April 08, 2016

The Beyond the Cover: Books to Film Blogathon - Blood and Sand

Thanks to Liz and Kristina for hosting a blogathon that celebrates cinematic adaptations of the written word. Please visit their fine blogs: Liz = Now, Voyaging and Kristina = Speakeasy.

I'll be focusing on Vicente Blasco Ibáñez's Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand, 1908), which follows the career of Juan Gallardo from his poor beginnings as a child in Seville, to his rise to celebrity as a matador in Madrid, where he falls under the spell of the seductive Doña Sol, which leads to his downfall. In 1916, Ibáñez directed a 65-minute film version with the help of Max André. This version was restored in 1998 by the Filmoteca de la Generalitat Valenciana (Spain). There are three remakes made in 1922, 1941 and 1989, respectively. I'll be examining the 1922 and 1941 film versions.

Blood and Sand (1922) is an American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, and Nita Naldi. Blood and Sand (1941) is a Technicolor film produced by 20th Century-Fox, directed by Rouben Mamoulian and starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, and Alla Nazimova.

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, (born January 29, 1867, Valencia, Spain—died January 28, 1928, Menton, France), was a journalist, politician and best-selling Spanish novelist in various genres whose most widespread and lasting fame in the English-speaking world is from Hollywood films adapted from his works.

His life, it can be said, tells a more interesting story than his novels. He was a militant Republican partisan in his youth and founded a newspaper, El Pueblo (translated as either The Town or The People) in his hometown. The newspaper aroused so much controversy that it was brought to court many times and censored. He made many enemies and was shot and almost killed in one dispute. The bullet was caught in the clasp of his belt. He had several stormy love affairs.

Tired and disgusted with government failures and inaction, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez moved to Paris, France at the beginning of World War I.

He was a supporter of the Allies in World War I.

He died in Menton, France, the day before his 61st birthday, in the residence of Fontana Rosa (also named the House of Writers, dedicated to Miguel de Cervantes, Charles Dickens and Honoré de Balzac) that he built.

Film Adaptations

Other than the previously mentioned film versions of Blood and Sand, his greatest personal success probably came from the novel Los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) (1916), which tells a tangled tale of the French and German sons-in-law of an Argentinian landowner who find themselves fighting on opposite sides in the First World War. When this was filmed by Rex Ingram in 1921, it became the vehicle that propelled Rudolph Valentino to stardom. The 1962 film takes place during World War II, rather than World War I.

In 1926, Rex Ingram filmed Mare Nostrum (Latin for "Our Sea"), a spy story from 1918, as a vehicle for his wife Alice Terry at his MGM studio in Nice. Michael Powell claimed in his memoirs that he had his first experience of working in films on that production. A second film version of Mare Nostrum, this one a sound film, was made in Spanish in 1948. It starred Fernando Rey and María Félix, and was directed by Rafael Gil.

A further two Hollywood films can be singled out, as they were the first films that were made by Greta Garbo following her arrival at MGM in Hollywood: The Torrent (based on Entre naranjos from 1900), and The Temptress (derived from La tierra de todos from 1922).

Blasco Ibáñez and Sangre y arena

One of the secrets of the immense power exercised by the novels of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez is that they are literary projections of his dynamic personality. Not only the style, but the book, is here the man.

In Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand, written in 1908) Blasco Ibáñez attacks the Spanish national sport. With characteristic thoroughness, approaching his subject from the psychological, the historical, the national, the humane, the dramatic and narrative standpoint, he evolves another of his notable documents, worthy of a place among the great tracts of literary history. 

His process, like his plot, is simple; whether attacking the Church or the evils of drink, or the bloodlust of the bullring, his methods are usually the same. He provides a protagonist who shall serve as the vehicle or symbol of his ideas, surrounding him with minor personages intended to serve as a foil or as a prop. He fills in the background with all the wealth of descriptive and coloring powers at his command—and these powers are as highly developed in Ibáñez, I believe, as in any exceptional writer. The beauty of Blasco Ibanez's descriptions—a beauty by no means confined to the pictures he summons to the mind—is that, at their best, they rise to interpretation. He not only brings before the eye a vivid image, but communicates to the spirit an intellectual reaction. Here he is the master who penetrates beyond the exterior into the inner significance; the reader is carried into the swirl of the action itself, for the magic of the author's pen imparts a sense of palpitant actuality; you are yourself a soldier at the Marne, you fairly drown with Ulysses in his beloved Mediterranean, you defend the besieged city of Saguntum, you pant with the swordsman in the bloody arena. This gift of imparting actuality to his scenes is but another evidence of the Spaniard's dynamic personality; he lives his actions so thoroughly that we live them with him; his gift of second sight gives us the ability to see beyond amphitheaters of blood and sand into national  character, beyond a village struggle into the vexed problem of land, labor and property. Against this type of background develops the characteristic Ibáñez plot, by no means lacking intimate interest, yet beginning somewhat slowly and gathering the irresistible momentum of a powerful body. 

Juan Gallardo, the hero of Blood and Sand, has from earliest childhood exhibited a natural aptitude for the bullring. He is aided in his career by interested parties, and soon jumps to the forefront of his idolized profession, without having to thread his way arduously up the steep ascent of the bullfighters' hierarchy. Fame and fortune come to him, and he is able to gratify the desires of his early days, as if the mirage of hunger and desire had suddenly been converted into dazzling reality. He lavishes largess upon his mother and his childless wife, and there comes, too, a love out of wedlock.

But neither his powers nor his fame can last forever. The life of even Juan Gallardo is taken into his hands every time he steps into the ring to face the wild bulls; at first comes a minor accident, then a loss of prestige, and at last the fatal day upon which he is carried out of the arena, dead. He dies a victim of his own glory, a sacrifice upon the altar of national bloodlust. That Doña Sol who lures him from his wife and home is, in her capricious, fascinating, baffling way, almost a symbol of the fickle bullfight audience, now hymning the praises of a favorite, now sneering him off the scene of his former triumphs. 

The tale is more than a colorful, absorbing story of love and struggle. It is a stinging indictment brought against the author's countrymen, thrown in their faces with dauntless acrimony. He shows us the glory of the arena, —the movement, the color, the mastery of the skilled performers, —and he reveals, too, the sickening other side. In successive pictures he mirrors the thousands that flock to the bullfights, reaching a tremendous climax in the closing words of the tale. The popular hero has just been gored to death, but the crowd, knowing that the spectacle is less than half over, sets up yells for the continuance of the performance. In the bellowing of the mob Blasco Ibáñez divines the howl of the real and only animals. Not the sacrificial bulls, but the howling, bloodthirsty assembly is the genuine beast! 

The volume is rich in significant detail, both as regards the master's peculiar powers and his views as expressed in other words. Once again we meet the author's determination to be just to all concerned. Through Dr. Ruiz, for example, a medical enthusiast over tauromachy, we receive what amounts to a lecture upon the evolution of the brutal sport. He looks upon bullfighting as the historical substitute for the Inquisition, which was in itself a great national festival. He is ready to admit, too, that the bullfight is a barbarous institution, but calls to your attention that it is by no means the only one in the world. In the turning of the people to violent, savage forms of amusement he beholds a universal ailment. And when Dr. Ruiz expresses his disgust at seeing foreigners turn eyes of contempt upon Spain because of the bullfight, he no doubt speaks for Blasco Ibáñez. The enthusiastic physician points out that horse racing is more cruel than bullfighting, and kills many more men; that the spectacle of fox hunting with trained dogs is hardly a sight for civilized onlookers; that there is more than one modern game out of which the participants emerge with broken legs, fractured skulls, flattened noses and what not; and how about the duel, often fought with only an unhealthy desire for publicity as the genuine cause? 

Thus, through the Doctor, the Spaniard states the other side of the case, saying, in effect, to the foreign reader, "Yes, I am upbraiding my countrymen for the national vice that they are pleased to call a sport. That is my right as a Spaniard who loves his country and as a human being who loves his race. But do not forget that you have institutions little less barbarous, and before you grow too excited in your desire to remove the mote from our eye, see to it that you remove your own, for it is there." 

Juan Gallardo is not one of the impossible heroes that crowd the pages of fiction; to me he is a more successful portrait than, for example, Gabriel Luna of The Shadow of the Cathedral. There is a certain rigidity in Luna's make-up, due perhaps to his unbending certainty in matters of belief, —for to be exact, matters of unbelief. This is felt even in his moments of love, although that may be accounted for by the vicissitudes of his wandering existence and the illness with which it has left him. Gallardo is somehow more human; he is not a matinee hero; he knows what it is to quake with fear before he enters the ring; he comes to a realization of what his position has cost him; he impresses us not only as a powerful type, but as a flesh and blood creature. And his end, like that of so many of the author's protagonists, comes about much in the nature of a retribution. He dies at the hands of the thing he loves, on the stage of his triumphs. And while I am on the subject of the hero's death, let me suggest that Blasco Ibáñez's numerous death scenes often attain a rare height of artistry and poetry, —for, strange as it may seem to some, there is a poet hidden in the noted Spaniard, a poet of vast conception, of deep communion with the interplay of Nature and her creatures, of vision that becomes symbolic. Recall the death of the Centaur Madariaga in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, dashing upon his beloved steed, like a Mazeppa of the South American plains, straight into eternity; read the remarkable passages portraying the deaths of Triton and Ulysses in Mare Nostrum; consider the deeply underlying connotation of Gabriel Luna's fate. These are not mere dyings; they are apotheoses. 

Doña Sol belongs to the author's siren types; she is an early sister of Freya, the German spy who leads to the undoing of Ulysses in Mare Nostrum. She is one of the many proofs that Blasco Ibáñez, in his portrayals of the worldly woman, seizes upon typical rather than individual traits; she puzzles the reader quite as much as she confuses her passionate lover. And she is no more loyal to him than is the worshipping crowd that at last, in her presence, dethrones its former idol. 

Among the secondary characters, as interesting as any, is the friend of Juan who is nicknamed Nacional, because of his radical political notions. Nacional does not drink wine; to him wine was responsible for the failure of the laboring class, a point of view which the author had already enunciated three years earlier in La Bodega; similar to the role played by drink is that of illiteracy, and here, too, Nacional feels the terrible burdens imposed upon the common people by lack of education. Indicative of the author's sympathies is also his strange bandit Plumitas, a sort of Robin Hood who robs from the rich and succors the poor. The humorous figure of the bullfighter's brother-in-law suggests the horde of sycophants that always manage to attach themselves to a noted—and generous—public personage. 

The dominant impression that the book leaves upon me is one of power, —crushing, implacable power. The author's paragraphs and chapters often seem hewn out of rock and solidly massed one upon the other in the rearing of an impregnable structure. And just as these chapters are massed into a temple of passionate protest, so the entire works of Blasco Ibáñez attain an architectural unity in which not the least of the elements are a flaming nobility of purpose and a powerful directness of aim.

Click here to read Blood and Sand. Illustrators: Troy Kinney and Margaret West Kinney, Translator: Frances Douglas, Publisher: A. C. McClurg & Co. - Chicago, Illinois, Publication Date: November 1911.

Blood and Sand (1922) is an American silent drama film starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee, and Nita Naldi. It's based on the novel Sangre y arena by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (Madrid, 1908) and the play Blood and Sand by Tom Cushing (New York, September 20, 1921).

Producers: Jesse L. Lasky and Fred Niblo
Produced and Distributed by: Paramount Pictures (as Famous Players-Lasky Corporation)
Directors: Fred Niblo, Javier Elorrieta, Dorothy Arzner, Frank Fouce
Screenplay by: June Mathis, Ricardo Franco, Rafael Azcona, Thomas A. Fucci
Story by: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (novel), Tom Cushing (play)
Film Editing by: Dorothy Arzner
Cinematography by: Alvin Wyckoff
Makeup by: Monte Westmore
Music composed by: Paco de Lucía, Jesús Glück Sarasibar
Premiere: August 5, 1922
Release Date: September 10, 1922
Runtime: 80 minutes and 108 minutes (Kino Print)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White

Rosa Rosanova ... Angustias (as Rose Rosanova)
Rudolph Valentino ... Juan Gallardo (as Rodolph Valentino)
Nita Naldi ... Doña Sol
Leo White ... Antonio
Lila Lee ... Carmen
Rosita Marstini ... Encarnacion
Charles Belcher ... Don Joselito
Fred Becker ... Don José
George Field ... El Nacional
Jack Winn ... Potaje
Harry Lamont ... Puntillero
Gilbert Clayton ... Garabato
Walter Long ... Plumitas
George Periolat ... Marquis of Guevera
Sidney De Gray ... Dr. Ruiz
Dorcas Matthews ... Señora Nacional
W.E. Lawrence ... Fuentes (as William Lawrence)
Rafael Negrete ... Violinist
Louise Emmons ... Old woman

A young matador, Juan Gallardo, marries Carmen, his childhood sweetheart, while achieving fame throughout Spain. He is happy but succumbs, nevertheless, to the passionate charms of Doña Sol. Carmen accepts the situation but comes to nurse Juan when he is gored. Though his skill has diminished, he refuses her pleas that he quit the bullring; and he meets disaster when, distracted by the sight of a handsome young stranger with Doña Sol at a bullfight, he fails to defend himself from the first charge of the bull. Juan dies in Carmen's arms, in the sound of cheers for a new hero, after assuring her that she has always had his love. (In another version Juan recovers and gives up both bullfighting and Doña Sol for good.)

Rudolph Valentino wanted George Fitzmaurice to direct this film, but the studio forced him to work with the less highly regarded Fred Niblo instead.

Rudolph Valentino and Natacha Rambova hoped to have the film shot in Spain, but the studio ultimately elected to shoot it on the back lot in Hollywood.

According to author James Kirkwood, Jr., whose mother Lila Lee played Carmen in this film, Rudolph Valentino liked to eat traditional Italian foods, heavily spiced with garlic. Lee had to ask that her love scenes with Valentino be shot in the morning so she wouldn't have to deal with his garlic breath after lunch.

Recently introduced laws protecting the safety of animals meant that it was impossible to shoot footage of a real bullfight. Stock footage is used instead.

Dorothy Arzner impressed the producers by cannily interspersing stock bullfighting footage with shots of Rudolph Valentino to make it look like the actor was actually in the ring with real bulls. This was quite a progressive technique in its day.

One of the top grossing films of 1922.

Along with his two 1921 films, The Sheik (1921) and The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), this cemented Rudolph Valentino as a major box office attraction.

Reportedly one of Rudolph Valentino's favorites of his films.

The film gave its name to a popular Prohibition-era cocktail.

Blood and Sand is one of the few classic mixed drinks that includes Scotch. The red juice of the blood orange in the drink helped link it with the film. The recipe is first known to have appeared in the 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book.

Original Recipe from the Savoy Cocktail Book

3/4 ounce blended Scotch
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Cherry Heering
3/4 ounce freshly squeezed blood orange juice

Pour all ingredients into cocktail shaker filled with ice cubes. Shake well. Strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Flame orange zest over the top of the glass.

A variant is to combine all ingredients in a collins glass, add another splash of orange juice then flame the zest over it.

Blood and Sand Recipe from the Video Above

1 1/2 ounces blended Scotch
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth
3/4 ounce Cherry Heering
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice

Shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Photos from Blood and Sand (1922)

Watch Blood and Sand (1922)

Blood and Sand (1941) is a Technicolor film directed by Rouben Mamoulian, produced by 20th Century-Fox, and starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, and Alla Nazimova. It is based on the critical 1908 Spanish novel about bullfighting, Blood and Sand (Sangre y arena), by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. The supporting cast features Anthony Quinn, J. Carrol Naish, John Carradine, Lynn Bari, and Laird Cregar.

Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck and Robert T. Kane
Produced by: 20th Century-Fox, Darryl F. Zanuck Productions
Distributed by: 20th Century-Fox
Directors: Rouben Mamoulian, Robert Webb, Sidney Bowen, Henry Weinberger 
Screenplay by: Jo Swerling
Story by: Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (Sangre y arena, Madrid, 1908)
Film Editing by: Robert Bischoff
Cinematography by: Ernest Palmer and Ray Rennahan
Art Direction by: Joseph C. Wright and Richard Day
Set Decoration by: Thomas Little
Music by: Alfred Newman, Vincente Gomez (guitarist), José Barroso (arranger)
Music: "El Albaicin" and "Gloria Torera" by Vicente Gomez.
Songs: "Tu no te llamas," music and lyrics by Fortunio Bonanova; "Chi-Qui-Chi," music and lyrics by Vicente Gomez and Abe Tuvim; "Romance de amor," "Verde luna" and "Saeta," music and lyrics by Vicente Gomez.
Sound by: W. D. Flick and Roger Heman
Costumes: Travis Banton, Jewels by Flato, Jose Dolores Perez (Tailor of torero suits)
Choreography by: Geneva Sawyer and Hermes Pan with technical advisor: Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr.
Stand In: Armillita (Bullfighting double for Tyrone Power)
Premiere: May 22, 1941
Release Date: May 30, 1941
Runtime: 123 or 125 minutes
Sound Mix: Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Color: Technicolor - Technical Advisor - Natalie Kalmus


Young Juan Gallardo sneaks out of his room to survey the Seville nightlife and goes to a cantina, where noted bullfight critic Natalio Curro is praising Garabato, the current favorite of the ring. When Curro disparages Juan's father, a matador who died fighting, the youngster hits him over the head with a bottle and starts a brawl. Escaping the cantina, Juan goes to the ranch owned by Don Jose Alvarez, where he practices fighting one of the bulls. Don Jose is impressed by the boy's courage, but his servant, Pedro Espinosa, is angry, having warned Juan before about tiring the bulls. Juan accepts Don Jose's praise, then goes to see Pedro's daughter Carmen. Juan tells his sweetheart that he is leaving the next day for Madrid with his friends, Manolo de Palma, Pablo Gomez, Luis Potaje and Sebastian, to learn to be a matador. Juan promises to return to marry Carmen, and the next day, takes leave of his mother, Señora Augustias, who denounces Juan's dangerous aspirations. Juan and his friends travel to Madrid, where they spend the next ten years training as bullfighters. On the train returning to Seville, Sebastian, who is now known as Nacional, bemoans the fact that he and his friends are illiterate and uneducated, while Manolo jealously declares that Juan has taken most of the glory and money for himself. After a fiesta celebrating his return, Juan is approached by Garabato, who is now destitute. Juan hires Garabato as a servant, then finds Carmen and gives her a wedding dress. The couple are married, and during the next two years, Juan becomes a great matador. On the day Juan makes his first formal appearance in Seville, the audience contains a beautiful and infamous temptress, Doña Sol de Muira, about whom Curro declares: If bullfighting "is death in the afternoon, she is death in the evening." The doña is excited by Juan's style, and he is so captivated by her that he throws her his mantera. The next evening, Juan dines at Doña Sol's house, and Captain Pierre Lauren, her current favorite, realizes that he has been replaced in her affections and returns her ring. Juan spends the night with the doña, and the next morning, when he gives Carmen a necklace and tells her that she is "the only true one in the world," he is wearing the doña's ring. Soon it becomes obvious to everyone that Juan has fallen under Doña Sol's spell as he neglects Carmen and his training. Although Carmen defends her husband against his detractors, she leaves him after she visits the doña to discuss the situation and sees Juan kissing her. Soon Juan's dissipation increases and he loses both Garabato, who goes to work for Manolo, and Don Jose, who quits as his manager. Nacional sticks by his boyhood friend even though he says that Doña Sol has stolen his killer instinct, and at Juan's next fight, his incompetence results in Nacional's death. As Juan's fortunes decline, Manolo's star rises, and one day, Juan and the doña see him in the cantina. Doña Sol, attracted by Manolo's brutish charm, dances with him, and Juan angrily throws away her ring, realizing that he has lost her. Just before his next fight, Juan sees Carmen praying in the arena chapel. The devoted wife tells Juan that she has never stopped loving him, and only left to wait for his sickness to pass. Re-energized by Carmen's love, Juan promises that this will be his last fight and that the two of them will then settle down on a ranch. Juan fights with his old fire, and the crowd shouts its approval. He removes his attention from the bull too soon, however, and is gored. Carmen waits in the chapel as Juan is brought in and comforts him as he dies, then tells the priest that Juan's courage will always be with her. In the arena, the crowd has already forgotten Juan and is wildly cheering Manolo, who takes his bows near a stain of Juan's blood in the sand.

According to information in the 20th Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA ArtsSpecial Collections Library, Hedy Lamarr was considered for the part of "Doña Sol." A January 20, 1941 news item reported that after M-G-M refused to loan Lamarr to 20th Century-Fox for the role, Mona Maris was tested for it. On January 29, 1941, it was announced that Lynn Bari, who appears in the finished film as "Encarnacion," was assigned "to the role for which the studio tried to borrow" Lamarr. Modern sources note that Carole Landis, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney, Dorothy Lamour and Maria Montez were also considered for the part of "Doña Sol," for which Rita Hayworth was borrowed from Columbia.

In February 1941, news items noted that Patricia Morison, a Paramount contract player, was being tested for "one of the top roles," and that Sigrid Gurie was also tested for the film. Neither actress appears in the completed picture, however.

According to a November 27, 1940 news item, Cesar Romero was set for a role in the picture and was to receive co-star billing with Tyrone Power.

Although production charts include Alan Curtis in the cast, he was not in the released film.

According to studio publicity and information in the 20th Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also located at UCLA, renowned bullfighter Francisco Gómez Delgado (Armillita) instructed Power and other cast members in bullfighting techniques, as well as serving as Power's double in some of the bullfighting sequences shot on location.

The legal records note that tailor Jose Dolores Perez made exact copies of two of Armillita's matador suits to be worn as costumes by Power.

By ancient tradition, the "traje de luces" can be of any coloralthough yellow is widely considered unlucky and rarebut the stockings must be pink. When Tyrone Power is wearing his white suit, his stockings are whiteprobably a costumer's decision.

Contemporary sources indicate that the bullfighting sequences and other background material were shot on location in Mexico City, although Power was the only cast member involved in the location shooting.

Although a March 3, 1941 news item announced that a "Spanish bullring yarn" by Fortunio Bonanova, entitled La vida y milagros, was purchased by 20th Century-Fox "as a protective vehicle for possible follow-up with same cast if Blood and Sand proves a smash," Bonanova's novel was not produced as a film.

An April 11, 1941 news item stated that Bonanova wrote two Spanish songs entitled "Spanish Gypsy Song" and "Flamenco," which were to be sung by him in the picture, but studio records credit Bonanova with contributing only one song, "Tu no te llamas," to the completed picture.

According to an April 1941 news item, the trailer for the picture was to be the first Technicolor trailer produced by the studio.

On May 1, 1941, it was announced Zanuck's decision to release the film at its "present length" of 125 minutes, rather than following the original plan to cut it to 90 minutes. The news item also stated that the picture was scheduled "for a sneak preview below the border, probably in Hermosillo, Sonora, to get the reaction of Latin Americans to the film."

According to a letter in the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, 20th Century-Fox intended to prepare "a special edition" of the picture for "circulation in South American countries." The purpose of the alternate version was to "include certain bullfighting scenes, which while they would not be acceptable in the American version, will, nevertheless, be accepted in countries where bullfighting is permitted." No other information about an alternate version of the film has been found.

Blood and Sand received an Academy Award for Best Color Cinematography and nominations for Best Art Direction and Interior Decoration.

Blood and Sand marked the first film work of technical advisor Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr., who began directing films in the mid-1940s, several of which dealt with bullfighting. According to contemporary sources, Boetticher was in Mexico at the time of filming studying the techniques of bullfighting, which he taught to Power. Along with dance director Geneva Sawyer, Boetticher helped to stage the "El Torero" dance between Hayworth and Anthony Quinn.

The picture also marked the return to Hollywood of actor/director Monty Banks, who is billed onscreen as William Montague. Although Banks had appeared as an actor in several English productions during the 1930s, his last appearance in an American film had been in the 1928 picture A Perfect Gentleman.

Modern sources note that Rita Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Graciela Párranga.

It was Rita Hayworth's first Technicolor film.

Director Rouben Mamoulian based many of the film's color schemes and designs on the works of great Spanish painters such as El Greco and Velasquez.

During shooting Rouben Mamoulian carried paint spray guns in order to be able to alter the color of props at a moment's notice. He also painted shadows onto walls rather than changing the lighting.

In order to prepare for the role of Juan Gallardo, Tyrone Power attended a bullfight with his wife, Annabella. Because of Power's great stature as a star, he and his wife were given VIP seats in the center front of the ring. Power became violently ill witnessing the bullfight, and in order to get him out of the arena, Annabella said she was ill.

Vicente Blasco Ibáñez' novel was dramatized by Tom Cushing in a play entitled Blood and Sand (New York, 20 Sep 1921). Although 20th Century-Fox purchased the rights to Cushing's play, as well as to the novel, studio records indicate that no material from the play was used in the 1941 film.

According to studio records, 20th Century-Fox contemplated filming the novel again in 1957, with Sophia Loren in the role of "Doña Sol," but did not due to difficulties in clearing the rights.

This film was the fourth and last in which Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell worked together, others were: Day-Time Wife (1939), Brigham Young (1940) and The Mark of Zorro (1940).

A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story was broadcast on October 20, 1941. Listen below.

"Blood and Sand" on Lux Radio Theatre: October 20, 1941 - Tyrone Power, Annabella, Kathleen Fitz, Bea Benaderet, Gale Gordon, Jeff Corey, Lou Merrill

Photos from Blood and Sand (1941)

Watch Blood and Sand (1941)


Caftan Woman said...

Fascinating information told in a most heartfelt manner of the films and novel "Blood and Sand". I was spellbound by the stories of Vicente Blasco Ibanez, and the background of the filming.

Also, I had no idea Fortunio Bonanova was a musician and novelist, as well as a fine character actor. Thank you.

Christina Wehner said...

I so enjoyed your thorough and fascinating review! I'm definitely going to have to read the novel now.

Christina Wehner said...

I so enjoyed your thorough and fascinating review! I'm definitely going to have to read the nove.

Kristina Dijan said...

Great post, appreciate your work in putting togtether the details on the novel and films, the gtreat images :) and also the cocktail, that was a super bonus! Thanks so much for joining the blogathon.


Wow, what a magnificent post! I wrote about both versions in my own blog, and my review of the silent version was posted a couple of weeks ago. Yet, I knew very little about the author`s life. Thanks for all the information!
Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)

Now Voyaging said...

Terrific and very in depth post! Thank you for joining the blogathon!