Blood and Sand (1941)

Blood and Sand Poster

Bullfighter Juan Gallardo falls for socialite Dona Sol, turning from the faithful Carmen who nevertheless stands by her man as he continues to face real danger in the bullring.

"Blood and Sand" is a 1941 American drama movie directed by Rouben Mamoulian and produced by 20th Century Fox. It was based on the 1908 Spanish novel "Blood and Sand (Sangre y Arena)" written by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. The film tells the story of a torero (bullfighter) who gets entangled in a whirl of popularity, deceit, love and remorse.

Plot Overview
The story starts with Juan Gallardo (Tyrone Power), a poor village kid who imagines accomplishing popularity and success as a toreador (a bullfighter). He goes off to Madrid, leaving his youth sweetie Carmen Espinosa (Linda Darnell). In Madrid, Juan's expertise in the bullring brings him fast success, and he quickly ends up being a renowned matador and a darling of Madrid's upper class.

Fluctuate of Juan Gallardo
Charmed by flamboyant Doña Sol des Muire (Rita Hayworth), a seductive, daring female from a rich upper-class household, Juan falls under a love affair, betraying Carmen. Juan's mom, who dislikes the immoral way of life of bullfighting, disowns him due to the fact that of his love with Doña. The affair leads him into a downward spiral of alcoholism, gambling financial obligations and dishonor in the bullring due to absence of concentration and arrogance, causing his fame and fortune to dwindle.

Remorses and Redemption
Eventually, Juan longs to return to his easier, happier days, and attempts to set things right by expressing his wish to leave bullfighting and make a life with Carmen. Concurrently, Doña Sol takes interest in another effective matador, leaving Juan both expertly and personally. Tormented with guilt, he pleads Carmen for forgiveness and asks her to take him back. Carmen, still deeply in love with Juan, grants him another opportunity, hoping for a new beginning.

Climax and Conclusion
The film ends unfortunately, when Juan decides to combat again in the bullring to make money for their new life. He faces the bull, appearing to have actually regained some of his previous ability and confidence, but gets fatally gored. His last minutes are invested in Carmen's arms, expressing his love for her.

Notable Features
"Blood and Sand" is noted for its vibrant technicolor cinematography that gives life to the bullfighting scenes, extravagant sets, Spanish landscapes, and the splendid rating by Alfred Newman. The movie offers a crucial view of the bullfighting culture and explores fundamental human feelings-- love, aspiration, deceit and remorse.

Performances & Reception
Popular for its performances, Tyrone Power convincingly represents the character change of Juan from naive aspirant, to successful matador, to problematic person, and lastly, repentant enthusiast. Rita Hayworth intrigues as the hazardous and tempting Doña Sol, while Linda Darnell includes emotional depth as the caring and flexible Carmen. The film was well received by the audience and critics and won the Academy Award for Best Cinematography.

Top Cast

  • Tyrone Power (small)
    Tyrone Power
  • Linda Darnell (small)
    Linda Darnell
    Carmen Espinosa
  • Rita Hayworth (small)
    Rita Hayworth
    Dona Sol
  • Alla Nazimova (small)
    Alla Nazimova
    Senora Augustias
  • Anthony Quinn (small)
    Anthony Quinn
    Manolo de Palma
  • J. Carrol Naish (small)
    J. Carrol Naish
  • Lynn Bari (small)
    Lynn Bari
  • John Carradine (small)
    John Carradine
  • Laird Cregar (small)
    Laird Cregar
    Natalio Curro
  • Monty Banks (small)
    Monty Banks
    Antonio Lopez
  • George Reeves (small)
    George Reeves
    Capt. Pierre Lauren