Christopher Columbus: The Discovery

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery

Theatrical release poster by John Alvin
Directed by John Glen
Produced by Alexander Salkind
Ilya Salkind[1]
Screenplay by John Briley
Cary Bates
Mario Puzo
Story by Mario Puzo
Music by Cliff Eidelman
Cinematography Alec Mills
Edited by Matthew Glen
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release dates
21 August 1992
Running time
120 minutes
Country United States
United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $45 million[2]
Box office $8,251,071

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery is a 1992 American-British-Spanish historical adventure film directed by John Glen. It was the last project developed by the father and son production team of Alexander and Ilya Salkind (best known for the Superman films starring Christopher Reeve in the title role), and follows the events after the fall of Emirate of Granada (south of actual Spain) which led up to and including the voyage of Columbus to the New World in 1492.

Its behind-the-scenes history involved an elaborate series of financial mishaps, which later brought about an emotional falling-out between both Alexander and Ilya; indeed, as a frustrated Alexander would later lament, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, "I know, after this, that I'll never make movies again."[3]

The film was released for the 500th anniversary of Columbus' voyage.[4][5] The premiere took place at almost the exact same time as 1492: Conquest of Paradise, which has often led to confusion between the two films.


The titular Genoese navigator overcomes intrigue in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain and gains financing for his expedition to the West Indies, which eventually leads to the discovery of the Americas.



Timothy Dalton and Isabella Rossellini, originally chosen to star in the picture, backed out when director George Pan Cosmatos was replaced by John Glen shortly before shooting began.[6] Dalton later filed a suit against the producers for breach of contract and fraud.[7] Glen had previously directed Dalton in both of his appearances as James Bond: The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.


The film was not a commercial success, debuting at #4[8][9] and grossing $8 million against its $45 million budget.

The film received mostly negative reviews,[10][11] with a rotten 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 reviews.[12] Brando's performance in particular was singled out as his "worst".[13]


It won one Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting ActorTom Selleck, and was nominated for another five, including; Worst Picture, Worst Supporting ActorMarlon Brando, Worst New StarGeorges Corraface, Worst ScreenplayMario Puzo and Worst DirectorJohn Glen.

Home video

The film was released on VHS format from Warner Home Video. It has not been released on DVD in North America, but is available in other format regions on DVD.

See also


  1. "Columbus: A Filmmaker's Odyssey". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  2. "EPIC `1492' FILM CAPTURES ENERGY OF EXPLORER'S TIMES BEDEVILED VISIONARY Series: DISCOVERING COLUMBUS: 1492 – Second of Three Parts.". Morning Call. Retrieved 30 November 2010.
  3. Brennan, Judy (24 November 1993). "A Family Feud in Wake of 'Columbus' : Movies: Ilya Salkind has sued Alexander, his father and producing partner, for breach of contract, fraud and racketeering.". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  4. Willman, David (6 May 1992). "Christopher Columbus Sails Right Past Bankruptcy". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  5. Mathews, Jack (15 May 1991). "Can Two Columbus Projects Stay Afloat?". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  6. Timothy Dalton – Biography
  7. Davidson, Casey (8 November 1991). "Dalton's Discovery". Entertainment Weekly.
  8. Fox, David J. (25 August 1992). "Weekend Box Office `Unforgiven' at Top for Third Week". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  9. "Revenues of Summer Movies Never Quite Fired Up Box Office". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  10. Rainer, Peter (24 August 1992). "Columbus: Adrift at Sea With No Paddle". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  11. Canby, Vincent (22 August 1992). "Review/Film; It's Goodbye, Columbus, As Torquemada Waves". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 October 2010.
  13. Brenner, Paul (n.d.). "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery". ArtistDirect.
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