The Pride And The Passion

1957, Movie, NR, 132 mins

Review

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This splashy, implausible epic was done on a grand scale by producer-director Kramer (one of his rare non-message films), and it reeks of melodrama and unbelievable dialog. But, as spectacles go, THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION is hard to ignore. A huge cannon is abandoned by the retreating Spanish army in 1810 during the Peninsular War and Grant, a British naval officer and artillery expert, is ordered to retrieve it. He enlists the aid of guerrilla leader Sinatra and the cannon is painstakingly lifted from the bottom of a gorge and repaired. But instead of turning over the cannon to Grant, Sinatra insists that it be used to bombard the French occupying the fortress at Avila. Grant reluctantly agrees to accompany Sinatra and his patriotic followers and fire the cannon once it arrives at its destination. Thus begins a marathon trip across Spain as the insurgents drag the cannon around French lines and through cities with the help of the Spanish people, even hiding the monster cannon in a church at one point so that it can be repaired. During the trip, Grant is attracted to sultry Loren, Sinatra's camp-following paramour, and she to him, but it's a star-crossed romance. She is killed in the assault on Avila as is diehard Sinatra. Grant carries Sinatra's body into the conquered city at the finish to lay the patriot's remains at the base of a fountain in the town square. Grant saunters through his thankless part with a smirk on his face, and Sinatra affects the worst Spanish accent on record, while Loren's Italian accent is so thick that it's next to impossible to understand what she is saying. The whole thing is a miscast mess into which Kramer pumped $6 million, with Loren receiving $200,000 for lurching across the landscape. leave a comment

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The Pride And The Passion
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