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1880s Cuban coffee-plantation owner Luis (Banderas) sends to America for a mail-order bride, seeking only someone loyal and of child-bearing years. To discourage gold diggers, he describes himself as a clerk. When his bride-to-be Julia (Jolie) shows up, Luis discovers that she's much more attractive than her picture. She claims that she wanted to be desired for something other than her beauty. With a start like that, what could go wrong? Well, betrayal, murder and theft for starters. An American private detective arrives on the scene, hired by Julia's family to report on her well-being. This fuels doubts in Luis, but a little too late. Soon he's cleaned out, shamed and on the trail of his former "wife." Banderas and Jolie torch the scenes as the couple in lust, but the ham-handed dialogue and direction derail this period potboiler. Loosely based on the Cornell Woolrich novel "Waltz Into Darkness," which was also the source for Truffaut's "Mississippi Mermaid."

MGM Home Entertainment, 2500 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404-6061, Phone: (310)449-3000, Fax: (310)449-3100, URL: http://www.mgmhomevideo.com, Remarks: Does not handle retail queries from consumers; contact your local video distributor.

Available on Running time 112 minutes. Originally from United States.

Cast and Crew

Genres
Period Piece: 19th Century, Cuba, Mail-Order Brides, Books to Film: Cornell Woolrich
Screenplay
Michael Cristofer
Cast
Antonio Banderas, Angelina Jolie, Thomas Jane, Jack Thompson, Gregory Itzin, Joan Pringle, Allison Mackie, Cordelia Richards, Pedro Armendariz
Cinematography
Rodrigo Prieto
Director
Michael Cristofer
Music
Terence Blanchard
Other
Antonio Betancourt, Eric A. Sears, Jorge Sainz, Donna Zakowska, David J. Bomba
Producer
Denise Di Novi, Kate Guinzburg, Carol Lees, Via Rosa Productions, Hyde Park Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

Visitor Reviews

Original Sin
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Nicholle

This isn't the best movie but the plot is interesting. A wealthy Cuban coffee exporter, Luis Vargas, advertises for a US wife. Julia Russell, from Delaware, sends her photograph, but the woman who steps off the ship is much prettier. Luis marries her immediately and gives in to love, but Julia may not be who she claims. First a private eye shows up on behalf of Julia's sister, then the sister herself. By now, Luis has given his wife access to bank accounts, and when she runs with his cash, he chases after her, with the help of Downs, the P.I., perhaps to kill her. Pursuit may be part of a con game as well, and Julia's past explains some, if not all, of what remains of the story.