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El Cid

3.0 3
Director: Anthony Mann

Cast: Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren, Raf Vallone


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When French playwright Pierre Corneille wrote El Cid, a fanciful version of the life of 11th-century Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, aka "El Cid," an attempt was made to honor the "classic unities" and to compress the whole story into a single day! Be assured that the 1961 film version of El Cid is more faithful to the actual chronology. Charlton


When French playwright Pierre Corneille wrote El Cid, a fanciful version of the life of 11th-century Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, aka "El Cid," an attempt was made to honor the "classic unities" and to compress the whole story into a single day! Be assured that the 1961 film version of El Cid is more faithful to the actual chronology. Charlton Heston adds one more character to his gallery of historical portrayals as El Cid, the disgraced Spanish knight who rids his country of its Moorish conquerors. The triumphs of El Cid's military life are not matched by his private affairs; he is betrayed by his bride Chimene (Sophia Loren) and is made a political pawn by the avaricious Spanish landowners. El Cid has a climax unique in the annals of movie epics: the final assault against the landgrabbers is led by a dead hero. El Cid established the short but generally profitable reign of producer Samuel Bronston as the King of the Epics; his imprint on the film is much stronger than that of director Anthony Mann.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Charlton Heston's knack for wearing the mantle of larger-than-life characters serves him well in this 1961 Anthony Mann film of a noble Spanish warrior's campaign to unite his divided country against the threat of a Moorish invasion. Amid the pageantry of 11th century feudal Spain, Heston portrays the legendary Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, known to history as El Cid Campeador, "the Lord Champion." Based on accounts of the Cid in El Cantar de Mio Cid circa 1200, the motion picture idealizes Rodrigo as a selfless knight committed to his cause even when his own wife, his king, and his people scorn him. Heston plays his role to the hilt, literally, as he wields sword, lance, and dagger against his enemies. The one flaw in his outwardly brilliant performance is his failure to plumb the inner turmoil of a man in conflict. Among the highlights of the film are a spectacular joust to the death over a disputed city and a seaside battle with flying arrows, shining scimitars, charging cavalry, and beating drums. The great Miklos Rosza provides an excellent music score, suggestive of the time and place, and cinematographer Robert Krasker captures the panorama of battle and the splendor of castles and countrysides. Sterling performances mark the film throughout. In particular, Herbert Lom is splendidly sinister as the invading Ben Yussef, and John Fraser and Gary Raymond are cat-claw sharp as quarreling siblings who aspire to the throne. Sophia Loren brings beauty and depth to her role as the Cid's wife, Chimene. Producer Samuel Bronston lent a liberal wallet to the making of this film, and he came up with a classic. Fans of the grand and glorious epics of the '50s and '60s should feel right at home with El Cid.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Miriam Collection
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]

Special Features

Disc 1 - Feature commentary with Bill Bronston (son of producer Samuel Bronston) and Neal M. Rosendorf (historian & biographer of Samuel Bronston); Vintage radio interviews with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren; Still galleries; Filmographies; Disc 2 - Hollywood conquers Spain: the making of El Cid; Samuel Bronston: the epic journey of a dreamer; Behind the camera: Anthony Mann and El Cid; Miklós Rózsa: maestro of the movies; Preserving our legacy: Gerry Byrne of film preservation and restoration; Trailer gallery

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlton Heston Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar/El Cid
Sophia Loren Chimene
Raf Vallone Count Ordonez
Gary Raymond Prince Sancho
Ralph Truman King Ferdinand
John Fraser Prince Alfonso
Genevieve Page Princess Urraca
Andrew Cruickshank Count Gomez
Michael Hordern Don Diego
Gerard Tichy King Ramirez
Christopher Rhodes Don Martin
Hurd Hatfield Count Arias
Massimo Serato Fanez
Carlo Giustini Bermudez
Douglas Wilmer Moutamin
Frank Thring Al Kadir
Herbert Lom Ben Yussuf
Nerio Bernardi Actor
Fausto Tozzi Dolfos
Barbara Everest Mother Superior
Franco Fantasia Soldier
Tullio Carminatti Priest

Technical Credits
Anthony Mann Director,Producer
Manuel Berenguer Cinematographer
Samuel Bronston Producer
Yakima Canutt Stunts
Leon Chooluck Production Manager
Veniero Colasanti Art Director,Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Jack Erickson Special Effects
Diego Fabbri Screenwriter
Fredric M. Frank Screenwriter
Robert Haggiag Producer
Robert Krasker Cinematographer
Robert Lawrence Editor
John J. Moore Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
Jaime Prades Associate Producer
José Lopez Rodero Asst. Director
Miklós Rózsa Score Composer
Mario Van Riel Makeup
Michael Waszynski Associate Producer
Alex C. Weldon Special Effects
Philip Yordan Screenwriter

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Cid
1. Overture [3:27]
2. Opening Titles [2:43]
3. Spain, 1080 [2:37]
4. The Shortest Road [2:20]
5. We Call Such a Man 'El Cid' [5:23]
6. How Love Keeps Time [2:55]
7. Tell Me What Has Happened [6:56]
8. How Can They Call it Treason? [4:21]
9. Can a Man Live Without Honor? [10:38]
10. Take Up the Gauntlet [4:39]
11. The Fight For Calahorra [8:55]
12. Then I Will Kill Him [1:32]
13. May You Vanquish All Our Enemies [3:59]
14. Betrayed by a Christian Saved by a Moor [3:59]
15. Volo! [3:21]
16. Small Ghosts [4:11]
17. A Wound too Deep [2:35]
18. Not Within These Walls [1:12]
19. The Kingdom Will Not Be Divided [3:21]
20. Thriteen Times Thirteen [:27]
21. Our Moment Has Come [3:39]
22. It Must Happen Without Me [3:29]
23. Almost a King [2:36]
24. A Queen's Demand [5:04]
25. Oath on the Holy Books [2:05]
26. Exiled [5:23]
27. There is Only One Man... [1:44]
28. There Are Eyes Everywhere [3:57]
29. A New Life [1:25]
30. For Spain! [2:44]
31. The Severed Arm [2:05]
32. The Dream Was Short [:58]
Disc #2 -- Cid
1. Summoned by the King [3:07]
2. Our Best Protection [4:26]
3. Bend of the River [2:03]
4. It Takes More Than Courage [3:58]
5. Am I Not a Man, Too? [1:16]
6. Help Me to Escape [1:43]
7. The Ride into Camp [3:53]
8. We Bring You Bread [6:44]
9. The Crown of Valencia [4:38]
10. The Coming Storm [5:25]
11. A Single Arrow [8:39]
12. The Heart is Wounded [3:03]
13. Two Promises to Keep [8:59]
14. Out of the Gates of History [6:05]
15. End Credits [:13]
16. Exit Music [2:03]


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El Cid 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This movie has a great story and even if it is long as such flims may be it's done so that you don't leave anything out there is enough action to keep you watching and the actors keep you wanting to find out what may happen next, Heston and Loren do carry the flim very well who ever said the movie is borring and long must be someone who only wants more Bravehart which is another great flim but these are two different flims this one is worth watching thank you. C.R.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Theaterfan More than 1 year ago
One of the most overrated and boring movies I've ever seen. I bought this to see it in widescreen (which I hadn't seen since its original release). The DVD looks great but the movie is one long bore. Heaston and Loren act as if they were in two different movies. Although taking place over several years Loren never ages, her makeup is always perfect, and her costumes are designer fashions (the movie is so boring that this is what you concentrate on). The action sequences go on forever and you lose focus of who's who and what the point is. Only Miklos Rozsa's score is memorable but you can get a highlights CD without sitting through this. I'm sorry I bought this as I won't sit through it again.