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Havana (1990)

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In 1950s Cuba, a professional gambler falls for a woman heavily involved in the revolution movement.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Judith Rascoe (story), Judith Rascoe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Redford ... Jack Weil
Lena Olin ... Bobby Duran
Alan Arkin ... Joe Volpi
Tomas Milian ... Menocal
Daniel Davis ... Marion Chigwell
Tony Plana ... Julio Ramos
Betsy Brantley Betsy Brantley ... Diane
Lise Cutter Lise Cutter ... Patty
Richard Farnsworth ... Professor
Mark Rydell ... Meyer Lansky
Vasek Simek Vasek Simek ... Willy
Fred Asparagus Fred Asparagus ... Baby Hernandez
Richard Portnow ... Mike MacClaney
Dion Anderson ... Roy Forbes
Carmine Caridi ... Captain Potts
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Storyline

Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, Roberta and her Cuban husband, the revolutionary Arturo, are arrested and tortured. Arturo is reported "shot while trying to escape," but Jack manages to get Roberta free again. He can't, however, keep her from continuing to support the revolution. Jack has to make a choice between the beautiful woman who keeps putting herself in harms way and the biggest poker game of his life; between the man he could be and the man he is. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A gambler who trusted no one. A woman who risked everything. And a passion that brought them together in the most dangerous city in the world.

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sensuality and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

14 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Havanna See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,175,360, 16 December 1990

Gross USA:

$9,243,140

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,645,440
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was in development in the late 1970s, Jack Nicholson and Jane Fonda were set to play the lead roles, but when production took too long, both dropped out. See more »

Goofs

The final scene takes place, according to the movie, in 1963 so the Santo Domingo reference would be correct. See more »

Quotes

Arturo Duran: Please don't misunderstand me. In fact, I'm fascinated by men like you. How you keep a kind of innocence.
Bobby Duran: Perhaps it isn't innocence at all. Perhaps Mr. Weil really doesn't give a damn.
Jack Weil: Hey! I know politicians, okay. I play cards with them. And I love to because they're easy to beat. It's the only place an ordinary man can beat a politician. I think I ought to join my friends.
Bobby Duran: It was good of you to take the time...
Arturo Duran: Why are they easy to beat?
Jack Weil: Because sometimes in poker it's smarter to lose with ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Havana: Featurette (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

A Los Rumberos de Belen
Written by Roberto Nunez
Performed by Sierra Maestra (as Grupo Sierra Maestra)
Courtesy of Egrem Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Bad Reputation Undeserved.
1 March 1999 | by Doctor_BombaySee all my reviews

Many will claim that Sydney Pollack and Robert Redford were on auto-pilot while making this film. Based on their previous collaborative efforts, the well-received Three Days of the Condor, The Way We Were, The Electric Horseman, and Out of Africa, which swept the Academy Awards, people wanted to see their movies. They could make any movie they wanted. They made Havana, and NOBODY wanted to see it.

Maybe Pollack, brilliant in his own right, set his watch according to Redford's schedule at this time, and history shows that, subsequent to Havana, and its box office failure Sydney Pollack basically quit directing. His influence in film is still served, and may be better served as a producer, witness Sliding Doors, Sense and Sensibility, Fabulous Baker Boys, and Searching For Bobby Fischer, all of which he helped bring to the screen.

But, back to the matter at hand-Redford as a gambler, Lena Olin, his distraction (and what a distraction)--the film feels good, looks good, and gives us some perspective on Cuba in the waning hours of Batista.

Olin (pre-Romeo is Bleeding, post Unbearable Lightness of Being) is properly introduced to American audiences, and is not inappropriate as leading lady to one of Hollywood's leading stars, Redford, who, even on auto-pilot, delivers a strong, engaging performance.

I understand this film was heavily maligned at release, and failed dismally at the box office, but I enjoyed it. It is a beautiful film to watch with attractive leads - and that alone stands it well ahead of many of the alternatives out there today.


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