Rudolph Valentino's switch to a St Anthony type comes as a shock. The essential moral conflict of the bullfighter never gets to the surface. He is just a bewildered simpleton, which makes his gaudy clothes ridiculous.

Rudolph Valentino’s switch to a St Anthony type comes as a shock. The essential moral conflict of the bullfighter never gets to the surface. He is just a bewildered simpleton, which makes his gaudy clothes ridiculous.

The story [from the novel by Vicente Blasco Ibanez and the play by Tom Cushing] has many picturesque elements but it is episodic and scattered. It starts with the theme of a humble shoemaker raised to eminence as a national hero of the bull ring and an idol of the people.

Soon the problem is changed to ‘What will be the fate of a man who lives by blood and cruelty?’ Then the conflict appears to be an attack on the institution of the bull fight.

‘Poor matador; poor beast,’ says the benign philosopher, ‘But the real bull is out there (the crowd around the arena). There is the beast with 10,000 heads’.

Blood and Sand

Production

Paramount. Director Fred Niblo; Producer Jesse L. Lasky; Screenplay June Mathis; Camera Alvin Wyckoff

Crew

Silent. (B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1922. Running time: 110 MIN.

With

Rudolph Valentino Lila Lee Nita Naldi George Field Walter Long Rose Rosanova

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