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In the eighteenth century, a Spanish expedition is looking for seven cities of gold in a territory now known as California. A very difficult task due the opposition of the aborigines, but perhaps a divine intervention could help the Spaniards to save the life. Written by
Luis Carvacho <email@example.com>
If you want to know about the founding of the city I consider the most beautiful in America, San Diego, than Seven Cities Of Gold is the film for you. It's a reverential account from a historical novel with the central figures Gaspar DePortola the soldier/conquistador who took care of the military end of things and Father Junipero Serra who handled the spiritual details. His mission which became the center of San Diego was the first of many he would found in the conquest of California.
Anthony Quinn is Portola and he's certainly my idea of a Spanish conquistador. He's a believer, but has more faith in his ammunition and artillery than in the maxim of the Lord will provide.
The figure of Father Junipero Serra is a controversial one in terms of the damage he did to the Indian culture. But the Catholic church in the Spanish and Portugese conquests also had a role in blunting somewhat the impact of the gold hungry conquistadors, it did shield their converts from the seamier depredations of European society. Serra who is played by Michael Rennie is done in the same saintly manner that Rennie played St. Peter in The Robe and Demetrius And The Gladiators. By all accounts Serra was a spartan figure for a priest.
Jeffrey Hunter plays a new young Indian chief who is not crazy about these people invading his neighborhood. That concern is heightened exponentially after his sister Rita Moreno is despoiled by one of the Spanish soldiers looking for a little action. In fact it throws the fate of the whole expedition in doubt.
Richard Egan is the despoiler who has some big decisions to make. Egan who was a serious Catholic in real life makes a decision commensurate with his real faith.
Real historians might have trouble with Seven Cities Of Gold. But as entertainment, especially if one is Catholic, this should please you.
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