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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
"Fiesta" is a reworking of the old story from "The Jazz Singer". The story is set in Mexico and begins with a famous bullfighter, Antonio Morales. He has a set of twins, Mario (Ricardo Montalban) and Maria (Esther Williams) and Antonio has determined that his son WILL one day become a great matador like himself. While Mario is quite good, his love is not bullfighting but music. Eventually, Mario runs away because of all the pressure and Maria dresses like Mario and fools EVERYONE (?) by going into the ring herself and becoming a great matador. What's to become of all this?
"Fiesta" is a pretty good film in some ways. It gives a nice portrait of Mexicans (though too many of the actors aren't Hispanic) and is more sensitive than many Hollywood productions. Also, being from MGM, the film looks great--with wonderful music, color and dancing. But to me the best part was watching Montalban in his first film and watching him play the piano. If the piano music wasn't being played by him, he sure faked it very, very well. However, on the down side, the film is SUPER-creepy. Maria's relationship with Mario is just creeptastic. Her vocabulary when talking about him is peppered with words like 'darling' and 'sweetheart' and she ALWAYS talks to him in a much more loving manner than when she talks to her fiancée (John Carrol). It really does make the viewer think of twincest and I cannot believe that the writers and others connected with the film didn't see this. Weird and kind of sick but despite this an enjoyable film.
By the way, the bullfighting scenes are VERY sanitized. On one hand, the viewer doesn't need to worry about all the blood and gore. But, on the other, it makes this 'sport' seem very harmless.
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