El Cid Reviews
(oh yeah, "El Cid." Good, but not great; grandiose and ambitious, but not amazing. A good film, let's leave it at that)
I was kind of bored at first and really disappointed as I have heard great things about anthony mann, but the end saved the movie.
it was pretty boring.
If the second half could've lived up to the first half, there might have been something for the ages. As it is, Heston's a stalwart (if jaw-clenchingly stiff) hero; Sophia could do with more cleaveage visible (and definitely more facial EXPRESSION!) - and what's Herbert Lom doing in a Super Technirama 70 movie
like this? BUT - two key sequences redeem this picture: the Tournament for Calahorra
(best joust ever filmed!) and the duel between Diego and Sophia's dad, the King's Champion Count Gormaz (the actors look like they need cranes to lift those blades, which really go CLANGGGG!). Bottom line:
I'd sit thru EL CID again just for those two fights; they, alone, justify my overly-generous three-star rating.
If you're in the mood for an epic and tired of watching "Spartucus" and "Cleopatra", I'd recommend "El Cid"
Though somewhat dated, and with its share of inaccuracies, it is stands the test of time and ranks as one of the best of its genera.
Highlights include El Cid's forcing King Alfonso to swear he had no part in his brother's death, the sequence where Chimene declares her hatred for El Cid, the big death scene, and the still-chilling speech from the beginning where Ben Yusuf declares "The Prophet has called upon us to rule the world!" Herbert Lom still makes you feel how menacing he can be, even after all these years. Miklos Rozsa's score is particularly good, as well.
Early epic films can be an acquired taste, but if you can get to enjoy it, this is a good one.