Blood and Sand | Chicago Reader

Blood and Sand

Several directors of the 80s, including Jean-Jacques Beineix and Francis Ford Coppola, could have learned something from the failure of this 1941 film by Rouben Mamoulian, which takes the old Ibanez story of a young bullfighter destroyed by a wealthy femme fatale as a premise for stunning visual effects and intimations of abstract, eternal themes. Yet, like Beineix's The Moon in the Gutter, the film is abstract in all the wrong ways: the elaborate compositions (in black and red Technicolor) serve only to draw more life from the already debilitated characters; Mamoulian's grab for eternity leaves him with a fistful of hot air. With Tyrone Power, Rita Hayworth, Linda Darnell, Nazimova, Anthony Quinn, and John Carradine; the technical adviser on the bullfight sequences was a young Budd Boetticher. 125 min.

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