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Franklin J. Schaffner
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Epic film of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz ("El Cid" to his followers), who, without compromising his strict sense of honour, still succeeds in taking the initiative and driving the Moors from Spain. Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <email@example.com>
Although generally regarded as "good but not great", I consider "El Cid" to be the best film ever made.
The film always flies past for me, no matter how many times I've seen it and is virtually perfect. Each character is memorable and well-acted (with the possible exception of Sophia Loren's Chimene) - stand outs are Heston, Genevieve Page as Uraca, John Fraser as Alphonso, Gary Raymond as Sancho and Raf Vallone as Ordonez, but the all the supporting roles are performed with conviction.
Amongst the many other plus points are the exciting action scenes, in particular the combat for Caloharra, which, although the viewer is never in any doubt that Rodrigo will be victorious, is superbly performed and totally convincing. Also, Miklos Rosza's impressive score ranks amongst his very best.
"El Cid" has never been given the praise it deserves, often being over-shadowed by (the admittedly excellent) "Ben Hur". Perhaps this is down to personal taste as most critics and viewers would disagree, but I think "El Cid" is just marginally superior.
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