Time Out saysAlong with an English-language doppelgänger, shot concurrently, this has long been a hard film to find, so we should be grateful for even an abridged, disjointed version (all that remains?). The film's commercial wash-out is easy to understand. This is a bleak, comfortless adaptation, emphasising madness (Chaliapin is grotesque, though not inappositely so), failure and death. But as an evocation of period (sets by Andrejew) and of sun-baked Iberian languor, it shows how stylish a film-maker Pabst could be. The ending is pure despair: Quixote dead, the police burning his books, and long, long slow-motion shots (reprised by Truffaut in Fahrenheit 451) of pages curling up in agony, accompanied by Ibert's vigorous score. (Students of the composer's work will be best placed to identify such songs as have been excised in this copy.) BBa.