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 film's editor was Dorothy Arzner, who would later go on to become Hollywood's first female director. Arzner impressed the producers by cannily interspersing stock bull-fighting footage with shots of Rudolph Valentino to make it look like the actor was actually in the ring with real bulls. This was quite a progressive technique in its day. See more »
The mountain bandit who is one of the principal supporting characters is an anachronism; the Guardia Civil did away with their kind during the late 19th century. See more »
I've watched "Blood and Sand" several times; I own the DVD. With every viewing I notice some new subtle nuance in the under played gestures of Valentino. In the big seduction scene between Valentino and the voluptuous Nita Naldi, she sits at a harp, delicately playing, with her back to Valentino. He walks up behind her chair, clearly aroused, and he begins to seductively stroke the chair! This is so under played and yet so visually compelling and sensuous.It is so unlike the melodramatic rather hystrionic aesthetic so often found in films from this period. Valentino's restraint throughout the film's more emotional moments is compelling; his subtlety pulls the viewer intimately inward.True, the bull fighting scenes leave a bit to be desired. They are the result of some rather choppy editing and sadly come off looking peculiar,even humorous at times. Somehow Valentino pulls it off, his graceful movements, his quiet emotions, his compelling sensuality more than make up for the lack of authenticity in the bullring.
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