From the novel Sangre y arena by Blasco Ibañez.
Small town poor boy dreams of being and vows to become a famous bullfighter, then forsakes his faithful wife for a Scarlet Woman…and of course pays for it.
Mr. Otter, the Squirrel Lady, Spider Jerusalem and I went to Niles to see the silent version of this with Rudolph Valentino (He’s SMOKIN’, said the Squirrel Lady. And I had to agree with her.) A couple of weeks later, I got this from Netflix to see how the later version with Tyrone Power compared to the older one.
And I have to say, Valentino wins hands down. Not only is he hotter and more Latin that Power, but he was totally believeable as a bad boy turned famous bullfighter wrapped around the bad girl’s little finger. Charming, sexy, graceful, he was perfect for this role. Power? not so much…he stomped through the movie snarling and smiling alternately, trying to act but not really managing it.
Don’t get me wrong, the later version is not a bad movie- it’s well written and interesting, just not a patch on the original, especially when one can watch Valentino do his thing. The cast of the later movie is good, the production is just fine, and if I hadn’t seen the silent beforehand, I would have liked this one perfectly well.
I’ll drink cheap champagne, too, until I’m offered something more expensive…