MATADOR, THE (aka: THE NUMBER ONE)
(director: Budd Boetticher; screenwriters: Charles
Lang/story by Budd Boetticher;
cinematographer: Lucien Ballard; editor: Richard Cahoon;
Kraushaar; cast: Maureen O'Hara (Karen Harrison), Anthony Quinn (Luís Santos),
Manuel Rojas (Rafael Reyes), Richard Denning (Mark Russell ), Lola Albright
(Mona Wilton), Thomas
Gomez (Don David), William Brooks Ching (Jody Wilton), Jesús "Chucho"
Solórzano (Himself), Eduardo Noriega (Miguel),
Lorraine Chanel (Sarita
Sebastian); Runtime: 94; MPAA Rating: NR;
L. Alperson; 20th Century Fox; 1955)
"Ole! A shrill bullfight story with a contrived soap opera romance between an aging celebrated Mexican bullfighter and a fawning wealthy American."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Ole! A shrill bullfight story with a contrived soap opera romance between an aging celebrated Mexican bullfighter and a fawning wealthy American society woman. Director Budd Boetticher ("Missing Juror"/"Seminole"/"Bullfighter and the Lady") is good on the local bullfighting color, but weak on the overwrought melodramatics. It's based on the story written by the director and the script is handled by Charles Lang.
On the night before a big
bullfight in El
Toreo, in Mexico
City, where the legendary Mexican matador Luís
Quinn) is to
appear with his 18-year-old protégé
Rafael Reyes (Manuel Rojas), Luis has a dream with the
premonition of death and believes in the dream so much
that he risks ruining his illustrious reputation by
running away from the match and angering the crowd
into thinking he's lost his nerve. Society lady Karen Harrison (Maureen O'Hara), who knew the matador
previously, follows him in her car and persuades the
reluctant brooding diva to hide-out from the media in
her exclusive ranch.
Warning: spoiler to follow.
While Luis anguishes over
his reason for not fighting, without telling a soul,
Karen must deal with her boorish drunken rejected
American lover Mark Russell (Richard Denning) and to get Luis to open up
about what's bothering him. When they stay-over at the
ranch of Don
trusted friend and the supplier of first-class bulls
to the ring,
Luis reveals to Karen his closely guarded secret.
Karen then talks him into appearing in the ring with
the idol-worshiping Raphael, who we at last learn, if
we haven't figured it out already, that Rafael is his
illegitimate son that he provided for but never
acknowledged when his girlfriend died at childbirth.
We also learn that the dream had his son dying and he
didn't know how to prevent that but by not fighting
REVIEWED ON 2/6/2012 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ