Blood and Sand (1941 film)

Blood and Sand (1941) is a romantic melodrama Technicolor film directed by Rouben Mamoulian, produced by 20th Century Fox, and starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth, and Alla Nazimova. It is based on the 1908 Spanish novel which was critical of bullfighting, Blood and Sand (Sangre y arena), by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez.[2] The supporting cast features Anthony Quinn, Lynn Bari, Laird Cregar, J. Carrol Naish, John Carradine and George Reeves.

Blood and Sand
Original film poster
Directed byRouben Mamoulian
Produced byAssociate producer:
Robert Kane
Darryl F. Zanuck
Screenplay byJo Swerling
Based onSangre y arena
1908 novel
by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez
StarringTyrone Power
Linda Darnell
Rita Hayworth
Alla Nazimova
Anthony Quinn
Lynn Bari
J. Carrol Naish
John Carradine
Music byAlfred Newman
Vicente Gómez
CinematographyErnest Palmer
Ray Rennahan
Edited byRobert Bischoff
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
May 22, 1941
Running time
125 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,717,200[1]

Rita Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Gracilla Pirraga.

There are two earlier versions of Blood and Sand, a 1922 version produced by Paramount Pictures, and starring Rudolph Valentino, and a 1916 version filmed by Blasco Ibáñez himself with the help of Max André, and a later 1989 version starring Christopher Rydell and Sharon Stone.

This film was the fourth and last in which Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell worked together: the others were; Day-Time Wife (1939); Brigham Young (1940) and The Mark of Zorro (1940).[3]


As a child, Juan Gallardo (Rex Downing) wants only to become a bullfighter like his dead father. One night he has an argument with the pompous critic Natalio Curro (Laird Cregar) who asserted Juan's father's lack of talent in the bullring. The argument spurs Juan to travel to Madrid and achieve his dream of success in the bullring. Before leaving, he promises his aristocratic child sweetheart Carmen Espinosa (Ann E. Todd) he will return when he is a success and marry her.

Ten years later, Juan Gallardo (now played by Tyrone Power) returns to Seville. He has become a matador and uses his winnings to help his impoverished family. He sets his mother (Alla Nazimova) up in a fine house and enables her to give up her work as a scrubwoman. He also lavishes money on his sister Encarnacion (Lynn Bari) and her fiancé Antonio (William Montague) so they can open a business and wed. He hires ex-bullfighter Garabato (J. Carrol Naish), who has become a beggar, as his servant. Best of all, he is now able to marry his childhood sweetheart Carmen (Linda Darnell) as he had promised.

Juan's wealth and fame continue to grow along with his talents as a bullfighter. Eventually he becomes Spain's most acclaimed matador. Even the once scornful critic Curro now lavishes praises upon Juan and brags that it was he who discovered Juan's talent. Although Juan remains illiterate, doors open to society and he catches the eye of sultry socialite Doña Sol des Muire (Rita Hayworth) at one of his bullfights.

Juan is blinded by the attention his fame has brought and Doña Sol finds it easy to lead him astray. He soon begins to neglect his wife, family and training in favor of her privileged and decadent lifestyle. His performance in the bullring suffers from his excesses and he falls from his position as the premiere matador of Spain while his extravagant lifestyle means that he has no savings and fails to pay suppliers and employees. His manager warns Juan that he is heading for destruction but Juan refuses to accept his advice. With falling fame and income comes rejection by everyone once important to him, while Carmen leaves him after she learns of his affair. With his fame now gone, Doña Sol moves on to new up and coming matador Manolo de Palma (Anthony Quinn), Juan's childhood friend.

After losing everything, a repentant Juan begs for forgiveness and is taken back by Carmen. He promises her to leave bullfighting but wishes to have one final bullfight to prove he is still a great matador. His prayers for one last success, however, are not answered and, like his father before him, he is gored by the bull. Garabato angrily says the "beast" is the crowd, not the bull. Juan dies in the arms of Carmen as the crowd cheers for Manolo's victory over the bull. Manolo bows to the fickle crowd near the bloodstain left in the sand by Juan.

Main cast and characters

Tyrone Power as Juan GallardoLinda Darnell as Carmen Espinosa
Rita Hayworth as Doña Sol des MuireAlla Nazimova as Señora Angustias
Anthony Quinn as Manolo de PalmaJ. Carrol Naish as Garabato
Lynn Bari as EncarnaciónJohn Carradine as El Nacional
Laird Cregar as Natalio Curro
Monty BanksAntonio López
Vicente Gómez (composer)Guitarist
George ReevesCaptain Pierre Lauren
Pedro de CordobaDon José Álvarez
Fortunio BonanovaPedro Espinosa
Victor KilianPriest
Adrian Morris as Michael MorrisLa Pulga
Charles StevensPablo Gómez
Cora Sue CollinsEncarnación (as a child)
Rex DowningJuan (as a child)
Ann E. ToddCarmen (as a child) (as Ann Todd)


Over thirty actresses were considered for the role of Doña Sol, including Gene Tierney and Dorothy Lamour.[4] After Zanuck's original choice, Carole Landis, refused to dye her hair red for the role, Rita Hayworth was cast. Rouben Mamoulian's sets were inspired by the works of painters El Greco, Goya and Velázquez. During shooting he carried paint spray guns in order to be able to alter the color of props at a moment's notice. He also painted shadows onto walls rather than changing the lighting. The film's exterior long shots were filmed in the Plaza de Toros in Mexico City and Oscar "Budd" Boetticher Jr. served as the film's technical director for bullfighting. Unlike most films, Blood and Sand was not previewed, but premiered uncut at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in May 1941.[5]


The film was a big hit and earned a profit of $662,500.[1]



The film won an Oscar for Best Cinematography. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction (Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright and Thomas Little).[7]



  1. Mank, Gregory William (2018). Laird Cregar: A Hollywood Tragedy. McFarland.
  2. Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1919) Blood and Sand p. vii, E. P. Dutton, New York
  3. Most Popular Films &c. with Tyrone Power And Linda Darnell
  4. "Blood and Sand". American Film Institute. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  5. Kobal, John (1977). Rita Hayworth: The Time, the Place and the Woman. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. pp. 114–123. ISBN 0-393-07526-5.
  6. Pilcher, Jeffrey M. (2000). Cantinflas and the chaos of Mexican modernity. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-8420-2771-8.
  7. "Movies: Blood and Sand". New York Times. Sep 30, 2014. Retrieved 2008-12-14.
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