Blood and Sand
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRouben Mamoulian
Screenplay byJo Swerling
Based onthe novel
by Vicente Blasco Ibanez
Produced byAssociate producer:
Robert T. Kane
Darryl F. Zanuck
StarringTyrone Power
Linda Darnell
Rita Hayworth
Anthony Quinn
J. Carrol Naish
Lynn Bari
John Carradine
Laird Cregar
Monty Banks
Vicente Gomez
CinematographyErnest Palmer, A.S.C.
Ray Rennahan, A.S.C.
Edited byRobert Bischoff
Music byAlfred Newman
Vicente Gomez
Color processTechnicolor
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • May 22, 1941 (1941-05-22)
Running time
125 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,717,200[1]

Blood and Sand is a 1941 American romantic Technicolor film starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Rita Hayworth and Nazimova. Directed by Rouben Mamoulian, it was produced by 20th Century Fox and was based on the 1908 Spanish novel Blood and Sand (Sangre y arena) by Vicente Blasco Ibanez.[2] The supporting cast features Anthony Quinn, Lynn Bari, Laird Cregar, J. Carrol Naish, John Carradine and George Reeves. Rita Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Gracilla Pirraga.

Other versions of Blood and Sand include a 1922 version produced by Paramount Pictures and starring Rudolph Valentino, a 1916 version filmed by Blasco Ibanez with the help of Max André, and a 1989 version starring Christopher Rydell and Sharon Stone.

Blood and Sand was the fourth and last film 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 wants to be a bullfighter like his dead father. Before leaving Seville for Madrid to pursue his dream of success in the bullring, he promises his aristocratic child sweetheart Carmen Espinosa that he will return when he is a success and marry her. Ten years later, after achieving success as a matador, Juan returns to Seville. He uses his winnings to help his impoverished family and fulfills his promise to marry Carmen. His fame and wealth grow, and he becomes Spain's most acclaimed matador. As critics heap praises upon Juan's talent, he catches the eye of sultry socialite Doña Sol at one of his bullfights.

Hayworth and Power

Juan is blinded by the attention his fame has brought and Doña Sol finds it easy to lead him astray. He soon neglects his wife, family, and training in favor of her privileged, decadent lifestyle. As a result, his performance in the bullring suffers. Not only does he fall from position as the premiere matador of Spain, but his extravagant lifestyle loses his savings, suppliers, and employees. His manager warns Juan that he is headed for destruction but Juan refuses his advice. With falling fame and finances, there comes rejection by everyone once important to him. Even Carmen leaves him, while Doña Sol moves on to new up-and-coming matador Manolo de Palma, one of Juan's childhood friends.

After losing everything, a repentant Juan begs 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. Juan dies in the arms of Carmen as the crowd cheers Manolo's victory over the bull. Manolo bows to the fickle crowd near the stain left in the sand by Juan's blood.


Tyrone Power as Juan Linda Darnell as Carmen Espinosa
Rita Hayworth as Doña Sol Nazimova as Senora Augustias
Anthony Quinn as Manolo de Palma J. Carrol Naish as Garabato
Lynn Bari as Encarnacion John Carradine as Nacional
Laird Cregar as Natalio Curro
Actor Role
William Montague Antonio Lopez
Vicente Gomez Guitarist
George Reeves Captain Pierre Lauren
Pedro deCordoba Don José Alvarez
Fortunio Bonanova Pedro Espinosa
Victor Kilian Priest
Michael Morris La Pulga
Charles Stevens Pablo Gomez
Ann Todd Carmen (as a child)
Cora Sue Collins Encarnacion (as a child)
Russell Hicks Marquis
Maurice Cass El Milquetoast
Rex Downing Juan (as a child)
John Wallace Francisco
Jacqueline Dalya Gachi
Cullen Johnson Manolo (as a child)
Larry Harris Pablo (as a child)
Ted Frye La Pulga (as a child)
Schuyler Standish Nacional (as a child)
Uncredited (in order of appearance)
Fred Malatesta waiter serving Natalio Curro
Michael Visaroff patron at cantina
Rafael Alcayde patron at cantina
Elena Verdugo specialty dancer at cantina
Francis McDonald Manolo's friend
Esther Estrella girl who gazes admiringly at Juan
Cecilia Callejo girl who gazes admiringly at Juan
Barry Norton guest at Dona Sol's dinner and reception
Bess Flowers guest at Dona Sol's dinner and reception
Kay Linaker guest at Dona Sol's dinner and reception
Julian Rivero spectator at bullfight
Gino Corrado waiter who serves Juan at cantina


Hayworth and Power

Over 30 actresses were considered for the role of Doña Sol, including Gene Tierney and Dorothy Lamour.[4] After Carole Landis, Zanuck's original choice, 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 so he could alter the color of props at a moment's notice. He also painted shadows onto walls rather than changing the lighting.[5]

The film's exterior long shots were filmed in Mexico City Plaza de Toros.[6] The famous bullfighter Armillita instructed Power and other cast members and doubled as Power in some of the bullfighting sequences shot on location. Tailor Jose Dolores Perez copied two of Armillita's elaborate matador suits for the film.[6]

Oscar "Budd" Boetticher Jr. served as a technical advisor. This was his first film. He also worked with Power on bullfighting techniques and helped dance director Geneva Sawyer to choreograph the dance between Hayworth and Anthony Quinn.[6]

Rita Hayworth's singing voice was dubbed by Graciela Párraga.[7][8]

Unlike most films at the time, Blood and Sand was not previewed, but premiered uncut at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in May 1941.[5]

A Lux Radio Theatre version of the story, starring Power and his then-wife Annabella as Carmen, was broadcast on October 20, 1941.[6]


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

Variety praised the picture, adding: "Especially effective are the bullfight arena sequences...Power delivers a persuasive performance as Ibanez's hero while Darnell is pretty and naive as the young wife. Hayworth is excellent as the vamp and catches major attention on a par with Nazimova, who gives a corking performance as Power's mother."[9]

On the other hand, The New York Times' review (signed T.S.)[10] was very negative: "For there is too little drama, too little blood and sand, in it. Instead the story constantly bogs down in the most atrocious romantic cliches... (There are) glimpses of a stunning romantic melodrama with somber overtones. But most of the essential cruelty of the theme is lost in pretty colors and rhetorical speeches...The better performances come in the lesser roles—Laird Cregar as an effeminate aficionado, J. Carrol Naish as a broken matador, John Carradine as a grumbling member of the quadrilla. For one enthralling moment Vicente Gomez, the musician, appears on the screen. If the film had only caught the barbaric pulse of Gomez's incomparable fingers at the guitar, there would be good cause for cheers. Instead it has been content for the most part to posture beautifully...".[10]

Leonard Maltin gives the film three out of four stars, describing it as a "Pastel remake of Valentino's silent film about naive bullfighter who ignores true love (Darnell) for temptress (Hayworth). Slow-paced romance uplifted by Nazimova's knowing performance as Power's mother; beautiful color production earned cinematographers Ernest Palmer and Ray Rennahan Oscars."[11]



The film won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography. It also was nominated for Best Art Direction (Richard Day, Joseph C. Wright and Thomas Little).[13]


  1. ^ a b c 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 February 3, 2018.
  5. ^ a b 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. ^ a b c d "Blood and Sand (1941) – Notes –". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  7. ^ "Discover the voice of Graciela Párraga this Hispanic Heritage Month". Recorded Sound Archives. September 27, 2019. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  8. ^ and the AFI Catalog misspell Párraga's name.
  9. ^ "Blood and Sand". Variety. January 1, 1941. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  10. ^ a b S, T. (May 23, 1941). "At the Roxy". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  11. ^ "Blood and Sand (1941) – Overview –". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  12. ^ Pilcher, Jeffrey M. (2000). Cantinflas and the chaos of Mexican modernity. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 78–79. ISBN 0-8420-2771-8.
  13. ^ "Movies: Blood and Sand". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. 2009. Archived from the original on September 6, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2008.

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