Juan is the son of a poor widow in Seville. Against his mother's wishes he pursues a career as toreador. He rapidly gains national prominence, and takes his childhood sweetheart Carmen as his bride. He meets the Marquis' daughter Dona Sol, and finds himself in the awkward position of being in love with two women, which threatens the stability of his family and his position in society. He finds interesting parallels in the life of the infamous bandit Plumitas when they eventually meet by chance.Written by
Ed Sutton <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The color cinematography which won an Oscar and the outstanding performances of stars Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, and Rita Hayworth made the sound remake of Blood And Sand an enduring classic. But this silent version and much shorter version of Vincente Blasco Ibanez novel has a lot going for it.
Mostly it has Rudolph Valentino going for it. Valentino is cast well as the champion bullfighter of Spain who rises from poverty and marries the girl next door. But then this Samson of the Corrida throws it all away for the love of the Delilah like Dona Sol.
Lila Lee is the girl next door who Valentino marries and silent screen temptress Nita Naldi plays the beautiful and cruel Dona Sol. That one gets Valentino definitely going south of his Mason/Dixon line. In that sense Blood And Sand was a perfect Valentino picture because it had Valentino for the women to swoon over and Naldi for the men to drool over.
I did miss Laird Cregar playing the epicene critic Curo from the sound version. On the other hand there's Walter Long playing a bandit chief whose life as a lot of parallels to that of protagonist Juan Gallardo.
One thing that is radically different is that this silent version takes a position most against the sport of bullfighting. I'm betting that it was not popular in Spain or with Ernest Hemingway. The sound version has far more macho approach.
You'll have to decide for yourself which is better.
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