“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
- Femmes Fatales
- 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
No; you can skip this one unless you’re a fan of the stars.