The Jeeps of Havana


PosterHavana (1990), a Robert Redford movie directed by Sydney Pollack, was not a big box-office success. Basically a remake of Casablanca, it's set in Cuba in late 1958, on the eve of Fidel Castro's takeover. Redford plays professional gambler Jack Weil, who arrives in Cuba to set up a big poker game, but falls in love with a rich, beautiful revolutionary, Bobby Duran, played by Lena Olin.

Frame from the filmShot in a glowing, nostalgic light by cinematographer Owen Roizman in the Dominican Republic, the movie features a great supporting cast of 1950s automobiles. Mostly big cars with big tail fins, but also a few Jeeps driven by Batista's army, including a couple of appearances by this bare-bones CJ-3B.

Frame from the filmAt one point Jack drives through the front lines of the civil war in his silver convertible '55 Cadillac, searching for Bobby.

Frame from the film Jack pulls off the road when a sniper puts a bullet through his windshield, and the CJ-3B then makes its best appearance in the film, heading up a retreating army convoy.

Frame from the filmThe beautiful Bobby drives an equally beautiful green Chrysler station wagon, which in one shot of the film is passed on the street by a blue Willys Jeepster. (On the left is a black Studebaker President.)

Frame from the filmWhat looks like a CJ-3A also appears as a passing Army Jeep.

Although the plot and the dialogue are at some points unlikely, Havana is a delightful re-creation of a pivotal moment in modern history, and the automobiles are a treat. -- Derek Redmond

See some real Jeeps in Cuba and some Jeeps in the movie Che (2008) on CJ3B.info.

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Last updated 20 March 2016 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond