7.2/10
12,167
104 user 37 critic

El Cid (1961)

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

Director:

Anthony Mann

Writers:

Fredric M. Frank (story), Philip Yordan (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion, U.S. marine, Maj. Matt Lewis, along with British consul, Sir Arthur Robertson, develop a plan to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force can arrive.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
The War Lord (1965)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 11th century Normandy, a Norman duke sends one of his knights to build a defensive fortress in order to guard the borders against Frisian raiders.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884 to 1885, Egyptian forces led by British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon (Charlton Heston) defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim Army led by a religious fanatic, Mohammed Ahmed el Mahdi (Sir Laurence Olivier).

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
Quo Vadis (1951)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fierce Roman commander Marcus Vinicius becomes infatuated with beautiful Christian hostage Lygia and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Moses (Charlton Heston), an Egyptian Prince, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter
King of Kings (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The temporary physical life of the Biblical Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield
Cleopatra (1963)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt experiences both triumph and tragedy as she attempts to resist the imperial ambitions of Rome.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
Barabbas (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Barabbas, the criminal that Pontius Pilate induced the populace to vote to set free, so that Christ could be crucified, is haunted by the image of Jesus for the rest of his life.

Director: Richard Fleischer
Stars: Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy
The Robe (1953)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature, George Sanders
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1st century Rome, Christian slave Demetrius is sent to fight in the gladiatorial arena and Emperor Caligula seeks Jesus' robe for its supposedly magical powers.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Victor Mature, Susan Hayward, Michael Rennie
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlton Heston ... El Cid Rodrigo de Vivar
Sophia Loren ... Jimena
Raf Vallone ... Count Ordóñez
Geneviève Page ... Princess Urraca (as Genevieve Page)
John Fraser ... Prince Alfonso
Gary Raymond ... Prince Sancho
Hurd Hatfield ... Arias
Massimo Serato ... Fanez
Frank Thring ... Al Kadir
Michael Hordern ... Don Diego
Andrew Cruickshank Andrew Cruickshank ... Count Gormaz
Douglas Wilmer ... Moutamin
Tullio Carminati ... Priest
Ralph Truman Ralph Truman ... King Ferdinand
Christopher Rhodes Christopher Rhodes ... Don Martín
Edit

Storyline

Epic movie of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (Charlton Heston) ("El Cid" to his followers), who, without compromising his strict sense of honor, 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:

The GREATEST ROMANCE and ADVENTURE in a THOUSAND YEARS! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

Italian | Arabic | English | Latin

Release Date:

14 December 1961 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El Cid See more »

Filming Locations:

Sevilla Studios, Madrid, Spain See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,250,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (some 35 mm prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Charlton Heston, both in his memoir "In The Arena" and his journal "The Actor's Life", he was very dissatisfied with the fact that Director Anthony Mann was insistent on shooting the battle scenes himself, instead of leaving it to the second unit under veteran Stunt Coordinator Yakima Canutt. It was a prime reason why he didn't think Mann was the right man to direct this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Douglas Wilmar's character is released by el CID at the beginning of the film Charlton cuts him free. Douglas then holds his hands up in thanks. Next scene he is being cut free again. See more »

Quotes

Moutamin: And thus the Cid rode out of the gates of history into legend.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In some Muslim countries, the film was nearly banned until the censors thought of a better idea, which was to simply cut out the entire climax of the film, so instead of showing the dead El Cid lead his army to victory against the Moors, they simply ended it at his deathbed. See more »

Connections

Edited into Ibiza: The Silent Movie (2019) 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 »

User Reviews

Grim, Ponderous, Moving, Magnificent
30 April 2004 | by Danusha_GoskaSee all my reviews

Grim, Ponderous, Moving, Magnificent

I'm a girl and have a girl's taste in movies. If I'm going to watch a movie with a lot of sword fights, oppressed peasants, and corrupt kings, I want it to be a swashbuckler, preferably one starring Errol Flynn. Swashbucklers bring a lot of humor to otherwise unbearable dramatic situations.

"El Cid" presents unbearable dramatic situations, and it is not a laugh riot. I saw the three-hour plus, uncut version and never felt tempted to laugh once. This is the Middle Ages without Monty Python, without the levity of an Errol Flynn - Olivia De Haviland romance or comic relief of a Little John.

Boy oh boy was this grim. And long. You could have almost filmed the entire film with three colors: white, black, and red. Lots of red.

But "El Cid" did to me what it wanted to do. I really believed in Rodrigo and Jimena as star-crossed, larger-than-life lovers. I really believed that the little girl who leads them from her well to her farm house lived a thousand years ago. I really believed that something like the mouth of hell itself was opening up as Ben Yusef invaded. I really believed in Rodrigo's relentless nobility and heroism. Neither Charlton Heston's strangely artificial looking hair nor the obvious non-Arab status of a couple of the "Moors" (Douglas Wilmer, who later played Sherlock Holmes, was one especially unconvincing Arab) interfered with my willing suspension of disbelief. I cried. Several times.

There's a lot to cry about. In almost every scene, someone is either crying, usually Sophia Loren, or gritting his teeth, often Charlton Heston, but others grit their teeth a lot, also. Actually Loren doesn't so much cry, but, rather, huge, luminous tears quiver, poised, on her lower eyelid. In her final scenes, the teardrop dancing on her right eyelid is so huge, black and luminous it begins to look like a second pupil.

If the sound of horse hoof-beats does something for you, you will love this movie. There are many horses. Many, many, many. And they are always thundering off to somewhere, more often than not, over cobblestones. Lots of horse hoof-beats on this soundtrack.

Some viewers found the plot hard to understand; they, perhaps, saw the cut version. Having seen the uncut version, I found the plot entirely comprehensible.

"El Cid" is like a ballad. There is one grim face-off after another, escalating in gravity, in which the hero proves that he is growing into his own heroism, through every choice he makes. Each choice is harder than the last one, until his final choice, which is truly impossible, but which he fulfills anyway. If you like medieval ballads, you may love this movie. It has the same grim beauty and power and inexorability, the same insistence on throwing whatever is divine in naked human character up against the impossible demands of earthly life.

For such a long movie, there is scant dialogue. With few words, people prove their true character through their actions, just as characters in ancient epics did.

One viewer complained that this movie bore no relation to the "real" El Cid legend. If that is true, the movie is all the more remarkable. The filmmakers managed to create, from scratch, a convincing and moving medieval narrative.


72 of 95 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 104 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed