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


Anthony Mann


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





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


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 <>

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Lover, Leader, Living Legend! See more »


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Did You Know?


Another theory for the horse name of Babieca is that this horse came from the Babia region. This was the reason that the horse became a great war horse. See more »


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 »


El Cid: [handing over her handkerchief, covered in blood] It's no longer black.
Jimena: As long as my father is not avenged, my color remains the deepest black.
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Alternate Versions

1993 reissue restores 16 minutes of "lost" footage. See more »


Referenced in 800 Bullets (2002) See more »


The Falcon and the Dove
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Performed by Chorus
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User Reviews

Epic grandeur but also an intimate love story...
7 May 2008 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

EL CID takes its place among the great screen epics that never allow the eye-popping spectacle to dwarf the human characters--just as "Ben-Hur" was able to do. And who else to play the legendary and noble Spanish hero than CHARLTON HESTON. He's magnificent here, playing his central role with an almost Shakespearean grandeur, as do some of the other cast members, including HERBERT LOM, JOHN FRASER and GARY RAYMOND.

So is the epic sweep of the tale and the intimate love story that begins when he is on his way to wed SOPHIA LOREN and finds himself asked to assume the mantle of leadership against the Moors in 11th century Spain. He makes the journey from peace-broker accused of treason to the King's fighting champion and later from exiled hero to legendary martyr.

Aside from the brilliant cinematography, authentic looking locales and colorful costumes, Miklos Rozsa's score adds a great deal to the intensely dramatic intimate scenes as well as the epic battles, all the while suggesting some Spanish motifs amidst the heraldic fanfares and love theme.

CHARLTON HESTON makes an impressive figure of El Cid, especially good in the final moments as the wounded leader who knows what he must ask his wife to do so that his followers do not lose heart after his death. RAF VALLONE as Count Ordonez, GENEVIEVE PAGE as Princess Urraca, JOHN FRASER as Prince Alfonso and GARY RAYMOND as Prince Sancho are all remarkable effective in strong supporting roles. In lesser roles, HURD HATFIELD and FRANK THRING bring their own brand of authority to minor parts.

Anthony Mann and his assistant directors have done an outstanding job on all of the battle scenes and he never falters in telling the tale in strong dramatic terms. There's an intensity in the scenes between Loren and Heston after he has been forced to kill her father for humiliating his own father in front of the court. Whatever friction there was between Heston and Loren on the set, works for them here because her animosity toward him is a chilling thing to watch.

The DVD has been wonderfully mastered and all of the Miklos Rozsa score sounds better than ever with Overture, Intermission and Exit music reminding us all what a treasure he was as a film composer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Italy | USA


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 »


Box Office


$6,250,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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



Aspect Ratio:

2.25 : 1
See full technical specs »

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