The Saragossa Manuscript
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Based on the early 19th century novel by Polish author Jan Potocki, THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT is a brilliant, sexy and extraordinarily imaginative film. Starring the celebrated Zbigniew Cybulski ( Ashes and Diamonds), the film is ostensibly set at the end of the Napoleonic War. During the heat of battle, Belgian officer Alphonse van Worden (Cybulski) stumbles across an ancient manuscript. As he reads, a labyrinth of stories unfolds and takes the audience on a teasingly twisted trail through time and space. Erotic and supernatural, THE SARAGOSSA MANUSCRIPT was beloved by Alexander Pushkin as a… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The director's eye for baroque black-and-white imagery puts him behind only Bava and Welles, while the film's sharp social satire gives heft to its ambition."
‑ David Fear, Time Out New York
"These trials suggest a goofy, sprawling, all-purpose allegory so overstuffed with symbolism that it plays as a kind of epic spoof of the form."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"a maddening celebration of the power of narrative to amuse, bewilder, disorient and entrap."
‑ Anton Bitel, Eye for Film
"Surely one of the most convolutedly plotted films ever to reach the silver screen."
‑ Jeremy Heilman,
"By any standard, a long strange trip."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Derived from a hundred-sixty-year-old novel written in French, Wojciech Has's 1965 Edinburgh and San Sebastián prize-winning 'The Saragossa Manuscript' is in beautiful black and white"
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
"A wonderful, surreal assault on narrative; it's funny, intelligent, and a ridiculously sly good time."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"The three-hour movie is frequently described as a Chinese box of imaginative stories within stories based on an early 19th-century novel by Jan Potocki."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Infus[es] a similar unearthly cadenceo the swashbuckling genre that Jodorowski did to the western with El Topo."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"It's not quite as life-changing as all that, but it's certainly playful and very interesting as a study of narrative flow."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"An interesting failure."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
More reviews for The Saragossa Manuscript on Rotten Tomatoes