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Havana (1990)
Plot - Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, Roberta and her Cuban husband, the revolutionary Arturo, are arrested and tortured. Arturo is reported "shot while trying to escape," but Jack manages to get Roberta free again. He can't, however, keep her from continuing to support the revolution. Jack has to make a choice between the beautiful woman who keeps putting herself in harms way and the biggest poker game of his life; between the man he could be and the man he is.

Hot stuff in Havana, CubaThis is a real film. Whether you like it or not depends on whether you are a card playing romantic or not.

The story is simple. Jack plays poker where ever there is a game and the game was supposed to be in Havana. Unfortunately he turned up just when the rebels were trying to get rid of the puppet dictator, Batista.

He meets a woman who happens to think her husband is dead which means he can fall in love with her and whisk her to safety. The story yearns for something to really happen in places that are just too slow. But Redford is Redford and the romantic vision of a poker player is not even a change from his normal character.

I really like this movie for all the wrong reasons. There never has been a poker player like this but the fantasy is worth watching. Redford is incredibly believable and so is Alan Arkin who rarely gives a poor performance. Raoul Julia and Lena Olin are hamming it up too much.

The cast is pretty strong but Raoul Julia had his name removed from it for reasons unknown (he thought it was crap).

Nominated for an Oscar this has a few nice touches and a glimpse of history. The score 6½/10.

Buy it Zone 1 Zone 2
  Notes for purchase

Marks 6½/10    

Director ~ Sydney Pollack Main Cast Robert Redford ~ Jack Weil
Writer ~ Judith Rascoe &
David Rayfiel
  Lena Olin ~ Bobby Duran
Production   Universal   Alan Arkin ~ Joe Volpi
Runtime   140 mins   Tomas Milian ~ Menocal
Cert.   UK 12   Daniel Davis ~ Marion Chigwell
Release   1990   Tony Plana   Julio Ramos


A gambler who trusted no one. A woman who risked everything.

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