the sheer crapfest that the 1997 Pierce Brosnan-version is...
½ March 9, 2008
Dan O'Herlihy have a great role. All the tension is around this caracter, who survive like an european, by european laws into the nature. If you look careful, you will find Bunuel signatures, like the spider in the box, the dreams or the atheism, put in Friday mouth.
½ February 13, 2008
fabulous movie. Thrilled to see it released. Dan O"Herlihy was brilliant
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