El Cid 1961 movie review. Medieval movie reviews by Hamda. Legendary El Cid movie with Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren.
El Cid 1961 is a historical movie over the life of a Christian Knight named Don Rodrigo Diaz De Vivar. He is known as EI Cid. He fought for Spain against the North African Almoravides in the 11th century. The film has been made by Samuel Bronston Productions with the collaboration of Dear Film production.
The story of the movie describes how Rodrigo Diaz fights for his country and save it from the civil war. He defends himself from the threats of the Moors too. The costumes and the design of the movie are splendid. The clash of swords is remarkable too but all these things could not hide the shortcomings of the film. The main leads in the movie were not able to project any real emotions. Charlton Heston and Sofia Loren make a great couple but their performances were not commendable.
There is a lot of melodrama in the movie but surprises are limited. Like typical stories, Diaz in the hero of the movie and he does all what you can expect from a knight. At that time, producing movies with battles was not easy. There were not many films that recalled great battles but the power of EI Cid was mind blowing. Anthony Mann certainly did a great job in making this action movie.
In the movie, General Ibn Yusuf from the Almorayid dynasty has sent the Emirs of Al-Andalus to North Africa where he announces about his intentions of spearing the Islamic world domination. In order to get the girl he wishes to marry (Dona Jimena), Don Rodrigo gets involved in a fight against the Moorish Army. During the battle 2 men are captured but they are released on the condition that they won’t attack the King Fredin and of Castile. These two Emirs they gave him the title “EI Cid” and enter into a promise with him.
Don Rodrigo is invited to become the king to serve the Castile and protect it from the attack of Yusuf’s army. He refuses and becomes a part of the Emirs instead. During the defense, Don Rodrigo gets wounded by an arrow just before the victory. Removing the arrow could make him live but he will not be in a condition to lead the army. Don Rodrigo decides not to take it out and ride out even if he dies. He then dies. When the Yusuf’s army sees his eyes open even after the death, they believe that his ghost has come and hence Yusuf gets scared and the invasion is defeated.
El Cid movie review
The movie is magnificient. Charlton and Sophia are awesome actors. If you like a knight stories, the El Cid is an old classic for you.