7.3/10
10,516
94 user 32 critic

El Cid (1961)

The fabled Spanish hero Rodrigo Diaz (a.k.a. El Cid) overcomes a family vendetta and court intrigue to defend Christian Spain against the Moors.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | History | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The death of Marcus Aurelius leads to a succession crisis, in which the deceased emperor's son, Commodus, demonstrates that he is unwilling to let anything undermine his claim to the Roman Empire.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Sophia Loren, Stephen Boyd, Alec Guinness
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

During the 1900 Boxer Rebellion against foreigners in China, U.S. Marine Major Matt Lewis, aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson, devises a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Guy Green
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, David Niven
Quo Vadis (1951)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A fierce Roman commander becomes infatuated with a beautiful Christian hostage and begins questioning the tyrannical leadership of the despot Emperor Nero.

Directors: Mervyn LeRoy, Anthony Mann
Stars: Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, Leo Genn
The War Lord (1965)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A knight in the service of a duke goes to a coastal villiage where an earlier attempt to build a defensive castle has failed. He begins to rebuild the duke's authority in the face of the ... See full summary »

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Charlton Heston, Richard Boone, Rosemary Forsyth
Khartoum (1966)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In the Sudan, in 1884-85, Egyptian forces led by a British general defend Khartoum against an invading Muslim army led by a religious fanatic, the Mahdi.

Directors: Basil Dearden, Eliot Elisofon
Stars: Charlton Heston, Laurence Olivier, Richard Johnson
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter
The Robe (1953)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the Roman province of Judea during the 1st century, Roman tribune Marcellus Gallio is ordered to crucify Jesus of Nazareth but is tormented by his guilty conscience afterwards.

Director: Henry Koster
Stars: Richard Burton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The biographical story of Michelangelo's troubles while painting the Sistine Chapel at the urging of Pope Julius II.

Director: Carol Reed
Stars: Charlton Heston, Rex Harrison, Diane Cilento
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The life of Jesus Christ.

Directors: George Stevens, David Lean, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Max von Sydow, Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston
Animation | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Rodrigo's life as a child was a noble and happy one, he entered school at a young age. Often he went on adventures with his best friend Sancho and often visited his beloved one Jimena, the ... See full summary »

Director: Jose Pozo
Stars: Nacho Castaño, Manel Fuentes, Sancho Gracia
King of Kings (1961)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The temporary physical life of everyone's Savior, Jesus Christ.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Siobhan McKenna, Hurd Hatfield
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Princess Urraca (as Genevieve Page)
...
...
...
Arias
...
Fanez
...
Al Kadir
...
Don Diego
Andrew Cruickshank ...
Douglas Wilmer ...
...
Priest
Ralph Truman ...
Christopher Rhodes ...
Don Martín
Edit

Storyline

Epic film of the legendary Spanish hero, Rodrigo Diaz ("El Cid" to his followers), who, without compromising his strict sense of honour, still succeeds in taking the initiative and driving the Moors from Spain. Written by Stewart M. Clamen <clamen@cs.cmu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Lover, Leader, Living Legend! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

14 December 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Sid  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,250,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$26,620,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(some 35 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ben Barzman and Basilio Franchina worked uncredited on the screenplay. See more »

Goofs

After talking with Rodrigo on their wedding night, Jimena has a stern look on her face. With the next cut, slightly closer, she is visibly upset with tears already streaming down her face. See more »

Quotes

El Cid: Our dream was short.
Jimena: I know. There is no place hidden for a man like you. There must be thousands who would gladly part. Why you? Why me?
El Cid: Please, let me carry away an image of you smiling.
Jimena: It would be a lie. I will beseech God with my prayers. I will tell Him He must bring you back to me. I must tell God how much I need you.
El Cid: Then we *will* see each other again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Feud: And the Winner Is... (The Oscars of 1963) (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

The Falcon and the Dove
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Performed by Chorus
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of the classic epic films of all time
15 March 1999 | by (North Woodmere, NY) – See all my reviews

In 1961 Anthony Mann's epic tale of the Spanish hero "El Cid" burst across the wide screens of theatres. This was the kind of film that 70mm was made for. Charlton Heston is Rodrigo de Bivar, and Sophia Loren is his legendary love, Chimene. Their course of love will not be a smooth one. When he kills her father as a matter of honor, she vows vengeance and sets in motion the series of events which will forever change their lives. The Christian Spaniards are ruled by local kingdoms each vying for rule of the nation. When one king challenges El Cid's monarch, Heston volunteers to fight to the death to determine the fate of the city of Calahorra, and at the same time vindicate himself of the treason he was accused of by Loren's father. This fight for Calahorra is one of the most memorable action sequences ever committed to film. It opens with Miklos Rozsa's heraldic fanfare as the two knights take their places on the jousting field. The two kings watch from either side. The ensuing duel is brutal with a predictable, but decisive outcome. The lovers are eventually married, but only to be separated again as El Cid is called to protect Spain from the marauding Moors swarming across the Mediterranean from Africa. The Spanish Moors join with the Cid to take the city of Valencia where the enemy will attack. It is here that one of the great battle scenes takes place, actually filmed in the shadow of the walled city of Peniscola on the coast of Spain. The two armies charge eachother in a cacaphony of horses, shouts and Rozsa's rousing musical score. The sky is darkened by the thousands of flying arrows streaking across to the enemy. This is the kind of movie that they just don't make anymore. What a pity! The final sequence shows the eerie onslaught of the Spanish army lead by the fallen El Cid strapped to his steed and causing the Moors to flee in terror at his seeming resurrection. Rozsa's organ music swells as El Cid rides into the sunset along the deserted beach and into immortality. In the mid 90's after many years of not being available, "El Cid" was shown again in its 70mm splendor. It was then released on video. The superb Criterion laserdisc version contains the full Technirama letterboxed image and a restored mult-channel soundtrack in Dolby Digital. An excellent supplementary section has interviews with Charlton Heston and others. Heston says that "El Cid" would have been an even more enduring classic if William Wyler ("Ben-Hur") had directed it. However, Anthony Mann has nothing to be ashamed of. Aside from some wooden acting and some scenery chewing here and there, the richness of the story and the elaborate production design, paired with the fine performance of Heston and Miklos Rozsa's impassioned score, surely place "El Cid" in the Hall of Fame of great film epics.


61 of 90 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?