The Adventures of Don Quixote (1973)

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Looking as if he's just stepped out of a 16th century painting, Rex Harrison plays the title role in this TV-movie adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes' classic satirical novel Don Quixote. Accompanied by his reluctant but loyal squire Sancho Panza (Frank Finlay), the ageing, slightly addled "Man of La Mancha" takes up the cudgel of honor and chivalry for his beloved homeland of Spain, charging off on his noble steed to right all wrongs and defeat any villain that might cross his path. Alas, Don Quixote's eyesight and sense of reason are not quite up to his courage, thus he ends up tilting at windmills thinking they were dragons, freeing wretched road-gang prisoners whom he assumed to be fellow aristocrats, and mistaking a grimy kitchen wench named Aldonza for a highborn lady named Dulcinea. A coproduction of America's Universal Studios and Britain's BBC, The Adventures of Don Quixote first aired in England as a Play of the Month presentation on January 7, 1973, and in the U.S. as an IBM-sponsored CBS network special on April 23, 1973.