Thursday, November 07, 2013

Luis Buñuel directs Robinson Crusoe 1954 Las Aventuras de Robinson Crusoe

Robinson Crusoe (Spanish: Aventuras de Robinson Crusoe; also known as Adventures of Robinson Crusoe) is a 1954 film by director Luis Buñuel, based on the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Both English and Spanish versions were produced. Lead actor Dan O'Herlihy, playing Crusoe, was nominated for the 1955 Academy Award for Best Actor.

Robinson Crusoe (Dan O'Herlihy), a third son with few prospects, goes to sea against his father's wishes. On a voyage from Brazil to Africa to collect slaves, a storm forces him to abandon ship. He swims alone to a deserted island somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean on September 30, 1659.

To his delight, the abandoned ship turns up on an offshore rock, allowing him to salvage food, tools, firearms and other items before it sinks. He herds goats, hunts game, makes clothes, and builds a home, with only the company of the dog Rex and the cat Sam, fellow castaways. Crusoe lets Sam and her kittens run wild. When Rex dies of old age in 1673, Crusoe nearly goes insane from loneliness.

After 18 years, Crusoe discovers that cannibals are visiting his island with their victims. The next time he spots them with his telescope, he sees a prisoner (Jaime Fernández) make a break for it, pursued by two cannibals. He knocks out one and shoots the other; when the first one regains consciousness, the escapee kills him. Crusoe takes the man back to his stockade.

He names him Friday (after the day of the week on which they met). Crusoe teaches him English and Western customs, and turns Friday into a servant. Crusoe does not trust him at first, believing Friday to also be a cannibal who would kill him if given the chance. He builds a door to the cave in which he takes to sleeping. When Friday enters without permission late one night to get an axe, Crusoe puts leg irons on him. The next day, however, Crusoe relents and takes them off. He comes to trust his new companion completely.

After 28 years, Friday saves Crusoe from a cannibal sneaking up behind him. Seeing a large group, they flee back to their stockade. The cannibals, however, are driven off by white men with guns. Captain Oberzo (Felipe de Alba) and his bosun (Chel López) are the victims of a mutiny; the mutineers have landed to get fresh water and to maroon the two. Crusoe and Friday rescue the men and get away undetected. Friday then goes to the leader of the mutiny (Emilio Garibay), offering him a basket of fruit, but the mutineers are more interested in the necklace of gold coins (salvaged from Crusoe's ship) he is wearing. Friday leads the greedy men to the stockade. There, Crusoe, Friday, Oberzo, and the bosun capture them. Oberzo regains control of his ship. At Crusoe's suggestion, Oberzo agrees to let the mutineers remain on the island. Crusoe leaves them his tools and instructions on how to survive.

Crusoe leaves for home with Friday, having spent 28 years, two months, and 19 days on the island.

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