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February 05, 2008

"El Cid" on DVD

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --


Glenn Abel recommends
the new DVD of Anthony Mann's costume epic "El Cid," and talks with the son of one of the film's producers.

I love "El Cid" myself. It has pacing and focus -- I find it one of the few spectaculars from the '50s and '60s that are rewarding in non-ponderous, non-camp ways. But I love many of Anthony Mann's other movies too. In fact, as far as I'm concerned, Mann is a major and underappreciated movie artist. I recommended a few of Anthony Mann's movies in this posting about Westerns.



posted by Michael at February 5, 2008


i haven't seen el cid but i love the mann's "winchester '73" and "the tin star". great westerns.

Posted by: t. j. on February 5, 2008 3:14 PM

that's weird that heston and loren didn't get along. i've always thought he seemed like a real old fashioned gentleman. i think loren has given a couple good performances (from what i've seen) in "two women" and lina wertmuller's "blood feud". liberals who hate heston cause of his politics who call him a ham need to see "will penny'' and "major dundee" and just SHUT UP, as far as i'm concerned. (i'm not a huge heston fan but i've been a heston defender for a few years now).

Posted by: t. j. on February 5, 2008 3:25 PM

El Cid is great. I watched it with my kids and they liked it. Yet it is fully satisfying for the grown-up viewer. Good combat scenes.

Heston is under-rated. He is very good within his range. It is a pity if he is being dissed because of his politics. Actors are cattle. Their political views merit no more attention, less actually, than the opinions of the guy pouring beer behind the bar. At least he lives in reality all day. Actors like any artist should be taken on the quality of their work, period, and all else is irrelevant.

Posted by: Lexington Green on February 5, 2008 3:59 PM

S. Loren was a good comedien, I think but how about C. Heston? The reason for not getting along perhaps?

Posted by: HannuHoo on February 5, 2008 4:02 PM

it's amazing what a critics darling republican clint eastwood has become in recent years for his directorial efforts but people like heston people in the entertainment industry either have to say mean things or jokes. everything about him in "bowling for columbine" is a lie. he marched with martin luther king in the 60s, he was part of one of the first interracial onscreen romances in "the omega man". he stood up for orson welles and sam peckinpah to have final cut on the films he starred in of theirs (to no success at the time). granted he has a christian-conservative streak in him that i don't care for all these things i read about him just read "good guy" to me. plus, you can't deny when he screams "get your stinky paws of me you damn dirty apes" in POTA that was pretty sweet. you tell

Posted by: t. j. on February 5, 2008 8:30 PM

Sophia Loren is so disgustingly beautiful.....I love her in Houseboat.

My good friend I, who is from Naples, says Sophia Loren is thought of with some amusement around those parts - the rap is she's unsophisticated.

Posted by: MD on February 6, 2008 12:40 PM

Heston had an impressive physical presence and a good speaking voice. He's no Olivier, but, as LG notes, he is good within his limits.

As for Mann, I never much cared for El Cid, but I did like Bend of the River and The Man from Laramie, his two best Westerns.

Posted by: Thursday on February 6, 2008 5:14 PM

My favorite Anthony Mann is probably Men in War, one of the great combat movies. But it's hard to find a movie that he made during the '50s that *isn't* worth seeing. In fact, he might be my favorite American director of the '50s...though Hitchcock is a big rock to climb over.

Another terrific Mann film that few have seen is The Tall Target, a railroad thriller that must have influenced The Narrow Margain, released the following year.

I haven't seen El Cid. I wish Netflix carried the new DVD.

Posted by: Ron on February 7, 2008 8:18 AM

Yes, El Cid is wonderful. And while we're at it, let's not forget Miklos Rozsa's magnificent score!

Posted by: Lester Hunt on February 7, 2008 11:26 AM

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