The Saragossa Manuscript
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Alfons (Zbigniew Cybulski) is a young army captain who meets two women of Moorish ancestry at what appears to be a deserted inn near Madrid. They tell Alfons he is the descendant of a noble family and that he must undergo a series of challenging missions to prove himself. A magician tries to take his soul, and he is visited by ghosts near the mountains of Madrid. Author Jan Poticki committed suicide a year after the symbolic and allusive book this movie was based on was published. ~ Clarke Fountain, Rovi
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