El Cid | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Not surprisingly, this 1961 epic about the Spanish national hero, the Castilian warrior Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, is often static as drama (with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren used mainly as icons) and pretty dubious as history. But thanks to Anthony Mann's splendid eye for landscape, composition, and spectacle--in particular his striking use of the edges of the 'Scope frame, a facet (among others) that is totally lost on TV and video--this is a rousing and often stirring show. Scripted by Frederic M. Frank and Philip Yordan, scored by Miklos Rozsa, and costarring Raf Vallone, Genevieve Page, and Herbert Lom, the film has been rereleased under the auspices of Martin Scorsese. It runs about three hours, and there is an intermission two-thirds of the way through. Fine Arts.

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