“Blood. Caste. Besides, we always have breeding records to go by. Sometimes we guess. We always pray. You will pray, too.”
An American (Robert Stack) studies bullfighting in Mexico under the tutelage of a famed matador (Gilbert Roland), while trying to win the heart of a beautiful woman (Joy Page).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Budd Boetticher Films
- Character Arc
- Cross-Cultural Romance
- Robert Stack Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this “largely autobiographical film” by former apprentice matador Budd Boetticher is one of the few early Hollywood films to treat Mexicans with respect and dignity. Indeed, this is a rare movie in which “Mexicans don’t have to ingratiate themselves to Americans”; instead, it’s “the ugly American who becomes humble”. While the bullfighting scenes go on too long, they’re undeniably “quite exciting”; and, though parts of the script are heavy-handed — there are too many foreshadowings of impending tragedy — Boetticher does a fine job tracing Stack’s character arc from cocky American to a matador of “good stature”.
- Sexy young Robert Stack as Johnny Regan
- Katy Jurado as Estrada’s strong wife
- Interesting footage of bullfighting
Yes. As famed western director Boetticher’s breakthrough movie, film fanatics will want to check this one out.