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Sombrero

Sombrero(1953)

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NOTES

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The working title of this film was Mexican Village. The film opens with an onscreen dedication thanking the Mexican government and citizens for their cooperation and hospitality. The character "Pepe Gonzales" addresses the audience at the beginning of the film, explaining why he defaces the pictures of the beauty contestants and speculating that he and his friends are likely to remain bachelors. According to information in the film's press kit, Ralph de Lara wrote the lyrics to "Gypsy Dance," but the song was only performed as an instrumental number in the film. The press materials also indicate that flamenco dancer Jos Greco, who made his American motion picture debut in the film, performed a guitar solo in the "Farruca Flamenca" number. A modern source credits Stanley Donen with staging this number.
       Pre-production news items in Hollywood Reporter reported that Ava Gardner and Fernando Lamas would co-star with Ricardo Montalbn. According to items in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column, Lamas refused to go to Mexico for Sombrero, thus leading to his suspension from M-G-M, because he did not want to leave Hollywood, where Lana Turner, with whom he was then involved, was filming The Bad and the Beautiful with Kirk Douglas. According to a May 27, 1952 Daily Variety news item, Cornel Wilde was offered the role of "Alejandro Castillo," and Vittorio Gassman was originally cast in the role of "Rubn." The news item also adds Lewis Stone to the cast, but he was not in the film.
       Sombrero was filmed on location in Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Tetecala and Tepoztln, Mexico. According to a September 28, 1952 article in New York Times, the small towns of Tetecala and Tepoztln embraced the production because they believed the creative team would portray the Mexican people sympathetically. The film opened in Mexico City on February 18, 1954. The Variety review stated Sombrero was Italian actor Vittorio Gassman's first American film, but he had previously made The Glass Wall (see entry above), which had its premiere in March 1953. Sombrero did, however, mark the feature film debut of actor Rick Jason. Modern sources add Pascual Garca Pea to the cast.