West Texas in the years after the Civil War is an uneasy meeting ground of two cultures, one white. The other native American. Elvis portrays Pacer Burton. The son of a white rancher (John ... See full summary »
My father (Bruce Odlum) produced this movie, and his close friend Richard Collins wrote the screenplay.
The plot and the acting (especially by today's standards) are a bit "corny" IMHO, but typical of all films (especially romantic films) of that era. The cinematography is outstanding, and one has the opportunity to see some beautiful places in Spain, at a time when that country was still "tourist free".
I know it was my father's hope that a few other qualities would be communicated to the viewer, aside from his personal love of Spain and Spanish culture.
Bruce Odlum tried to be a "citizen of the world", and he was very sensitive to the arrogance and narrow mindedness of many Americans abroad in the years following the Second World War. This film attempts to show an American in Spain breaking out of that narrowness to some degree and genuinely learning something about himself through the values of a foreign culture.
It was also his desire to give the world a glimpse of Spanish Gypsy culture and its (arguably) greatest contribution to Spain, the music of Flamenco. The debate about "authenticity" has been going on for quite some time, and Flamenco is a living art form that is constantly evolving. But this circa 1955 snapshot of the music and dance of Spanish Gypsy culture is IMO quite authentic, and I say that as someone who has lived in Granada (2004) and immersed himself in what remains of that culture today (Sacromonte). Yes, the glimpse presented in the film is somewhat condensed and stylized for Hollywood consumption, but on the whole it accurately represents the culture as it still existed fifty years ago. The guitarist in the Madrid subterranean bar scene is real, a local "discovery" from the indigenous culture, whose artistry is featured throughout the film's soundtrack. Also real are the two young dancers in the Gypsy campfire scene - they were not choreographed. Even today, something of this culture remains "in the blood" in the inhabitants of Granada. The average ten-year-old on the streets of that ancient city can already sing and dance Flamenco with a degree of ease and natural style unobtainable to a foreigner after years of study.
Unfortunately, this film no longer exists. The last printed copies rotted away in a Paramount vault years ago. Fortunately, a VCR tape copy was made from the film before it was lost, and that tape was used to make a DVD, which I have in my possession. The quality is slightly diminished compared to the original film, an unfortunate consequence of the numerous transfers to alternate media in an era before a direct digital transference was possible. The NTSC DVD is available from http://thepiratebay.org/tor/3549745/Spanish_Affair_2 as a torrent.
There are no subtitles, the dialog is 90% English and 10% Spanish. You don't need to speak Spanish to understand the movie, but you will catch a few good jokes if you do.
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