Veteran Russian character actor Nikolai Cherkasov plays the noble but befuddled title character in this Soviet adaptation of Don Quixote. Yuri Tolubeyev co-stars as Sancho Panza -- and if Sancho sounds a bit like Sherlock Holmes' Dr. Watson at times, it is because his voice was dubbed for the English-language version by Howard Marion-Crawford, who portrayed Watson on the 1954 TV series Sherlock Holmes. The film follows the path laid out three centuries earlier by Miguel de Cervantes, stopping short of Cervantes' original ending, which intimated that Quixote would never die (this was not in keeping with Communist ideology of the period). In this version, Quixote jousts with imaginary giants and mistakes milkmaids for aristocrats against the backdrop of the Crimea, standing in for the hills of Spain. Filmed in 1957, Don Quixote was not released in the U.S. until 1961 due to the heating up of the Cold War.
by Hal Erickson synopsis