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Blood and Sand

Blood and Sand(1941)

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According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, Hedy Lamarr was considered for the part of "Doa Sol." A January 20, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that after M-G-M refused to loan Lamarr to Twentieth Century-Fox for the role, Mona Maris was tested for it. On January 29, 1941, Hollywood Reporter announced that Lynn Bari, who appears in the finished film as "Encarnacion," was assigned "to the role for which the studio tried to borrow" Lamarr. Modern sources note that Carole Landis, Jane Russell, Gene Tierney, Dorothy Lamour and Maria Montez were also considered for the part, for which Rita Hayworth was borrowed from Columbia. In February 1941, Hollywood Reporter news items noted that Patricia Morison, a Paramount contract player, was being tested for "one of the top roles," and that Sigrid Gurie was also tested for the film. Neither actress appears in the completed picture, however. According to a November 27, 1940 Hollywood Reporter news item, Cesar Romero was set for a role in the picture and was to receive co-star billing with Tyrone Power. Although Hollywood Reporter production charts include Alan Curtis in the cast, he was not in the released film. According to studio publicity and information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, also located at UCLA, renowned bullfighter Armillita instructed Power and other cast members in bullfighting techniques, as well as serving as Power's double in some of the bullfighting sequences shot on location. The legal records note that tailor Jose Dolores Perez made exact copies of two of Armillita's matador suits to be worn as costumes by Power. Contemporary sources indicate that the bullfighting sequences and other background material were shot on location in Mexico City, although Power was the only cast member involved in the location shooting. Although a March 3, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that a "Spanish bullring yarn" by Fortunio Bonanova, entitled La vida y milagros, was purchased by Twentieth Century-Fox "as a protective vehicle for possible follow-up with same cast if Blood and Sand proves a smash," Bonanova's novel was not produced as a film. An April 11, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Bonanova wrote two Spanish songs entitled "Spanish Gypsy Song" and "Flamenco," which were to be sung by him in the picture, but studio records credit Bonanova with contributing only one song, "Tu no te llamas," to the completed picture. According to an April 1941 Hollywood Reporter news items, the trailer for the picture was to be the first Technicolor trailer produced by the studio. On May 1, 1941, Hollywood Reporter announced Zanuck's decision to release the film at its "present length" of 125 minutes, rather than following the original plan to cut it to 90 minutes. The news item also stated that the picture was scheduled "for a sneak preview below the border, probably in Hermosillo, Sonora, to get the reaction of Latin Americans to the film." According to a letter in the film's file in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, Twentieth Century-Fox intended to prepare "a special edition" of the picture for "circulation in South American countries." The purpose of the alternate version was to "include certain bullfighting scenes, which while they would not be acceptable in the American version, will, nevertheless, be accepted in countries where bullfighting is permitted." No other information about an alternate version of the film has been found. Blood and Sand received an Academy Award for Best Cinematography (color) and nominations for Best Art Direction and Interior Decoration. Blood and Sand marked the first film work of technical advisor Oscar "Budd" Boetticher, Jr., who began directing films in the mid-1940s, several of which dealt with bullfighting. According to contemporary sources, Boetticher was in Mexico at the time of filming studying the techniques of bullfighting, which he taught to Power. Along with dance director Geneva Sawyer, Boetticher helped to stage the "El Torero" dance between Hayworth and Anthony Quinn. The picture also marked the return to Hollywood of actor/director Monty Banks, who is billed onscreen as William Montague. Although Banks had appeared as an actor in several English productions during the 1930s, his last appearance in an American film had been in the 1928 picture A Perfect Gentleman. Modern sources note that Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Graciela Prranga. Vicente Blasco Ibez' novel was dramatized by Tom Cushing in a play entitled Blood and Sand (New York, 20 September 1921). Although Twentieth Century-Fox purchased the rights to Cushing's play, as well as to the novel, studio records indicate that no material from the play was used in the 1941 film. Blasco Ibez' novel was first filmed in a five-reel, Spanish-made version, which was distributed in the United States by Cosmos-Kinema in May 1917. In 1922, Fred Niblo directed Valentino, Nita Naldi and Lila Lee in a Paramount production of the novel (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.0478). According to studio records, Twentieth Century-Fox contemplated filming the novel again in 1957, with Sophia Loren in the role of "Doa Sol," but did not due to difficulties in clearing the rights. A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, starring Power and his real-life wife Annabella as "Carmen," was broadcast on October 20, 1941.