20 user 4 critic

Fiesta (1947)

Approved | | Drama, Musical, Romance | 12 June 1947 (USA)
When a matador leaves town to focus on his music, his twin sister takes on his identity in the bullfighting ring.


Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Mario Morales
Jose 'Pepe' Ortega
Señora Morales
Antonio Morales
Maximino Contreras
Jean Van ...
Joey Preston ...
Mario Morales, as a child
Los Bocheros ...
The Basque Singers
The Tourist


Famous matador Antonio Morales's disappointment turns to joy when his wife's pregnancy yields twins, and the second child is the hoped for boy. Morales names his twins Maria and Mario, and as soon as he is old enough, begins to train Mario for the bull-fighting ring. However, Mario's interests lie more in music, while his sister Maria is fascinated with the ring. Eventually, Mario is angered by the high demands of his father and leaves town for a chance to study with a famous composer. Mario abandoning the bullring brings disgrace to the family name, but Maria has a plan... Written by L. Hamre

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


M.G.M's romantic drama with music! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 June 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Fiesta brava  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Friday 16 August 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), in New York City Saturday 28 September 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2), in Philadelphia Sunday 12 January 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), and in San Francisco 1 November 1958 on KGO (Channel 7). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »


At the end of the first bullfighting scene when Maria is posing as Mario, we see her wave at the crowd with her matador hat in her hand, then we see her toss her hat into the crowd, then we see her walking with the hat in her hand and finally see her waving at the crowd without her hat. See more »


Referenced in Forecast (1945) See more »


Romeria Vasca
Written and Performed by Los Bocheros
See more »

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User Reviews

An oddity among Esther Williams' films features wonderful Copland piano suite...
22 January 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

If you can accept the notion that ESTHER WILLIAMS and RICARDO MONTALBAN (his American film debut) are twins and that Esther could substitute for him in the bull ring--well, then you can sit back and enjoy a few of the other perks of FIESTA. It's more a drama than a musical, but the dance numbers are what give it whatever zest it has as entertainment.

It's primarily a showcase for the talented Ricardo, seen here as a man who would rather be a composer of serious music than a bullfighter. He even gets to play his "Fantasia Mexicana" (actually Aaron Copland's "El Salon Mexico") in an exciting piano arrangement that has Montalban looking as though he's actually executing the piece. And colorful too is his dance number with CYD CHARISSE, who was then a rising young star on the MGM lot and got to do some specialty dance numbers in a variety of musical films.

Frankly, Esther became a much better actress in later films. FIESTA is actually one of her weakest dramatic performances and fans only get to see her take a dip in a pool once, and briefly. Her flat reading of most lines does little to advance the notion that she was a star, even when she wasn't wet.

Despite all the trimmings, it's just not on the level with other MGM musical dramas of the era and looks and plays more like a programmer than anything else. But, oh that music!

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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