Saturday Matinee: The Saragossa Manuscript


“The Saragossa Manuscript” (1965) is a Polish film directed by Wojciech Has and based on the novel “The Manuscript Found in Saragossa” (1815) by Jan Potocki. It is a long and complex film but endlessly fascinating for its humor and uniquely dreamlike narrative connecting numerous interrelated stories within stories. The film starts off in Spain during the Napoleonic Wars when soldiers from opposing armies find a manuscript in a deserted house which happens to tell the story of the Spanish officer’s grandfather. The film was a success in Poland in the 60s, is said to be a favorite of surrealist director Luis Bunuel, and was restored in the 90s with financial backing from Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese and Jerry Garcia. The original US release of The Saragossa Manuscript had nearly an hour cut from the film but the version posted below is the full three hour director’s cut.

To activate English subtitles, click on the “cc” button on the bottom right corner of the video window, click on the field that reads “French”, click “Translate Captions”, scroll down and click “English” and “OK”.

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