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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Uneducated peasant Juan Gallardo rises to fame and fortune in the bullfight arena. From here he falls for the socially active Dona Sol; thus breaking the heart of his childhood sweetheart Carmen. Nevertheless she stands by her man as he continues to face danger in the bullring, but ego and love will give Juan his biggest fight of all.
This remake of the 1922 silent Rudolph Valentino picture is certainly a lavish production, the colour cinematography by Ernest Palmer & Ray Rennahan rightly won the Academy Award, and it's directed with adroit skill by Roublen Mamoulian. The story is a great one as well, following the rise of Gallardo (a solid if too staid Tyrone Power) is always intriguing, and it's watching his constant battle with his emotions that is the film's drawing card. However, there can be a case made for the film resting too much on its dialogue driven laurels, for far too many times I personally found myself hankering for an up turn in pace to help emphasise the emotional nature of the characters.
The cast do OK without really excelling, Rita Hayworth looks gorgeous and a fine career blossomed from here on in, while Linda Darnell as the other love interest glides nicely from scene to scene. Anthony Quinn takes the best supporting honours, where his Manolo is vigorous with a cheeky glint in the eye, whilst sadly John Carradine is underused and his Nacional is not fully fleshed out until its far too late.
It's at times sexy (damn flamenco always a winner to me), it's got guts, and it looks absolutely gorgeous, but it's not quite the whole classy package it could have been. 7/10
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