At the height of his fame, bullfighter Juan begins an affair with the enchanting socialite Doña Sol. He neglects his wife and throws himself into the decadent high life. In a final attempt to salvage his declining career, he enters the bullring for a decisive corrida ... Director Rouben Mamoulian said his inspirations for the look of the captivating film were the paintings of Goya, El Greco, Velázquez and Murillo. During production, he himself actually turned to brushes and spray guns, in order to apply shading or distress props or costumes. Sequences with those kinds of subdued colours contrast with dramatic colour effects, such as the gleaming sunlight in the bullring that casts the bull and the matador into silhouette. “This effect was well served by the fact that Technicolor colours of the time could easily degenerate into black if there was insufficient light. Basically, it was not a pretty effect, but it was used to advantage in Blood and Sand, where only those parts of the frame that were lit were resplendent with colour, while the rest remained in ominous darkness” (Christine N. Brinckmann in “Glorious Technicolor”, book accompanying the 2015 Retrospective).
by Rouben Mamoulian
with Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth
USA 1941 125’