El Cid Overview:

El Cid (1961) was a Biographical - War Film directed by Anthony Mann and produced by Michal Waszynski, Samuel Bronston and Jaime Prades.


This costume adventure follows the legendary exploits of the 11th-century Spanish knight-errant (Heston) as he battles the Moorish invaders while wooing back his wife (Loren) with his faith and bravery. This marks director Mann's brief excursion into widescreen historical epics after he distinguished himself with his Westerns. (He would begin work on Spartacus only to be replaced by Stanley Kubrick, then later follow these with The Fall of the Roman Empire). Restored under the supervision of Martin Scorsese, who also knows something about the intersection of spiritual inspiration and muscular action.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1961 --- Ceremony Number 34 (source: AMPAS)

Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Veniero Colasanti, John MooreNominated
Best Music - ScoringMiklos RozsaNominated
Best Music - SongMusic by Miklos Rozsa; Lyrics by Paul Francis WebsterNominated

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Quotes from

Jimena: Why did you come?
El Cid: I tried not to come. I tried, I told my love it had no right to live. But my love won't die...
Jimena: Kill it.
El Cid: You kill it! Tell me you don't love me.
Jimena: [long pause] I cannot. Not yet. But I will make myself worthy of you Rodrigo, I will learn to hate you.

Moutamin: In my country, we have a name for a warrior with the vision to be just and the courage to show mercy. We call him... the cid!

El Cid: [to the king, who refused Muslim aid] You risk having no Spain at all!

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Facts about

Charlton Heston was unable to campaign for John F. Kennedy due to the long filming schedule.
One well-known legend about the Cid describes how he acquired his famous war-horse, the white stallion Babieca (Bavieca). According to this story, Rodrigo's godfather, Pedro El Grande, was a monk at a Carthusian monastery. Pedro's coming-of-age gift to El Cid was his pick of a horse from an Andalusian herd. El Cid picked a horse that his godfather thought was a weak, poor choice, causing the monk to exclaim "Babieca!" (stupid!) Hence, it became the name of El Cid's horse.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, Charlton Heston himself was not overly impressed by the finished film, suggesting in his 1995 autobiography "In the Arena" that the film might have been better if William Wyler had directed it instead of Anthony Mann.
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Best Music - Scoring Oscar 1961

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