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Blood and Sand (1941)

 -  Drama | Sport  -  30 May 1941 (USA)
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Illiterate peasant Juan Gallardo rises meteorically to fame and fortune in the bullfight arena only to sow the seeds of his own fall.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Senora Augustias (as Nazimova)
J. Carrol Naish ...
Lynn Bari ...
Laird Cregar ...
Natalio Curro
Monty Banks ...
Antonio Lopez (as William Montague)
Vicente Gómez ...
Guitarist (as Vicente Gomez)
Capt. Pierre Lauren
Pedro de Cordoba ...
Don Jose Alvarez (as Pedro deCordoba)
Fortunio Bonanova ...
Pedro Espinosa
Victor Kilian ...


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. Written by Ed Stephan <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Love flamed in the shadow of death!


Drama | Sport


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 May 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arènes sanglantes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


By ancient tradition, the "traje de luces" can be of any color - although yellow is widely considered unlucky and rare - but the stockings must be pink. When Tyrone Power is wearing his white suit, his stockings are white - probably a costumer's decision. See more »


During the scene when Doña Sol des Muire sings to Juan Gallardo on his first visit to her home, she accompanies herself on the guitar, but while she strums the fingers of her other hand never move to change chords as she plays. See more »


Carmen Espinosa: All my life I have heard about you.
Doña Sol des Muire: What have you heard?
Carmen Espinosa: Shall I be frank?
Carmen Espinosa: Please do!
Carmen Espinosa: I've heard you've been all over the world, that you speak many languages, and that you've known a great many men...
Doña Sol des Muire: Go on!
Carmen Espinosa: I've never been out of Andalucia, I speak only one language, and I've had only one man. Maybe that's why I want so much to keep him.
Doña Sol des Muire: Senora Gallardo, is there anything I can offer you?
Carmen Espinosa: Yes, my husband!
See more »


Featured in Hollywood et les hommes (2013) See more »


El Albaicin
Written and Performed by Vicente Gómez
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User Reviews

Colorful film finally out on DVD
5 May 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, 1941's "Blood and Sand" is based on the Ibanez novel and a remake of the 1922 film starring Rudolph Valentino. Darryl F. Zanuck remade "The Mark of Zorro" and "Blood and Sand" for his top star, Tyrone Power. Despite a comment here that this film established Power as a star, he had been a star since 1936 and a superstar since 1939. But with the success of Zorro and this film, Power's fate as a swashbuckling hero was sealed. He wouldn't break out of the box until the mid-'50s.

"Blood and Sand" tells the story of Juan Gallardo, son of a famous bullfighter killed in the ring, who aspires against his mother's wishes to be a bullfighter himself. He becomes a star of the ring, marries his sweetheart, is seduced by a temptress, falls into disrepute and turns to drink. Woman has been the downfall of man since Adam and Eve, so the story goes - a constant theme of novelists.

The cinematography is incredible. Some of the shots resemble old paintings - Juan's cuadrilla in a line praying in church while Juan is at the altar; the final shot of Nacional's dead body in a bed under a crucifix; the blood symbols: a woman in her excitement over Juan's triumph smearing her lipstick as she runs her hand across her mouth; Dona Sol's red lips and scarlet fingernails; the cool, magnificent beauty of Dona Sol's elaborate home; the pasodoble Dona Sol dances in an incredible rose-colored gown with up and coming matador Manolo; Juan turning from the bull as he drags his cape behind him - all breathtaking, and more than worthy of its Oscar for Best Cinematography. Mamoulian's direction is flawless, telling the story through the actions of the characters. In one scene, Juan falls asleep on Dona Sol's patio; he wakes alone and walks through the house, seeking an exit; he opens a door and it's Dona Sol's bedroom, where she lays sleeping...In the next scene, Juan wears the ring she put on her finger after it was returned by her last suitor (George Reeves). Mamoulian tells us the affair has begun by showing us a ring.

Power was established before "Blood and Sand," - Rita Hayworth wasn't, but as the sadistic Dona Sol, gloriously photographed and gorgeous beyond belief, superstardom was hers once this film was released. Watching Tyrone Power as Juan is frustrating because he is so good. Why he never received the credit for his acting that he deserved can only be attributed to his impossible beauty. By the time of this film, he is past his pretty stage and just entering handsomeness. A sweet, humble, perfect gentleman in real life, Tyrone Power's Juan Gallardo lumbers through Dona Sol's house, eats with the manners of a cave man, chews with his mouth open, wears smelly fragrance and is both arrogant and uneducated. When doing a film, the actor had to shave three times a day; here, in order to make him look seedier as time passes, he begins to sport a faint 5 o'clock shadow. There was a comment made that Power hadn't yet had dental work. Power never had cosmetic dental work. Like the model Lauren Hutton, he had a small space between two teeth and, like Lauren Hutton, he had a piece of enamel to place there. For this role, he didn't use it. He didn't care about his looks and in fact, came to resent them. Space between two teeth and slicked down hair or not, his huge eyes, framed by the world's longest eyelashes, practically smolder through the camera.

Power's performance is simply fantastic - especially when you consider that attending a real bullfight, he became nauseous. His wife had to say she was sick so they could leave! All of the acting is marvelous, but besides Power, there are several standouts - Alla Nazimova is brilliant as Juan's pessimistic mother, her performance making the role seem even larger; Hayworth's beauty is mind-boggling and she gives Dona Sol not only sexiness and sensuality but coldness. According to Power's stand-in, all the actor did off-camera was stare at Hayworth. Gee, wonder why. Linda Darnell, another underrated actress, is sweet as Juan's loving wife. John Carradine, as the socially-conscious Nacional, is excellent as one of the cuadrilla; and as a turncoat, Laird Cregar gives an appropriately bombastic performance. Ambitious Manolo is played by a young, attractive Anthony Quinn, who is perfect in this film, and his small, showy role portends fabulous things to come from him. The only criticism from me would be that the little boys playing Juan and the cuadrilla in the beginning of the film are too American. Before anyone says anything about the lack of accents, I will repeat the convention - if you're playing a character in a country where English is not spoken, then you're not speaking English -you're speaking the language of the country. Therefore, no accents are used. Spaniards don't walk around Spain all day speaking English with a Spanish accent to other Spaniards.

This film is a curiosity - there is an aura of impending death as predicted by the Nazimova character, and in fact, many of the fine actors appearing in the movie came to early and/or tragic ends. Tyrone Power died 17 years later, at the age of 44, of a heart attack while making the film "Solomon and Sheba" and didn't live to see his only son; Linda Darnell would die in a fire when she was 41; Laird Cregar only lived 3 more years, to age 30, succumbing from a heart attack. The saddest is Rita Hayworth, a true goddess. After abuse and great unhappiness, she developed Alzheimer's in the early 1960s and died in 1987. But what wonderful legacies they left us.

"Blood and Sand" is a jewel in the Twentieth Century Fox crown, a great achievement in acting, directing, and cinematography.

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