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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What You Think Of Bullfighting Will Determine What You Think Of This
Robert Stack with blonde hair? Could that really be "Elliot Ness?" Well, it was the early '50s, before Stack made a name for himself with the TV hit, "The Untouchables. For those looking back at this film for the first time, as I did in the 1990s, this was a weird sight.
Blonde or not, the main question which might answer if you will enjoy this film is, "Does bullfighting interest you?" If it does, you'll like this; if it doesn't, you're going to be bored.
II saw the two-hour "restored" version and it looked nicely-photographed in black-and-white and very detailed about the sport of bullfighting. There were a number of scenes where I started to get bored, to be honest, and I hard time sticking with it but I have no interest in bullfighting, either. It leaves me cold. If I had interest, well, I would have a totally different outlook on the film.
Kudos to Stack for doing - at least in some spots - his own bullfighting. That was impressive and shows me the man had guts. The skeet-shooting scene also was real as he was a pretty good marksman.
The romantic scenes, as expected, were so-so as "Chuck Regan" (Stack) pursues his bullfighting coach's daughter, "Anita de la Vega" (Joy Page)
If you love bullfighting, this film would be a "must-have" because it goes into the "sport" in some detail and even mixes in some live footage (in the long version). I would suggest the longer version, anyway, because that's the way the filmmaker intended the audience to see his work. Given a choice, always see the longer version and then make up your own mind whether it should have been cut or not.
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