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Sombrero

Sombrero(1953)

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teaser Sombrero (1953)

MGM showcased the beauties of Mexico and a young, attractive cast in this adaptation of Josefina Niggli's short story collection Mexican Village. Niggli and director Norman Foster, adapted the stories about three young men in love. Cheesemaker Ricardo Montalban falls for a girl (Pier Angeli) from a rival village. Young nobleman Vittorio Gassman loves town pariah Yvonne De Carlo, but she convinces him to marry the more acceptable Nina Foch. And candy vendor Rick Jason (in his film debut) falls for Cyd Charisse, the sister of possessive bullfighter Jos Greco. At times, the plot takes a backseat to the splendors of Mexico. Veteran cameraman Ray June captured Technicolor scenes in Mexico City, Cuernavaca and the small towns of Tepoztln and Tetecala. Location shooting cost the film Fernando Lamas, originally slated for Gassman's role, when he refused to leave sweetheart Lana Turner behind in Hollywood. Instead, Gassman took over and his original role, the candy vendor, went to Rick Jason decades before he found stardom on TV's Combat series. The film features a few musical numbers, most notably Greco's energetic flamenco in the first U.S. film to capture his artistry. There's also a beautifully performed but decidedly strange number for Charisse, who dances out her psychological conflicts under Hermes Pan's direction (some sources credit Stanley Donen) on a studio-built mountaintop.

By Frank Miller

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