Juan is the son of a poor widow in Seville. Against his mother's wishes he pursues a career as toreador. He rapidly gains national prominence, and takes his childhood sweetheart Carmen as his bride. He meets the Marquis' daughter Dona Sol, and finds himself in the awkward position of being in love with two women, which threatens the stability of his family and his position in society. He finds interesting parallels in the life of the infamous bandit Plumitas when they eventually meet by chance. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
The film is almost as conflicted as Valentino's character
"Blood and Sand" tells us many times how cruel and dangerous it believes bullfighting to be, but in terms of what it actually shows us, it seems far more interested in the romantic qualities of Rudolph Valentino and his larger-than-life love triangle.
Valentino gives a legitimately good performance, but even the love story loses some of its immediacy from the fact that "Blood and Sand" takes its subject at some distance, periodically stepping back and focusing on the scholar who foreshadows the matador's end. This also allows some of the characterization to go without being fully realized. When all is said and done it is neither believable as an anti-bullfighting film nor totally involving as a story of a love triangle, but some of the elements, including the performances and some excellent symbolic imagery, are well realized.
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