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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
Esther Williams, in her autobiography "Million Dollar Mermaid" states that during the shooting of "Fiesta", her husband at the time - Ben Gage - got drunk and had a run-in with the Mexican police, causing production to be halted as the authorities had him thrown out of the country. See more »
During Maria's bullfighting scene, bulges in her frontal shots clearly indicate that the bullfighting is being done by a male stand-in. See more »
This film introduces Richardo Montalban and Cyd Charisse (to the American public). And it features much festive Mexican music. One of the highlights of the film is a dance where Charisse is electric--in my opinion outdoing some of the Rita Hayworth performances that preceded. Montalban strikes a dramatic figure on the dance floor, in the bull ring, and (surprisingly) at the piano. Other reviewers have wondered about his piano technique. It is just a guess, but I think he was a very good faker (not so good with the guitar). His timing is excellent and his fingering is even fairly credible. Just good enough to allow the director to linger on the keyboard more than directors usually do when non-pianists perform.
Yes the script is fairly predictable, but I found the film enjoyable. Esther Williams may not be at her best here, and the role certainly does not require a great range or dramatic power, but she is, as always, a beautiful breath of fresh air.
I am not a fan of bullfights. If all they did was tease the bull with a cape, bullfights might be purely artistic expressions of athleticism. But those portions of the fight that occur outside of the cape work are brutal and merely sad. Fortunately, this film only deals with the cape work. As such, I found the scenes in the ring interesting. How many times can you watch a bull charge at a cape before it become boring and repetitive? Usually, only a few times. But this film illustrates the variations in cape work and the daring of the matadors.
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