One of the great colour films (with Mamoulian taking the inspiration for his lush visuals from Spanish masters like Goya, Velasquez and El Greco), this is melodramatic romance of the first order. The story is hardly a stunner, taken from Ibañez and telling of a young man's rags-to-riches rise as a matador, only to fall under the spell of Hayworth's aristocratic temptress, who lures him away from virginal childhood sweetheart Darnell. What makes the film so enjoyable is the sheer elegance of the execution, with Mamoulian's sense of rhythm, the rich Technicolor, and Richard Day's sets conjuring up an imaginary Spain of the heart, poignant location of love in the shadows and death in the afternoon.
Cast and crew
J Carrol Naish