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El Cid (1961)

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

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Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Princess Urraca (as Genevieve Page)
...
...
...
Arias
...
Fanez
...
Al Kadir
...
Don Diego
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Douglas Wilmer ...
...
Priest
Ralph Truman ...
Christopher Rhodes ...
Don Martín
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Storyline

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 <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lover, Leader, Living Legend! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Sid  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,620,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(some 35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

El Cid and his wife Jimena Díaz lived peacefully in Valencia for five years until the Almoravids besieged the city. According to legend, El Cid was fighting one of the men when he was shot in the heart with an arrow. Valencia's troops were losing spirit when Jimena thought if she set the corpse of El Cid atop his horse Babieca, the morale of Valencia's troops would soar. Alfonso ordered the city burned to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Almoravids. Valencia was captured by Masdali on May 5, 1102 and it did not become a Christian city again for over 125 years. Jimena fled to Burgos with her husband's body. Originally buried in Castile in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, his body now lies at the center of the Burgos Cathedral. See more »

Goofs

The bearded assassin who kills Prince Sancho gets his comeuppance from the Cid outside the castle gates. The same character is later seen in the background during Cid's deathbed scene. See more »

Quotes

Jimena: Why did you come?
El Cid: I tried not to come. I tried, I told my love it had no right to live. But my love won't die...
Jimena: Kill it.
El Cid: You kill it! Tell me you don't love me.
Jimena: [long pause] I cannot. Not yet. But I will make myself worthy of you Rodrigo, I will learn to hate you.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Wizards (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

The Falcon and the Dove
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Performed by Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Heston embodies a mythical figure of legendary proportions…

Aroused by a fanatical Moorish warlord, emir-king attack a Castilian village, where they are captured by Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar…

Vigorously brave and compassionate, the noble Rodrigo hates bloodshed and vows to see his country at peace, frees the prisoners on their solemn pledge never again to attack Castile…

For this act of courage and mercy, one of the Emirs, Moutamin, calls Rodrigo "El Cid," and pledges eternal friendship to the Cid of Vivar… And so, in freeing the Moors, Rodrigo, accidentally, stumbled onto a battle, not to his luscious bride, but to a battle that will change his whole life…

In the court of King Ferdinand, Rodrigo's act of clemency is misinterpreted, and he's accused of treason by his rival Don Ordonez for refusing to turn over to him the captures Moors…

Unfortunately, Rodrigo's aged father, Don Diego, is slapped by the Champion of the king, Count Gormaz, father of his beloved Chimene… Rodrigo begs Gormaz an apology; it is refused… A duel begins and the champion is badly wounded… Before he dies, however, he asks Chimene to avenge his death…

Chimene's wish is fulfilled when King Ramiro of Aragon challenges King Ferdinand for the possession of the city of Calahorra by the outcome of a single combat…El Cid convinces the king to permit him to fight Don Martin…Thus, according to the custom of trial by combat, God would judge Rodrigo's guilt or innocence…

"El Cid" is an intense film, lavish and spectacular, bigger than any in terms of cast and impressive as any in visual terms… Miklós Rózsa gave a new dimension to the emotion that Anthony Mann was trying to express…

Mann gives us a human story with a love story balanced with the most strongly image of a hero the world has ever seen… He presented a man of honor who thinks always of his wife, his country, and his king first… Even in death, his thoughts are for others and not himself…

El Cid insults kings and noblemen in the name of justice and integrity and does what he knows to be right… He battles the king's living sword in respect of his father… He accepts the challenge of a champion of a king to prove himself innocent of treason and other things… He shows a prince how any man can kill and only a king can give life… He fights 13 knights, at the same time, to free a prisoner… Yet he is in addition to all of this an extremely principled leader… He accepts exile for life from the country he loves, and yet he is the only man in Spain who 'could humble a king and would give a leper to drink from his own pouch…'

The joust sequence called "The fight for Calahorra," is perhaps the most rousing, exciting, one-to-one combat ever filmed… The battle scenes at Valencia are taken on an epic scale… But the value of Anthony Mann's movie is the characterization in which Charlton Heston played El Cid's life… For this reason alone, the film is of greater value than most any other motion picture experience…


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