Like Peckinpah’s Major Dundee, this one is way ahead of its time.
Marlon Brando is an agent provocateur sent to a fictional Caribbean island to rile up the slave population and overthrow the current Portuguese puppet regime and help put up a new, independent puppet regime that is more open to trade with the British. When the rebels go a little too far, Brando must go back (on behalf of a “sugar concern” backed by the Crown) and get shit in line. It is a fascinating performance because there’s never an instant you doubt he’ll stray from his mission, even though he knows precisely what this course of action will lead to. I have a hunch this film was a major influence in how Soderbergh mapped out Che.
It’s amazing to think that so much of the cruelty that’s happened in this hemisphere derives from a desire to sweeten tea.