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Johnny Regan, a U.S. citizen, goes to Mexico and takes up bullfighting as a lark, hoping to impress a Mexican beauty, Anita de la Vega. His lighthearted studying, under the tutelage of aging matador Manolo Estrada, leads to tragedy. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
This is a beautiful, compelling and honest film. It is imbued with the good kind of machismo--notions of honor, sacrifice, and the nobility of effort. Instead of cluttering up the film with lots of story and complications, Boetticher has delved inside the heart and mind of this (to us gringos) strange sport.
My only addition to the other comments is the photography is remarkable for its era, almost an outdoor film noir, a romantic realism in black and white. (And note that in a number of shots it is clearly Robert Stack doing his own bullfighting!) I note that the film was produced by John Wayne for Republic, obviously mostly in Mexico; just one year later Republic permitted John Ford to make THE QUIET MAN in Ireland; early examples of American filmmaking in an international context.
Don't hesitate to see this extraordinary film.
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