Hermoso ideal


1h 20m 1948

Brief Synopsis

Two childhood friends join the French Foreign Legion.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Foreign
Romance
Release Date
1948
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Beau Ideal by Percival Christopher Wren (London, 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m

Synopsis

In San Ignacio, Mexico, Don Agustín Landa y Rincón hosts a fiesta in honor of his Spanish friends, ambassador Don Luis de Argote and Don Pedro Rubio and their children, who are returning to Spain. Don Luis is the father of Pablo and Luis, while Don Pedro has a daughter, Isabel. After the fiesta, Don Agustín's son Rafael and Pablo engage in a mock jousting match for the hand of the "Princess" Isabel. Pablo defeats Rafael, but Isabel and Rafael, for whom Isabel truly cares, bury one of her gloves and vow to recover it when she returns to Mexico. Many years pass and, in the early 1930s in Spain, Isabel, now an adult, is engaged to marry Pablo. However, it is discovered that Pablo's brother Luis has misused official documents entrusted to his father and fled the country to join the French Foreign Legion. As Pablo feels that a great shame has fallen on his family, he suggests that he and Isabel break their engagement. Pablo intends to go to Africa to find Luis and bring him back, but Isabel states that she will wait for him. Meanwhile, Rafael leaves Mexico for Spain to buy bulls for his father from Don Pedro and takes Isabel's glove with him. Rafael meets Isabel again at a bullfight and, although at first she does not recognize him, their romance is rekindled. When the time comes for him to return to Mexico, Isabel tells Rafael that they have received news that Luis was killed by a Legion officer and that Pablo killed the same officer and is now serving in a remote penal battalion. Isabel is torn between Rafael and Pablo, and Rafael decides to join the Legion to try to find his rival. In Morocco, Rafael joins up with a new batch of recruits and is one of a group of four chosen to provide a special escort for the Legion's colonel, who is to meet the Emir and the tribal chiefs to try to ensure continued peace between them. Later, during a march across the desert, Rafael deliberately provokes an incident with his captain in the hope of being sent to the penal battalion. However, when the captain loses his compass, the troop becomes lost in a sandstorm. Some of the soldiers rebel against the captain and one of them shoots him. The wounded captain asks Rafael to take over command, but many of the mutineers will not follow him. As this confrontation takes place, the colonel, with another troop, finds them. However, the captain dies before making a complete report to the colonel, and Rafael poses as the instigator of the mutiny in order to reach Pablo's camp. Rafael is court-martialed and is sentenced to eight years hard labor. However, at the penal battalion's base, the prisoners follow the Legion code of not revealing their true identities so Rafael has no way of knowing which man is Pablo. After a disturbance, Rafael and several others are placed in a deep well, which serves as a dungeon, to await execution. However, because they are concealed underground, they survive an Arab attack which drives off all the Legionaires. Unable to escape, one by one they die until only Rafael and another man are left alive. As soon as Rafael discovers that the other man is Pablo, the Emir and his followers arrive at the camp and take them hostage. Rafael tells Pablo that he intends for them to return to Isabel so that she can choose between them. However, Pablo is turned over to the Legion and Rafael manages to escape. When the Arabs next attack the fort, Rafael is concealed among them. He reveals himself to Pablo, who momentarily considers shooting his rival, but instead helps him into the safety of the fort. Rafael shoots the Emir and the remaining Arabs are driven off by reinforcements. As a reward for their bravery, the colonel pardons Rafael and Pablo, and they return to Spain as friends. Isabel chooses to spend the rest of her life with Rafael and Pablo accepts her decision gracefully.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adventure
Foreign
Romance
Release Date
1948
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Beau Ideal by Percival Christopher Wren (London, 1928).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 20m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Although the viewed print bore a 1947 copyright notice by RKO Radio Pictures, Inc., the film was never registered in the United States. Hermoso ideal is a remake of the 1931 RKO Radio Pictures production Beau Ideal, directed by Herbert Brenon and starring Frank McCormack and Ralph Forbes (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.0253). Certain crowd shots from Beau Ideal were reused in Hermoso ideal. A modern Mexican source adds the following players to the cast: Eduardo Casado (Coronel), Jorge Mondragón (Meyer), Manuel Dondé (Charro), Alfonso Jiménez "Kilómetro", Roberto Cañedo, Rodolfo Acosta, Jorge Arriaga and Julio Ahuet. For more information on the films of Ramex, S.A., please see the entry below for Los que volvieron.