An insightful look at the un-making of a film: Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. The production is plagued with problems from the outset and after things go from bad to worse, the fiml is ultimately abandoned.


Many people seem to think Don Quixote is a jinxed movie project; Orson Welles was never able to complete his version of the novel, and the film of the musical, Man Of La Mancha, was a box-office disaster. Unable to get the project funded in Hollywood, Gilliam finally managed to persuade two French companies to put up $32 million - a lot of money by European standards, but not for Hollywood, for a film as complex as this. French actor Jean Rochefort certainly looked the part of Don Quixote, though his English was not very good, and Johnny Depp was cast as a character who travels from the present time to become Sancho Panza. Filming commenced on location in Spain, but there were disasters almost from the word go.

Lost In La Mancha was made by directors Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe who were given complete access by Gilliam to what proved to be an ill-fated project. The result is one of the best films ever made about the making of a film - in this case, a film that was never completed. If you want to know all about the problems facing a film unit working on location, this film has it all; and the fact that we'll never see Gilliam's movie is all the sadder because the few scenes that were shot look spectacular. There are funny moments in this documentary, but the overall impression is one of sadness for all the hard work, all the vision and the effort that, in the end, came to nothing.