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Blood and Sand

USA, 1922 (MIFF 1978, American Silent Classics)

Director: Fred Niblo

Edited version.

When Juan Gallardo takes up bull-fighting in his native Spanish town, his family overcome their initial disapproval when they discover the financial advantages. Juan marries Carmen, his childhood sweetheart, but his auspicious career is threatened when he meets Dona Sol, the aristocratic daughter of a famous bull-breeder. Sexually voracious, she draws him into a reckless affair, which he tries in vain to end; she continually follows him and, when he is found in a compromising situation at his country house, treats his family with utter disdain.

Disturbed by these events, Juan goes into the bull-ring and dedicates a bull to Plumitas, a famous bandit whose practice of arbitrarily taking lives somewhat parallels his own in the ring. When Plumitas, now a spectator in the audience, is shot down by the police, Juan misses a stroke and is gored by the bull.

Taken to an ante-room, he is reconciled with Carmen before dying. Meanwhile the ring is cleared and cleaned for the next contest.

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