Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Christopher Columbus (1949 film)

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  David MacDonald
Music director  Arthur Bliss
Country  United Kingdom
6/10 IMDb

Genre  Action, Adventure, Biography
Story by  Rafael Sabatini
Language  English
Christopher Columbus (1949 film) movie poster

Writer  Muriel Box, Sydney Box
Release date  12 October 1949
Based on  novel Columbus by Rafael Sabatini
Cast  Fredric March (Christopher Columbus), Florence Eldridge (Queen Isabella), Francis L. Sullivan (Francisco de Bobadilla), Kathleen Ryan (Beatriz Enriquez de Arana), Derek Bond (Diego de Arana), Nora Swinburne (Joanna de Torres)
Similar movies  The 33, Dallas Buyers Club, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, Unbroken, Steve Jobs
Tagline  The greatest adventure man ever lived!

Arthur bliss christopher columbus 1949

Christopher Columbus is a 1949 British biographical film starring Fredric March as Christopher Columbus and Florence Eldridge as Queen Isabella. It is loosely based on the novel Christopher Columbus by Rafael Sabatini with much of the screenplay rewritten by Sydney and Muriel Box.


Christopher Columbus (1949 film) movie scenes

Arthur bliss concert suite from christopher columbus 1949



Christopher Columbus overcomes intrigue at the Castillan court and convinces Queen Isabella that his plan to reach the East by sailing west is practical.


Christopher Columbus (1949 film) movie poster

  • Fredric March as Christopher Columbus
  • Florence Eldridge as Queen Isabella
  • Francis L. Sullivan as Francisco de Bobadilla
  • Kathleen Ryan as Beatriz
  • Derek Bond as Diego de Arana
  • Nora Swinburne as Joanna de Torres
  • Abraham Sofaer as Luis de Santangel
  • Linden Travers as Beatriz de Peraza
  • James Robertson Justice as Martin Pinzon
  • Dennis Vance as Francisco Pinzon
  • Richard Aherne as Vicente Pinzon
  • Felix Aylmer as Father Perez
  • Francis Lister as King Ferdinand
  • Edward Rigby as Pedro
  • Niall MacGinnis as Juhan de la Costa
  • Ralph Truman as Captain
  • Ronald Adam as Talavera
  • Guy Le Feuvre as Admiral
  • Lyn Evans as Lope
  • David Cole as Columbus' Son
  • Hugh Pryse as Almoner
  • Stuart Lindsell as Prior
  • Development

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) movie scenes

    The film was part of a deliberate attempt by the Rank Organisation to break into the American market, following the path blazed with films like Henry V (1944) and Caesar and Cleopatra (1945). John Woolf, head of international distribution for Rank, said in 1946 that:

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters3653p3653p

    Before we smacked Henry V and Caesar and Cleopatra into the American Markets, we were getting a poor showing in the United States. Although the most optimistic figures have been put out in London about the achievements of Henry and Caesar, in fact they have had to fight hard to make their way. The important thing to remember is this— that these big films enabled us to break through the highly controlled theatre circuits in America. We are using them as a spearhead to get a showing of British films.

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Christopher Columbus 1949 film Wikipedia

    In September 1946 Sydney Box announced he would make the film from Sabatini's novel. They were looking for a young, virile actor to play the lead. Stewart Granger was originally announced as the star.

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Christopher Columbus 1949

    For a time it seemed there would be a rival movie on the same subject produced by Edward Small from a biography by David Lawrence.

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Christopher Columbus 1949

    When Box became head of Gainsborough Pictures he immediately put the project in development. Sabatini wrote an early script. Arturo de Cordova was at one stage announced as star. James Mason was also mentioned. Then in September 1947 Box announced he had signed Frederic March and Florence Eldridge to play the leads.

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Christopher Columbus 1949

    "It's a great part," said March.


    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Arthur Bliss Concert Suite from Christopher Columbus 1949 YouTube

    March arrived in England in April 1948 for what was meant to be a five month shoot. Studio filming took place at Pinewood and there was location filming in Barbados. March had recently had an operation and suffered a relapse while in London.

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) The Archive NewOnNetflixUSA

    Two ships, replicas of the Nina and Santa Maria were built especially for the film.

    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Christopher Columbus 1949

    Shooting was often difficult. The replica of the Santa Maria broke its moorings during a squall in the West Indies and drifted for two nights and a day with people on board before it was rescued. Then a fire broke out and the ship was burnt. It had to be rebuilt at a cost of £100,000 because scenes set on it had yet to be shot. March collapsed one day due to heatstroke. A new subplot was added towards the end of shooting involving the romance between Columbus (Kathleen Ryan) and the sister of his lieutenant (Derek Bond).

    March was reportedly very disappointed with the final film.

    The Francoist Spanish government considered the portrait of Columbus to be unflattering. In response the leading Spanish studio CIFESA produced Dawn of America (1951), which portrayed Columbus as a more daring figure.


    J. Arthur Rank told Hedda Hopper he thought the film would be his most successful of 1949.

    The film failed to recoup its enormous cost at the box office.


    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) Wikipedia
    Christopher Columbus (1949 film) IMDb Christopher Columbus (1949 film)