6.2/10
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A Message to Garcia (1936)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 10 April 1936 (USA)
Based on the actual event of Rowan's carrying a message from President McKinley to Garcia in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The parts of Dory and Raphalita are added.

Director:

George Marshall

Writers:

Elbert Hubbard (story), Andrew S. Rowan (book) (as Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Sergeant Dory
Barbara Stanwyck ... Senorita Raphaelita Maderos
John Boles ... Lieutenant Andrew Rowan
Alan Hale ... Dr. Ivan Krug
Herbert Mundin ... Henry Piper
Mona Barrie ... Spanish Spy
Enrique Acosta Enrique Acosta ... General Calixto García
Juan Torena ... Luís Maderos
Martin Garralaga ... Rodríguez
Blanca Vischer ... Chiquita
José Luis Tortosa ... Pasquale Castova
Lucio Villegas Lucio Villegas ... Commandant
Frederick Vogeding Frederick Vogeding ... German Stoker
Pat Moriarity Pat Moriarity ... Irish Stoker
Octavio Giraud Octavio Giraud ... Spanish Commandant
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Storyline

Based on the actual event of Rowan's carrying a message from President McKinley to Garcia in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The parts of Dory and Raphalita are added.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Botschaft an Garcia See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

20th Century Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rita Hayworth played the sister of Barbara Stanwyck, but after a test screening all her scenes were cut at the request of Darryl F. Zanuck. See more »

Goofs

The story takes place in 1898, but Barbara Stanwyck's hairstyle, make-up, false eyelashes, and riding pants are strictly in the 1936 mode, and, in true Hollywood tradition, remain relatively unsullied despite the many perils of the swamp and and backlot jungle through which she doggedly perseveres. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wife vs. Secretary (1936) See more »

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User Reviews

 
I think the person in charge of casting this film was out of his mind!!
31 January 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"A Message to Garcia" has the sort of insane casting that was not very uncommon during Hollywood's golden age. Think about it--Barbara Stanwyck plays a Cuban woman! And, Wallace Beery plays an American living in Cuba for ten years...which sounds plausible except that he knows almost no Spanish at all!!! What was the studio thinking?! Surely they could have gotten some folks more suited to these roles! And, surely Stanwyck could have at least tried to put on some sort of non-American accent!!

This film is set in the period just before the Spanish-American War in 1898. The President of the US has sent an emissary (John Boles) to Cuba on a secret mission to deliver a message to the leader of the Cuban rebel army led by General Garcia. The problem is locating the guy. After all, it's not like Garcia wants anyone to find him--otherwise the Spanish army would have quickly captured him! Once in Cuba, Boles is assisted both by Stanwyck and Beery during a long trek through the jungle. Oddly, folks seem to die several times during this journey--only to amazingly appear later in the movie! Pretty weird! Overall, this is a dopey movie. Surprisingly, its best aspect is Beery's broad acting because he does bring some energy and humor to the film--two things otherwise lacking in the movie. A rather limp film in most ways--surely the studio could have done better.

By the way, after writing this review I listened to Robert Osborne (of Turner Classic Movies) talk about this film. Apparently it was a bomb at the box office--reviewers and the public just wouldn't accept Stanwyck in such a ridiculous role! I would rank this one up there with John Wayne as Genghis Khan and Clark Gable as the Irish leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, or Katharine Hepburn as a Chinese woman in "Dragon Seed". It's a film she clearly should have been ashamed of, as she was the worst thing about it.


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