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 Post subject: El Cid
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:31 am 
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Directed by: Anthony Mann
Production year: 1961
Starring: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone


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Plot:

Epic film of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz ("El Cid" to his followers), who, without compromising his strict sense of honour, still succeeds in taking the initiative and driving the Moors from Spain.

Trailer:


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 6:32 am 
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NOTE: This thread will be used for general talk of the movie El Cid. If there's anything specific you'd like to discuss, please start a new topic in this section.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 10:30 pm 
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The Cid... represents for me an ultimate role for Heston. He took his experience and what he learned from his roles in the previous epics, The Ten Commandments and Ben-Hur, and applied them to this ultimate heroic model; it was a confluence of some events. The Cid never compromises... not his honor nor his principles; he stands head-&-shoulders above all other men. Could anyone but Heston have played him? I think not.
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Heston himself was fairly critical of this film; he would have preferred that William Wyler directed this one, perhaps instead of Ben-Hur. But, every time I watch it - especially the DVD version which arrived not that long ago - I am struck by its beauty, its operatic drama and its sheer magnificence. There is a passion that informs each scene - including the fights; in other films, these are just swordfights; here, there's a history behind each swing, each blow. :elcid:
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The other highlight for me are the duels and battles - the choreography is outstanding. I state now for the record - the one-on-one combat between the Cid and champion Don Martin on the field of Calahorra is, hands down, the single best such depiction in the history of cinema. They begin the standard tournament style on horseback and soon both men are on their feet; it's staggering and exhausting; I've seen it many times and each time I still think Heston has had it. I get tired just as a spectator. :elcid:
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This film's harshest critics point out how Heston's portrayal was nearly demigod-like by this point - no man could ever be like this Cid, who seems too virtuous, too inflexible, too invincible in his beliefs, like granite. I think they, unintentionally, are actually offering praise for Heston's capabilities with remarks like that. :elcid:


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Yes, he mentioned in his book that he thought that if they switched directors for Ben-Hur and El Cid, Ben-Hur would have come out just as great but El Cid would have been even better. I've also heard from someone else that he wasn't fully satisfied with his performance in this movie, he thought he was a bit stoic in the part at times.

Either way it's a great epic, one of the last true epics that was made. It's somewhat forgotten because it gets overshadowed by Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments. While I do prefer those two movies, I think that El Cid deserves more respect than it currently gets. No one could have played such a character as El Cid, a man of honor and principles, better than Heston. He was made for that part.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:22 am 
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In his autobiograpy "In the Arena" Heston's stance seemed to be that while Anthony Mann was a good director overall, he felt Mann had bitten off more than he could chew with "El Cid" which is why Heston felt the film would have benefitted from being handled by William Wyler or someone like him. I agree though the film is better than even the man himself gave it credit for being.

Also in his autobiography, if I'm remembering it right, Heston seemed to downplay the stories and rumors of him not getting along with Sophia Loren (being annoyed that she was late due to how complicated her dresses were or being annoyed that she wouldn't let the make up people "age" her for the latter half of the film), or at least that the stories of their not getting along were exaggerated. Has Sophia Loren herself ever spoken about this?


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 12:43 am 
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EL-CID-1983 wrote:
Also in his autobiography, if I'm remembering it right, Heston seemed to downplay the stories and rumors of him not getting along with Sophia Loren (being annoyed that she was late due to how complicated her dresses were or being annoyed that she wouldn't let the make up people "age" her for the latter half of the film), or at least that the stories of their not getting along were exaggerated. Has Sophia Loren herself ever spoken about this?

When she was on Larry King, he asked about how it was working with some of her male co-stars, when he asked about Heston, she had nothing bad to say about him. She called him a very professional actor and called El Cid one of her most beautiful movies she ever made.

In his book, he also showed some regret over how he treated her at times. I'm sure it was blown a bit out of proportion. On the 2/3-disc DVD, there's a documentary where some people who worked on the movie claim Heston couldn't stand her because she got more money than he did, a record of one million dollars. I have a hard time believing that was his beef with her.

Anyway, they seem to have patched things up at some point, if they ever had any serious hard feeling towards each other, which I doubt. There's a picture on the net, which I of course can't seem to find at the moment, where Heston gives Loren a kiss on the cheek. It was at an awards show of some sort.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:18 am 
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Detective Thorn wrote:
EL-CID-1983 wrote:
Also in his autobiography, if I'm remembering it right, Heston seemed to downplay the stories and rumors of him not getting along with Sophia Loren (being annoyed that she was late due to how complicated her dresses were or being annoyed that she wouldn't let the make up people "age" her for the latter half of the film), or at least that the stories of their not getting along were exaggerated. Has Sophia Loren herself ever spoken about this?

When she was on Larry King, he asked about how it was working with some of her male co-stars, when he asked about Heston, she had nothing bad to say about him. She called him a very professional actor and called El Cid one of her most beautiful movies she ever made.

Interesting.

Quote:
In his book, he also showed some regret over how he treated her at times. I'm sure it was blown a bit out of proportion. On the 2/3-disc DVD, there's a documentary where some people who worked on the movie claim Heston couldn't stand her because she got more money than he did, a record of one million dollars. I have a hard time believing that was his beef with her.

Yeah I remember that now - been a year since I read his book, so not all the facts are in focus for me at the moment.

Quote:
Anyway, they seem to have patched things up at some point, if they ever had any serious hard feeling towards each other, which I doubt. There's a picture on the net, which I of course can't seem to find at the moment, where Heston gives Loren a kiss on the cheek. It was at an awards show of some sort.

I'll have to Google that.

I wonder if some of Heston's off screen frustrations during filming tainted his view of the finished product...


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:42 am 
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EL-CID-1983 wrote:
I wonder if some of Heston's off screen frustrations during filming tainted his view of the finished product...

That's very possible. He may have felt that way without knowing about it, the human mind works that way at times.

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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:54 am 
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Detective Thorn wrote:
EL-CID-1983 wrote:
I wonder if some of Heston's off screen frustrations during filming tainted his view of the finished product...

That's very possible. He may have felt that way without knowing about it, the human mind works that way at times.

It is most peculiar the human mind.

I'd like to add that Genevieve Page was quite pretty as Princess Uracca (spelling?) albeit in a colder, more frigid way when compared to Sofia Loren. The first time I watched the film I somehow missed that, within the context of the film's story, that she seemed to have a thing for Rodrigo (until she realized she couldn't manipulate him of course), this being arguably most apparent when she gives him her colors for the duel.


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 Post subject: Re: El Cid
PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Detective Thorn wrote:
Anyway, they seem to have patched things up at some point, if they ever had any serious hard feeling towards each other, which I doubt. There's a picture on the net, which I of course can't seem to find at the moment, where Heston gives Loren a kiss on the cheek. It was at an awards show of some sort.


Yes, I also saw those pictures in the Getty Images website and also
in the youtube (gettyimage plays a tribute to Heston) somtime ago.
If I remember correctly,one is in the Golden Global Awards to Sophen Loren,
the other one is in Sophen Loren receiving A Star of the Walk of Fame.


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