Quezon’s Game Image

Quezon’s Game

By Chris Salce | January 23, 2020

What stuck out the most to me was the production of the film. The scenery to the decor of the sets looked fantastic and straight out of the 1930’s (as it should). The same goes when it comes to costume design. The production of this film was very impressive all around. While watching the movie, I felt like I was watching a live play. I mean, watching a film is pretty much like watching a play, but it almost felt like these actors did much of the movie in a single take.

Something that had me on the fence about the film was its runtime. It is hard to say that a film about a historical event should be shorter, but I felt like this one had some scenes that could have been cut out to reduce its runtime. At a little more than two hours, it can seem like Quezon’s Game drags at some moments. The film implies that the president may have had some affair with a singer, but this little subplot never quite plays out or makes an impact on the film as a whole. It makes for a bit of conflict, but being as the entire movie is revolved around the bigger conflict of the war, it just feels like a small footnote.

“…I felt like I was watching a live play.”

An excellent addition at the end of the film was that the director decided to show side-by-side images of the actors next to those they portrayed. I was shocked and impressed at how much the actors actually looked like who they represented. Whoever was in charge of the casting process did an outstanding job of finding the right actors for the roles. There was real attention to detail in every aspect of this film.

Quezon’s Game adds something that is missed in war films as well as history books. There are many stories such as President Quezon’s that have yet to be told, but I’m glad that Matthew Rosen and company devoted their time in telling this particular story.


Quezon's Game (2019)

Directed: Matthew Rosen

Written: Janice Y. Perez, Dean Rosen

Starring: Raymond Bagatsing, Rachel Alejandro, Kate Alejandrino, Billy Ray Gallion, David Bianco, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Quezon's Game Image

"…tells a heroic story that our history textbooks tend to leave out."

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  1. GERNI M YAMBAO says:

    Every Pilipino should be proud about the story of Manuel L Quezon trying to save the lives of 10,000 Jews during WWII, although 1200 were only saved. Raymond Bagatsing did an excellent performance as the Philippine President Manuel L Quezon. I encourage all fellow Pilipinos to watch this movie. The story is worth knowing that Manuel L Quezon did something for our country that every Pilipino should be proud of. Kudos to all the actors and actresses too. Rachel Alejandro did well too. Just watch the movie while it is still showing in the US. Proud to be Pinoy because of Manuel Quezon.

  2. Mary A Alvarez says:

    We miss this showing when we visited the Philippines last may 2019 . Finally , we watched it today (jan 24 ) with my husband and daughter here in California. President Quezon s effort to give home for as many jews during the Nazis occupation in Germany was not easy , the film showed how he battles his own health, trying to acquire Philippine Independence from the US, and how he would like to inspire Filipino s nationalism. If I remember it right he is the one who made sure we have one main language which is Tagalog. To unite the divided more than 7,000 islands and more than 170 language.
    I like the costume design and the place where they film the movie . And I like the way they play the card games while they discuss how to save as many Jews from Germany. I ended up crying at the last part of the movie where the scene in the river …. where Jews arrived via river taxi in Manila.
    I worked at the Red Cross before, the Philippines also helped Vietnamese people when our government offered to give home for hundreds of Vietnamese in Palawan and Bataan . it was a home in times of armed conflicts.
    Proud to be Filipino , the spirit of “Bayanihan” is part of our culture. “Bayanihan ” helping one another.

    • GERNI M YAMBAO says:

      We just watched the movie a while ago and although I was disappointed with the numbers of viewers inside the theater, I enjoyed watching the movie. I felt proud to be a Pilipino after watching the movie. I did not know the story of Manuel L Quezon helping the Jews during WWII. Knowing now that he was an instrumental in saving the lives of 1200 Jews during that time is something that we should all worth remembering.

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