Review: ‘The Brave Bulls’

Columbia has a distinctive, offbeat picture in this treatment of Tom Lea's bestseller novel. There's nothing routine in the way it has been filmed, producer-director Robert Rossen apparently preferring to sacrifice some commercial values in favor of an adult handling of the story of a Mexican matador and life and death in the bull arena.

Columbia has a distinctive, offbeat picture in this treatment of Tom Lea’s bestseller novel. There’s nothing routine in the way it has been filmed, producer-director Robert Rossen apparently preferring to sacrifice some commercial values in favor of an adult handling of the story of a Mexican matador and life and death in the bull arena.

The bullfight sequences have a shocker quality that will repel while fascinating. Script deals with a matador who rose to the fleeting status of public idol from a peasant beginning. At the top of his popularity he encounters mental confusion and fear because he doubts his real ability and believes his success comes from the mentoring of his manager-friend.

Rossen’s direction and the camera work by Floyd Crosby and James Wong Howe are alive with the real flavor of Mexico, its bright, hard lights and shadows. Mel Ferrer seems the perfect choice to portray the very human matador. He has practically all of the footage and story emphasis, and dominates every bit of it.

The Brave Bulls

Production

Columbia. Director Robert Rossen; Producer Robert Rossen; Screenplay John Bright; Camera Floyd Crosby, James Wong Howe; Editor Henry Batista, Philip Cook; Art Director Cary Odell

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1951. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Mel Ferrer Miroslava Anthony Quinn Eugene Iglesias Jose Torvay

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