A Message To Garcia

  • 1936
  • 1 HR 17 MIN
  • NR
  • Adventure, Historical

If you can accept Stanwyck doing a Spanish accent over her native Brooklyn inflections, you might find this film passably interesting. Then again, perhaps not, because there is so much wrong with this rewriting of history that one hardly knows where to begin. The true story upon which it was based entailed more than enough for a movie, but the studio nabobs...read more

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If you can accept Stanwyck doing a Spanish accent over her native Brooklyn inflections, you might find this film passably interesting. Then again, perhaps not, because there is so much wrong with this rewriting of history that one hardly knows where to begin. The true story upon which it

was based entailed more than enough for a movie, but the studio nabobs at Fox must have thought it needed something more, so they toyed with facts and combined them with more than a little fiction. The film begins in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Boles, an American soldier, is assigned the

task of bringing a message from President McKinley to the leader of the Cuban insurgents, Acosta, to the effect that the US will back him in his desire to rid the island nation of Spanish rule. It's not that easy to find the leader, however, since he is hiding in the mountains, and in order to

locate Acosta, Boles teams up with Beery, a Marine renegade. After beginning their trek through the underbrush, they encounter Stanwyck, the daughter of a martyred Cuban patriot. Their hegira takes them through dangerous territory, with spies and cutthroats lurking everywhere. They face crocodiles

and torture, and Boles is personally manhandled by spy Hale. Beery double-crosses Boles, then changes his mind and saves the young soldier, later sacrificing his life so that Boles can deliver the missive. At the conclusion, Cuban rebels save Boles and Stanwyck. The story was based on the book by

the man upon whom Boles' character is based, Lt. Andrew S. Rowan, and on an essay by Elbert Hubbard that popularized the anecdote. Stanwyck seems ill-at-ease throughout, and her accent wobbles from scene to scene, as if she couldn't make up her mind about how to play the role. Some snappy dialog

doesn't overcome the basic falseness of the film.

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