20th Century Fox's 1941 production BLOOD & SAND is a remake of the 1922
silent classic that established Rudolph Valentino as the greatest star
of early cinema. Beautifully photographed in vivid 3 strip Technicolor
by Ernest Palmer and Ray Renahan the elaborate newer version had the
obvious heir-apparent to the silent screen star in dashing Tyrone
Power. Written for the screen by Jo Swerling from the novel by Vicente
Blasco Ibanez it was directed with a certain amount of flair, it has to
be said, by Rouben Mamoulian who just the previous year had had his
greatest success with Tyrone Power when he directed him in the classic
"Mark Of Zorro"
BLOOD & SAND recounts the story of a young, ambitious and quite naive bullfighter Juan Gallardo (Power) who falls under the spell of a beauteous and attractive socialite (Rita Hayworth) wrecking his relationship with Carmen (Linda Darnell) the girl who has always loved him since childhood. The picture culminates with Juan discovering too late that he is only a toy for the manipulative socialite. And finally in the end when he is gored by a bull in the ring it is the forgiving Carmen, his only true love, that comes to his side to comfort him as he lays dying.
BLOOD & SAND was a very popular picture of the War years and remains a great favourite with Power devotees. However I have to confess to never being very fond of it. There is little doubt Ty Power is good as the aspiring Matador and Hayworth chews up every bit of scenery in sight as the alluring Donna Sol. But with the exception of Anthony Quinn and that memorable dance sequence he does with Hayworth I found the rest of the cast - particularly the young actor Rex Downing who played Juan as a boy - unconvincing and altogether uninspiring. In fact the whole picture for me was curiously uninvolving! Also Juan being gored by the bull towards the end is very badly done! You don't really see what happens to him. Was he gored in the back or the front? It is very difficult to decipher. And he appears very clean and unmarked in his ensuing death scene.
Nevertheless the great Alfred Newman saves the day with his terrific score. Besides his music capturing all the heat, dust and passion of the bullring the composer also incorporates into his score the sumptuous traditional Spanish guitar melody "Romance D'Amour". An engaging and totally ravishing piece that was used to greater effect in "Forbidden Games" in 1952 when it was played by guitar genius Narciso Yepes.
BLOOD & SAND can at least be enjoyed for its awesome colour Cinematography, Newman's great music, the star power and presence of Tyrone Power and the flowing beauty of Rita Hayworth.
Blood and Sand
Drama / Sport
Blood and Sand
Drama / Sport
Bullfighter Juan Gallardo falls for socialite Dona Sol, turning from the faithful Carmen who nevertheless stands by her man as he continues to face real danger in the bullring.
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April 26, 2016 at 04:16 PM