#181 – Noble Journey Home of the Spaniard Francisco, The

(2013, Sp/Ire, 110 min) Dir Phil Neeson. Cast Antonio Banderas, Domhnall Gleeson, Colm Meaney, Pat Shortt.

Historical black comedy loosely based on the life of Francisco de Cuellar, who survived the sinking of his ship during the Spanish Armada washed ashore on the west of Ireland in County Sligo and had to make his way across the country to get back to Spain. Banderas is Francisco (last name withheld to allow for artistic license), a captain in the Spanish navy who wakes to find himself beached with the wreck of his ship about himself and his compatriots either being eaten by ravens and wild dogs or being looted by the locals. He hides until the cover of night when he can steal out and try to make his way across this unfamiliar land where nobody speaks his language. He is robbed by bandits who steal the only thing he has – his clothes. Naked, he makes his way to a sympathetic farmer’s house – they lend him clothes so that he make his way unnoticed (for they are sympathetic to anyone who would wage war on the English). Upon making his way he is set upon once more by bandits – once again his clothes are lost. Such is his ‘Noble Journey Home’. A further step up in budget and ambition from director Neeson following the impressive Ti Fac and Father Faith. Banderas is excellent also, displaying once again his seldom deployed comedic talent, and the decision to retain the language barrier leads to some fantastic comedy moments.


Twitter: @MadeUpFilms


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