I think this is the way most people have experienced Don Quixote. I’ve read some of the book, but despite the new translation I was using, the stilted nature of it still sometimes overpowered the comedy, which itself sometimes felt a little too much like “mental illness is funny!” It’s at the same time amazing how modern it feels at over 400 years old and yet how basic the storytelling can be at times, because it’s had 400 years to become part of the way we always tell stories.
But the grandeur of the way Man of La Mancha interprets the book is enticing and accessible. Everyone has heard at least a few bars of “The Impossible Dream”. It’s a classic showtune ballad. The romance is probably more feel-good in this take as well.
The most intriguing big name here is the writer: Ray Bradbury. Gregory Peck rarely gets mentioned outside of To Kill a Mockingbird anymore, I’m sure director John Huston has a following among deep film buffs, and of course Melville’s novel is a (somewhat sloppy) masterpiece, but Bradbury gets my attention. When I think of Bradbury, I think of his sci-fi concepts. I never think of his words, only his ideas. In a medium dominated by actors and directors, using someone else’s ideas and doubtless many of his words, I’m curious to see if I can spot any of Bradbury coming through.
Note should be made that this is once again from my late great aunt’s collection.