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Epic film of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz ("El Cid" to his followers), who, without compromising his strict sense of honour, still succeeds in taking the initiative and driving the Moors from Spain.Written by
Stewart M. Clamen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
El Cid and his wife Jimena Díaz lived peacefully in Valencia for five years until the Almoravids besieged the city. According to legend, El Cid was fighting one of the men when he was shot in the heart with an arrow. Valencia's troops were losing spirit when Jimena thought if she set the corpse of El Cid atop his horse Babieca, the morale of Valencia's troops would soar. Alfonso ordered the city burned to prevent it from falling into the hands of the Almoravids. Valencia was captured by Masdali on May 5, 1102 and it did not become a Christian city again for over 125 years. Jimena fled to Burgos with her husband's body. Originally buried in Castile in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña, his body now lies at the center of the Burgos Cathedral. See more »
When El Cid and his army are charging down the beach at Valencia the tire tracks from the camera truck are briefly visible in the sand. See more »
In my country, we have a name for a warrior with the vision to be just and the courage to show mercy. We call him... the cid!
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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 »
In 1961 Anthony Mann's epic tale of the Spanish hero "El Cid" burst across the wide screens of theatres. This was the kind of film that 70mm was made for. Charlton Heston is Rodrigo de Bivar, and Sophia Loren is his legendary love, Chimene. Their course of love will not be a smooth one. When he kills her father as a matter of honor, she vows vengeance and sets in motion the series of events which will forever change their lives. The Christian Spaniards are ruled by local kingdoms each vying for rule of the nation. When one king challenges El Cid's monarch, Heston volunteers to fight to the death to determine the fate of the city of Calahorra, and at the same time vindicate himself of the treason he was accused of by Loren's father. This fight for Calahorra is one of the most memorable action sequences ever committed to film. It opens with Miklos Rozsa's heraldic fanfare as the two knights take their places on the jousting field. The two kings watch from either side. The ensuing duel is brutal with a predictable, but decisive outcome. The lovers are eventually married, but only to be separated again as El Cid is called to protect Spain from the marauding Moors swarming across the Mediterranean from Africa. The Spanish Moors join with the Cid to take the city of Valencia where the enemy will attack. It is here that one of the great battle scenes takes place, actually filmed in the shadow of the walled city of Peniscola on the coast of Spain. The two armies charge eachother in a cacaphony of horses, shouts and Rozsa's rousing musical score. The sky is darkened by the thousands of flying arrows streaking across to the enemy. This is the kind of movie that they just don't make anymore. What a pity! The final sequence shows the eerie onslaught of the Spanish army lead by the fallen El Cid strapped to his steed and causing the Moors to flee in terror at his seeming resurrection. Rozsa's organ music swells as El Cid rides into the sunset along the deserted beach and into immortality. In the mid 90's after many years of not being available, "El Cid" was shown again in its 70mm splendor. It was then released on video. The superb Criterion laserdisc version contains the full Technirama letterboxed image and a restored mult-channel soundtrack in Dolby Digital. An excellent supplementary section has interviews with Charlton Heston and others. Heston says that "El Cid" would have been an even more enduring classic if William Wyler ("Ben-Hur") had directed it. However, Anthony Mann has nothing to be ashamed of. Aside from some wooden acting and some scenery chewing here and there, the richness of the story and the elaborate production design, paired with the fine performance of Heston and Miklos Rozsa's impassioned score, surely place "El Cid" in the Hall of Fame of great film epics.
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