Don Quixote (1933)

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Don Quixote (1933) is the English title of a film adaptation of the classic Miguel de Cervantes novel, directed by Georg Wilhelm Pabst, starring the famous operatic bass Feodor Chaliapin. Although the film stars Chaliapin, it is not an opera. However, he does sing four songs in it. It is the first sound film version of the Spanish classic. The supporting cast in the English version includes George Robey, Rene Donnio, Miles Mander, Lydia Sherwood, Renee Valliers, and Emily Fitzroy. The film was made in three versions?French, English, and German?with Chaliapin starring in all three versions.

The producers separately commissioned five composers (Jacques Ibert, Maurice Ravel - who wrote three songs -, Marcel Delannoy, Manuel de Falla and Darius Milhaud) to write the songs for Chaliapin. Each composer believed only he had been approached.

Ibert's music was chosen for the film, but this caused him some embarrassment as he was a close friend of Ravel's. Ravel considered a lawsuit against the producers. He dropped the action, and the two composers remained close friends.

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