El Cid - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

El Cid Reviews

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August 22, 2016
Great film, lasts a long time, watched it in a grand movie theater as a kid. Pacing and film editing was much less frenetic back then. Quite the epic. Bookstores should bring back a category we might call "historical fiction" which might include not a little romance.
April 16, 2016
nydelig episk basert på historiske modige utnyttelser av en spansk helt, El Cid. Laget in 1961, ble denne massive episke filmet uten hjelp av CGIer, og så tusenvis av soldater og hester var tusenvis av virkelige skuespillere og hester. Bare én mann kunne ha fylt disse episke heroiske skoene til Rodrigo El Cid. Den samme mannen som delte Rødehavet . Den samme mannen som kjørte vognene i en gjør eller dø kamp mot barndomsvennen . Ja, det er ikke annet enn Charlton Heston som hadde den episke vekst, de meislet gode utseende og maskulinitet til å spille rollen. Før Angelina Jolie, dronningen av trutmunn lepper var Sophia Loren. Hennes røykfylt varme trutmunn lepper er de drømmer om hver kyssing mann. Filmen er en fest for øynene på vakre fargerike perioden kostymer, slott, arkitektur og vakre Sophia Loren og hennes erkerivalen .
April 16, 2016
Gorgeous epic based on the historical courageous exploits of a Spanish hero, El Cid. Made in 1961, this massive epic was filmed without the help of CGIs, and so the thousands of soldiers and horses were thousands of real actors and horses. Only one man could have filled those epic heroic shoes of Rodrigo El Cid. The same man who parted the red sea. The same man who rode the chariots in a do or die battle against his childhood friend. Yes, its non other than Charlton Heston who had the epic stature, the chiselled good looks and the masculinity to play the role. Before Angelina Jolie, the queen of pouty lips was Sophia Loren. Her smoky hot pouty lips are the dreams of every kissing man. The film is a feast for the eyes on beautiful colourful period costumes, castles, architecture and beautiful Sophia Loren and her arch nemesis.
½ November 17, 2015
"El Cid" es uno de los grandes épicos de la historia del cine. La adaptación del "Cantar del Mio Cid" goza de unos grandes actores (Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone), de una gran dirección a cargo de Anthony Mann, de una gran fotografía (en Super Technirama) y de grandes escenas de acción. "El Cid" le hace honor a esa pantalla grande llamada cine.
September 9, 2015
classic movie. And classic Heston and beautiful Sofia Loren.
March 19, 2015
Evidence that quantity does not mean quality. 180 minutes long, probably just so that it could earn the "epic" tag, this movie drags on an on, thanks to unnecessary side plots and details.

Clearly not true to history - if El Cid and some of the other characters really acted in the way they did, and made the decisions they did, history would have been quite different. El Cid's adherence to certain (misplaced and misguided) honours and loyalties are laid on so thick, and stymie so many good ideas, that you start supporting his enemies.

Plot-holes and random pointless twists abound.

The acting is incredibly wooden, especially by Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. The supporting cast aren't much better though.

On the up side, the battle scenes are well done, cinematography is great and costumes look very authentic.
½ October 21, 2014
General Ibn (pronounced Ben) Yusuf (Herbert Lom) of the Almoravid dynasty has summoned all the Emirs of Al-Andalus to North Africa and chastises them for their complacency in dealing with the infidels and reveals his plan for Islamic world domination. Later, while en route to his future bride Doña Ximena (Sophia Loren), Don Rodrigo (Charlton Heston) becomes involved in a battle against a Moorish army. Two of the Emirs, Al-Mu'tamin (Douglas Wilmer) of Zaragosa and Al-Kadir (Frank Thring) of Valencia, are captured, but Rodrigo releases them on condition that they pledge to never again attack King Ferdinand of Castile's (Ralph Truman) lands. The Emirs proclaim him 'El Cid' (the Castillian Spanish pronunciation of the Arabic for Lord: "Al Sidi") and swear allegiance to him. For this act he is accused of treason against the King by Count Ordóñez (Raf Vallone) and later Ximena's father, Count Gormaz (Andrew Cruickshank). Rodrigo's proud father, Don Diego (Michael Hordern), supports Rodrigo against Count Ordóñez. Later Gormaz refuses to take back the challenge or the accusation of treason, and Rodrigo kills him, the King's Champion, in a duel. Ximena swears revenge upon her unrepentant father's murderer. Rodrigo then takes up the mantle of the King's champion in single combat for control of the city of Calahorra, which he wins. Rodrigo is then sent upon a mission to collect tribute from Moorish vassals of the Castillian crown, but Ximena, in league with Count Ordóñez, has plotted to have Rodrigo killed. El Cid and his men are ambushed but are saved by Al-Mu'tamin, to whom he had previously showed clemency. Returning home, his reward is the hand of Ximena in marriage. But the marriage is not consummated, she removes herself to a convent. King Ferdinand dies, and his eldest son, Prince Sancho (Gary Raymond), becomes king. The younger son, Prince Alfonso (John Fraser), also desires the throne; his sister, Princess Urraca (Geneviève Page) secretly has Sancho assassinated. At Alfonso's coronation, El Cid has him swear upon the Bible that he had no part in the death of his brother. Since he had no part in it as his sister was responsible, he swears so, but has Rodrigo banished for his impudence. Ximena's love for El Cid is rekindled, she chooses banishment with him and they have children. But Rodrigo is called into service by other exiled Spanish fighters, and eventually into the service of the king once again, to protect Castille from Yusuf's North African army. Rodrigo does not join the king, and allies himself with the Emirs who fight at Valencia, where Rodrigo relieves the city of the wicked Emir Al-Kadir, who betrayed him. Count Ordóñez brings Ximena from where the king had imprisoned her and the children after his defeat by the Moors. Valencia falls and Emir Al-Mu'tamin, Rodrigo's army and the Valencians offer the crown to 'The Cid', but he refuses and sends the crown to King Alfonso. Rodrigo then repels the invading army of Ben Yusuf, but is wounded in battle by an arrow before the final victory. If the arrow is removed, there is a chance that he will live, but he will not be able to lead his army. El Cid obtains a promise from Ximena to not remove it, knowing that this will kill him. He intends to ride out, even if dead...

Upon the film's release, Bosley Crowther wrote "it is hard to remember a picture-not excluding Henry V, Ivanhoe, Helen of Troy and, naturally, Ben-Hur-in which scenery and regal rites and warfare have been so magnificently assembled and photographed as they are in this dazzler...The pure graphic structure of the pictures, the imposing arrangement of the scenes, the dynamic flow of the action against strong backgrounds, all photographed with the 70-mm. color camera and projected on the Super-Technirama screen, give a grandeur and eloquence to this production that are worth seeing for themselves." Crowther also pointed out that while "the spectacle is terrific, the human drama is stiff and dull." The film's leading lady had a major issue with Bronston's promotion of the film, an issue important enough to her that Loren sued Bronston for breach of contract in New York Supreme Court. The film is a favorite of Martin Scorsese, who called it "one of the greatest epic films ever made." Scorsese was one of the major forces behind a 1993 restoration and re-release of El Cid. Time magazine has provided some production details: "Inevitably, the picture is colossal-it runs three hours and 15 minutes (including intermission), cost $6,200,000, employs an extra-wide widescreen, a special color process, 7,000 extras, 10,000 costumes, 35 ships, 50 outsize engines of medieval war, and four of the noblest old castles in Spain: Ampudia, Belmonte, Peñíscola and Torrelobatón." Ampudia appears as the raided village at the beginning of the film, Torrelobatón as Cid's hometown Vivar, the Castle of Belmonte appears as Calahorra,[4] and Peñíscola and Bamburgh Castle as Valencia. The film was shot mostly on location in Spain but a few studio scenes were shot in Rome, purely to achieve the financial gains of co-production status. "El Cid" has been on my to see list for quite some time as I am an avid fan of this sort of epic historic 3 hour movies we don´t really see anymore. It´s lavish, grand, boombastic and big with fantastic sceneries. But, I was still disappointed in the end. Charlton Heston´s El Cid is not portrayed in a way that really makes you root for him and his actions to be honest. I´m not sure why it doesn´t work, maybe due to the stiff theatrical acting and Heston´s inability to give proper life to El Cid. Apparently he himself was not all that happy with the movie either in the end. Sophia Loren is beautiful and so screen worthy, but maybe a bit too blend in this role. The story deals with a strong love story and a man of honour who puts his wife, his country, and his king first and never he himself. The legend of El Cid is intriguing, but movie wise it´s too theatrical and a bit dull despite the epic production in my point of view.
July 28, 2014
One of the greatest crimes in the history of cinema is that this film is not a renowned and beloved classic like other films of it genre from the period. Such as "The Ten Commandments", "Ben-Hur", "Spartacus", and "Lawrence of Arabia". As in my opnion, it easily matches them in terms of power of sheer filmmaking, spectacle, and arguably most importantly storytelling. I would say that after thinking on it and seeing it more than once that it has become one of my favorite films of the genre (though to be fair there are a ton of films in this genre I have said that about, haha), as well as films in general. Perhaps the most disappointing thing with regards to this film's obscurity is concerning how relevant it's story and message have become in our post 9/11 world. Creating a great divide between humble members of certain faiths, and their extremis counterparts who give them a bad name. Telling a grand story about how the Christians and Muslims of Spain came together to defend their homeland from being conquered by a group of extremists bent upon world domination. Though it is interesting to note that two of the biggest Medieval Battle Epics of modern times were heavily influenced by this film. Those being Mel Gibson's "BRAVEHEART" (Another film about a country's national hero that fought for the freedom of his people, uniting and inspiring many others) and Ridley Scott's "KINGDOM OF HEAVEN" (Another film that deals heavily with Christian and Muslim conflict of that era and the necessity of tolerance).
½ June 7, 2014
Another great epic movie with 2 charismatic stars at the helm.
May 28, 2014
One of the very best Hollywood epics of all time and one of Director Martin Scorsese favourite films
Anthony man tackles the story of Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz De Bivar better know as El Cid
El Cid is portrayed by Charlton Heston who gives a superb performance as he battles rival kings and the war like moors in order to win the favour of the woman in his life Chimene played by the beautiful Sophia Loren
The film is of course huge on a grand scale but as with all his epics Anthony Mann manages to apply plenty of detail a high quality acting to add to the spectacle on the screen.
Heston gives one of his very best performances as El CID he simply holds the screen in a role he seems made for.
Loren proves more than a match for him and gives as good as him when Rodrigo kills her father for a slight against his family
But of course the best part of the film is the huge battle scenes involving a cast of thousands and a suitably sinister Herbert Lom as leader of the invading armies proving that there was a lot more to his range than Inspector Clouseaus beleaguered boss.
The final siege on the castle in one of the greatest spectacles ever committed to the silver screen.
Its fantastic to see all those extras up on the screen it feels much more a live and vibrant than tons of CGI
a masterpiece of its type and we will never see the like again which is a great pity
May 7, 2014
Anthony Mann makes great films, and it doesn't matter what genre.
December 28, 2013
I love this story about a man who led in such a way that his life was his message. I didn't mind that the show was so long. The narrations were weird to me, though. They were so sparse that they took me away from the story when they appeared. Now I want to read about the real man. Visit to the library presently. . . . Also, I love these old movies because you can see just how much things have changed over the years on so many levels. Good stuff.
December 6, 2013
feels like a classic epic from this era. some good history and solid battle scenes.
Super Reviewer
November 13, 2013
After revisiting The Cid - after a gap of a couple of decades - I have to confess an about-turn. I have always remembered at as stagy, very silly and, more unforgivable, boring - in the grand ol' Epic tradition. Yes, it still is very silly, over the top and utterly in love with it's saintly hero.
But that is its draw.
In the very best sense of the word, El Cid is thoroughly camp. Apart from a David Lean, what else do you expect from this kind of film? I make no apologies for thinking it magnificent.
There is a reason it was such a massive hit when it was released - because it gave the audience of a pot-boiler what they want - a hero to adore, a strong-willed and gorgeous heroine, kings and queens and princes and princesses squabbling and stabbing and throttling each other, an epic bit of jousting, heaving breasts, melodrama, thrilling battles and one heck of a jaw-dropping finale. It's also Miklós Rózsa's finest score.

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones I defy you to not have it in mind while watching.The utterly magnificent (and totally bonkers) finale of our gorgeous hero, dead and nailed to his horse (not surprisingly, Chuck struggled with this), riding off in to eternity, literally trampling the villain underhoof along the way, is something I don't doubt will end up in the show - if it hasn't already
August 29, 2013
Started off a bit slow and with poor action scenes. But boy, what a story! The continual moral struggle between doing the right thing and also obeying his poor excuse of a king, set against his unconventional commitment to his wife, eventually faced with his own mortality... Good film
½ August 2, 2013
For a movie made such a long time ago, this is actually very well made. The scenes seem to jump quickly from one part of the plot to another and some of the kissing scenes are really awkward. However, the acting, the story, the directing: everything is very interesting.
July 20, 2013
Overcomes minor problems by the sheer weight of its own self-perceived importance and significance. The spirit of the romantic epic is so powerfully present in "El Cid" that one can't help but be swept away.
May 28, 2013
Watching now...Sophia Loren is STUNNING!
cosmo313
Super Reviewer
April 21, 2013
A favorite of Martin Scorsese (who declared it one of the best epic films ever made), this marked a turning point for historical epics, from Hollywood to international production, from studio based, to more location oriented affairs.

And it is glorious! I disagree with Marty, but do feel that yeah, it is quite a film. Not the best epic ever, but sure, it's up there. The story is a heavily romanticized look at the life of 11th Century Spanish knight Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar/El Cid, who was instrumental in defending Spain from Moorish invaders, with his efforts helping lead to Spanish unification. The man has gone done in history as pretty much being the national hero of Spain, kind of like what Joan of Arc is for France, though in this case, the man isn't an official saint.

The film is typical of that era, in that the hero of the story is shown in generally the best light as much as possible. Like I said, this is a very romanticized film. He's a compassionate warrior and the film details how he gets caught up in various political and military machinations, going from accused traitor to king's champion, and later from exiled hero to lauded martyr. I know my dad likes this movie, as he's talked fondly of it before, and when he told me about it as a kid, the thing that stuck with me is the story/legend of the final battle he participated in. I don't want to spoil it, but let's just say that the story is really cool, if kind of bizarre, even if it may not be true.

It's a colorful film about a colorful man, and it has all the hallmarks of a classic sweeping epic. Yeah, it's long, and it could be tightened up in places, but that's a common problem of most, if not all epics. It might be hard to sit through at times, but hey, we get excellent cinematography, gorgeous sets, costumes, thrilling spectacle, and the satisfaction of seeing stuff done without CGI. I really wish they would still make movies like this, just because you get a real sense of accomplishment when you have to bust your butt and not just rely on computers to do the heavy lifting. Oh yeah, and the score by Miklos Rozsa is just fantastic, and maybe the best thing about this movie.

Heston adds another memorable character to his resume here, and he is of course, solid. We also get a sultry scheming Sophia Loren, and some strong support from Herbert Lom, Raf Vallone, and Genevieve Page among others.

All in all, a sweeping and entertaining spectacle on a grand scale. It does drag at times, but when the film is cooking, it's just a blast to watch, especially the tremendous finale.
April 11, 2013
Dated but very rewatchable. Too slow for today but viewed as of it's era, it is a real treat. Carlton Heston and Sophia Loren are great actors and the chemistry between them is palpable although muted by the Hollywood standards of that era. An epic for those who like epics.
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