Blood and Sand (1941)

Blood and Sand (1941)

“The cow hasn’t been born yet that can give birth to the bull that can hurt me!”

A Spanish toreador (Tyrone Power) weds his childhood sweetheart (Linda Darnell) and achieves tremendous fame in the bullfighting world, but risks losing it all when he falls for a sultry socialite (Rita Hayworth).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Anthony Quinn Films
  • Bullfighting
  • Femmes Fatales
  • Infidelity
  • John Carradine Films
  • Laird Cregar Films
  • Linda Darnell Films
  • Rise and Fall
  • Rita Hayworth Films
  • Rouben Mamoulian Films
  • Tyrone Power Films

Rouben Mamoulian’s Technicolor remake of Rudolf Valentino’s 1922 blockbuster is a visual gem, with nearly every scene looking like a gorgeous painting. Unfortunately, the storyline (as in the original version) leaves much to be desired: an illiterate, bullfighting-obsessed upstart is lucky enough to win the love and loyalty of a beautiful girl, but throws his marriage away when a soulless femme fatale comes lurking. (Could it be that fame… corrupts?)

Meanwhile, Power’s tiffs with a portly journalist (Laird Cregar):

and rivalry with his friend (Anthony Quinn):

play out entirely predictably, and the film’s Christian symbolism runs far too deep. (I wouldn’t exactly refer to bullfighters as martyrs dying on the cross of their inevitably short-lived careers — but that’s what the story seems to posit.)

A brief moment of aural beauty comes when the film’s soundtrack composer, Vincente Gomez, performs a guitar solo; this was my favorite scene in the film.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Ernest Palmer and Ray Rennahan’s Oscar-winning Technicolor cinematography

Must See?
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a fan of the stars.


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