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Captain from Castile (1947)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, History | January 1948 (USA)
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The invasion of Mexico by Cortez, as seen by a young Spanish officer fleeing the Inquisition.

Director:

Henry King

Writers:

Lamar Trotti (screenplay), Samuel Shellabarger (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tyrone Power ... Pedro De Vargas
Jean Peters ... Catana Perez
Cesar Romero ... Hernando Cortez
Lee J. Cobb ... Juan Garcia
John Sutton ... Diego De Silva
Antonio Moreno ... Don Francisco De Vargas
Thomas Gomez ... Father Bartolome Romero
Alan Mowbray ... Prof. Botello (the astrologer)
Barbara Lawrence ... Luisa De Carvajal
George Zucco ... Marquis De Carvajal
Roy Roberts ... Capt. Alvarado
Marc Lawrence ... Corio
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Storyline

Spain, 1518: young caballero Pedro De Vargas offends his sadistic neighbor De Silva, who just happens to be an officer of the Inquisition. Forced to flee, Pedro, friend Juan Garcia, and adoring servant girl Catana join Cortez' first expedition to Mexico. Arriving in the rich new land, Cortez decides to switch from exploration to conquest...with only 500 men. Embroiled in continuous adventures and a romantic interlude, Pedro almost forgets he has a deadly enemy... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Conqueror of a New World! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Nahuatl

Release Date:

January 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Capitaine de Castille See more »

Filming Locations:

Acapulco, Guerrero, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Peters had never acted before this film. She replaced Linda Darnell, who was originally cast in the lead but shortly before production began was taken off the picture and given the lead in Forever Amber (1947), replacing inexperienced lead actress Peggy Cummins. Peters was given the lead in this picture based on a screen test she had taken at Fox just a week before filming began that had impressed the film's producers. See more »

Goofs

When an announcement is made in the town square in Cuba, it is preceded and followed by an extra who makes a poor attempt at playing a roll on a conga, with one hand tripping over the other. As Cuba is the home of the conga, there were hundreds of local experts who could have played it properly and at three times the speed. See more »

Quotes

Pedro De Vargas: [reacting to the torture of his sister] I'll confess anything if you'll just release her!
Don Francisco De Vargas: No! Do not save her by a lie! Silva, if you do this thing, look to your own soul!
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Connections

Featured in Conquistadors (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Power Shines in Conquistador Saga...
12 July 2005 | by cariartSee all my reviews

It's a shame that 20th Century Fox has yet to have released DVD editions of many of the films of the studio's biggest star, Tyrone Power. Almost impossibly handsome, enormously popular, and with excellent acting credentials, Power nearly singlehandedly kept the studio solvent in the traumatic transition years following WWII, with costume epics like "Captain from Castile" showcasing his strengths.

"Castile" echoes Power's earlier films, "The Mark of Zorro" and "Son of Fury", as again he plays a gallant standing against an arrogant aristocratic class, but this time he runs afoul of the Inquisition, and must flee Spain to re-establish his wealth and reputation, accompanied by loyal friend Lee J. Cobb, and a servant girl who secretly adores him (Jean Peters, in one of her best performances). Recruited into the service of the charismatic Hernando Cortez (Cesar Romero, who nearly steals the film), it's off to Aztlan (Mexico, today) with a small army to face the overwhelming but naive Aztec civilization.

While the film frequently drifts into melodrama, shooting on location in Mexico (with the permission and support of the Mexican government), in glorious Technicolor, gives even the most mundane moments a sense of spectacle, and the cast is in top form. Worth singling out is a terrific supporting performance by Thomas Gomez, as a soldier/priest who dispenses common sense as well as religion, and helps Power realize that the woman he truly loves is not on a balcony, in Spain, but beside him, as they march towards their destiny.

Two aspects of the film deserve special recognition; Alfred Newman's score, featuring the vaulting 'Conquest' march, is one of the finest of his long career, and is even more popular today than when the film was released; and Arthur E. Arling and Charles G. Clarke's cinematography is truly magnificent, particularly in the breathtaking finale, as Cortez' forces proudly march across a broad plain, with active volcanoes in the background. Never has going 'on location' been more justified, as the image is unforgettable! If any 'Powers that Be' are reading this review, PLEASE offer this film on DVD, soon! And while you're at it, consider Power's other great films of the 40s and 50s; he deserves to be 'rediscovered' by audiences, today...


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