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A Girl Against Napoleon (1959)

Carmen la de Ronda (original title)
In 1808 Spain is occupied by Napoleonic troops. A beautiful gypsy is divided between her love for a Spanish rebel and a French officer.



(novel) (as Próspero Merimée), (story) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
El Dancairo
María de los Ángeles Hortelano ...
Alfonso Rojas
Guerrillero #1
Antonio Delgado
Pilar Gómez Ferrer ...
Mujer en el mercado
Manuel Guitián ...
Teresa Gisbert
Oficial francés #1


In 1808 Spain is occupied by Napoleonic troops. A beautiful gypsy is divided between her love for a Spanish rebel and a French officer.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


To Want Her Was Torture...To Love Her Meant Death!







Release Date:

February 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Girl Against Napoleon  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Version of Carmen (2009) See more »


Ojos verdes
Composed by Rafael de León, Salvador Valverde and Manuel L. Quiroga
Arranged by Gregorio García Segura
Conducted by Juan Solano
Performed by Sara Montiel
Recorded by Hispavox
See more »

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User Reviews

Colorful story of love and jealousy in which a gorgeous gypsy seduces several damned men
14 April 2013 | by See all my reviews

Enjoyable film based on the novel by the French writer Prosper Merimee in which we are destined to be the witnesses of a story of passion and jealousy . 1808 , Ronda , French army is being harassed by the band of Antonio , a tough Guerrillero who French people attempts to catch with no success until that he is double-crossed by Micaela , a jealous young girl who gets to denounce him . Antonio (Jorge Mistral) is the leader of an underground armed group fighting in the village of Ronda against Napoleon's troops which have imposed French rule in 1808 Spain . Antonio is devoted to Carmen , the region's most beautiful gypsy who lives and sings at a local inn whose innkeeper results to be El Dancairo (Félix Fernández) . Carmen (Sara Montiel) is a young gypsy who lives seducing bandits , a bullfighter (German Cobos) and soldiers of the French army ; she is, without any doubt , the best femme fatale at the time . The free , enigmatic nature of a woman named Carmen , her southern beauty , her passionate , impulsive character turn the sergeant called Jose (Maurice Ronet), into the victim and protagonist of a fatalistic chain of extraordinary deeds , turbulent loves , uncontrollable passions, jealousy and bloodshed . As a beautiful but amoral gypsy girl entices a young dragoon to betray his honor and get cashiered from the service, and for her sake he soon turns to a life of crime . All this makes for an unhappy ending with the innocent repenting his guilts and dying for them .

Agreeable update on the Femme Fatale story , including a loving triangle , historical events and the typical Spanish clichés . The story is extremely melodramatic and plenty of songs , musical spectacle and colorful scenarios . Tulio Demicheli brilliantly casts one of the best Spanish actress of the epoch ,Sara Montiel , to play Carmen in the kind of steamy role she revels in , and with one of the most known actors in Latin American Cinema , Jorge Mistral who subsequently committed suicide , along with the French Maurice Ronet playing the role of Jose . There are very good actors in supporting roles like Jose Marco Davo as a Mayor/doctor , Felix Fernandez , Agustin Gonzalez as a Guerrillero , Ricardo Tundidor and the Italian Amadeo Nazzari as a French Colonel , among others . Luxurious as well as evocative cinematography in brilliant Technicolor by Antonio L. Ballesteros . Evocative musical score by Gregorio Garcia Segura , full of popular and catching songs sung by the great Sarita Montiel .

Sara Montiel is frankly well as one very highly sensual young Gypsy woman , making lavish utilization of her considerable physical assets , attractive countenance , charms and whatever acting ability was necessary , Sara made her Carmen the most gorgeous , heartless and hot-blooded screen heroine of the Spanish cinema . At the beginning , she won a beauty and talent contest held by Cifesa, the most influential Spanish film studio of that era . In the next four years she appeared in 14 films for Cifesa , including her first international success Locura De Amor (1948), which led to a long term-contract in Mexico. She quickly established herself as one of the most popular film actors of the decade. They starred 14 films between 1950 and 1954. Hollywood came calling and she was formally introduced to American moviegoers in Veracruz (1954), playing Gary Cooper's love interest. Later she filmed she worked at Warner Bros in Serenade (1956) with Mario Lanza, directed by Anthony Mann, who became her first husband. After starring in Samuel Fuller's Yuma (1957) with Rod Steiger, Sarita shot El Ultimo Cuplé (1957) ("The Last Song") in Spain, a musical production that turned out to be the biggest box-office success in Spain's film history. It played for over one year in the same theaters in which it opened. A similar reaction followed in Western Europe and Latin America. Sarita Montiel had become the most popular actress-singer of 1957 and a national treasure for Spain.The unprecedented success of "El Último Cuple" threw a wrench into her Hollywood career, as she was offered a multimillion-dollar contract to star in four films in Europe . Her next vehicle, La Violetera (1958) ("The Violet Peddler"), confirmed Sara's popularity and broke the box-office records set by the previous movie. The theme song from "La Violetera" became Montiel's signature song.

The motion picture was lavishly produced by the great producer Benito Perojo and well directed by Tulio Demicheli . The Argentinian , nationalized Spanish writer/filmmaker Tulio Demicheli so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He directed Gazpacho Western as ¨Tequila¨, ¨Arriba Sabata¨ and ¨Man and a colt ¨ . Demicheli had a long , prolific career , working from the 40s , he directed all kind of genres as drama as ¨Herida Luminosa¨ , Thriller as ¨Ricco¨ , adventures as ¨Son of Captain Blood¨, ¨First adventure¨ , Spy sub-genre as ¨¨Il Nostro Agente a Casablanca¨, ¨Dirty game in Panama¨ , ¨Misión Lisboa¨ , Giallo as ¨Coartada en Disco Rojo or Two faces or fear¨ , Horror as ¨Monstruos De Terror or Assignment Terror" ¨ .

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