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Moment of Truth (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Miguel Mateo 'Miguelín' , José Gómez Sevillano , Francesco Rosi    Unrated   Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Product Description

The Moment of Truth, from director Francesco Rosi (Salvatore Giuliano) is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero—played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelin. Charting his rise and fall with a single-minded focus on the bloody business at hand, the film is at once gritty and operatic, placing the viewer right in the thick of the ring’s action, as close to death as possible. Like all of the great Italian truth seeker’s films, this is a not just an electrifying drama but also a profound and moving inquiry into a violent world—and perhaps the greatest bullfighting movie ever made.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition • Interview with director Francesco Rosi from 2004 • New and improved English subtitle translation • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Peter Matthews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth about corrida April 11 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This film offers a realistic, view of a world behind the corrida scene. No romance, no passion, not really so much pasodoble... The images are not for the faint of hearth, and I am sure the movie was not endorsed by PETA. I give it only 4 stars because it somehow misses the Spanish spirit. Otherwise, I recommend it to anyone who is interesting in learning more about Spain and Corridas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Gory, and possibly Offensive Feb. 12 2012
By Fast Food Blogger - Published on Amazon.com
The Moment of Truth follows poor Spanish youth, Miguelin, who finds fame and fortune in the ring fighting.......bulls. Director Francesco Rosi set out to fully depict bull fighting with all of its cruelty, danger, and beauty. He definitely accomplishes that task. Nearly everything in the film is authentic. The main character is an actual matador. The bull fights are real. The gore and accidents are too. There is only one professional actor in the film, an actress actually, who plays an actress. And the cinematography gorgeous inside and outside of the ring--I am particularly reminded of the scene where Miguelin walks through a field of female laborers harvesting grain. As the women fling grain in the air, it all falls like strands of gold in the background.

But The Moment of Truth is not for everyone. If you have any protective feelings toward animals, and you are going to watch this, prepare yourself. Like I said earlier, this is a bloody movie, and every time you see a bull die its gory death, you actually did see a bull die a gory death. So while the beauty of the sport comes through, so does the butchery. Finally, it seemed to me that the story was the second emphasis of the film. That's not to say its poorly acted or even without emotional content. The Moment of Truth clearly points out the nightmarish worlds Miguelin, and others in his position, felt forced to choose between. I just mean that, to me, it seemed like Rosi's main intent was to capture the full scope of bull fighting. While that may make The Moment of Truth the best movie of its kind, it also makes it, at moments, feel more like a documentary than a movie. Think about it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Work of Art April 4 2013
By Ken Volok - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Every moment in Francesco Rosi's film "The Moment of Truth" is electric with life and sometimes death; and the story of a young matador's from an impoverished area of Spain to fame as a bullfighter is intriguing at every turn. Another first class Criterion edition.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating Sept. 16 2012
By I. Martinez-Ybor - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Just finished watching a neglected jewel by renowned Italian filmaker Francesco Rossi: "Moment of Truth" (1965). It's a beautiful, thrilling and realistic poem to bullfighting, showing underbelly as well. There is more to it than just bullfighting: it begins and ends with Holy Week in Seville. It is telling us something about then fascist Spain probably morphing into something else, but always with the boots of Franco's soldiers marching at the side. But the essence of the film is the predominance of real, beautifully photographed bullfighting scenes. It stars the very great torero Miguel Mateo "Miguelín" who executes all of his own bullfighting scenes, thus the movie providing lasting testimony to his art. I am a fan of real bullfighting, not the bloodless variety. All the bull blood here is real and the bulls fight and suffer like they still do. This is not for the SPCA crowd. But it is a glorious film, and the bull fighting is truly exhilarating. Miguel Mateo died of natural causes in 2003. The film's blu-ray edition from Criterion is exemplary.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gritty Look at Life in the Arena Jan. 17 2012
By The Movie Man - Published on Amazon.com
"The Moment of Truth," new to Blu-ray, is an intriguing look into the life of a famous bullfighter, played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelin. Tracing his career's rise and decline with an unswerving focus on the dangerous sport, the movie is gritty, seldom turning away from its less-than-glamorous aspects.

Several Hollywood pictures have used bullfighting and its milieu ( "Blood and Sand," "The Matador," "The Bullfighter and the Lady"), but none has captured the day-to-day drama as well as "The Moment of Truth." Mateo is a charismatic actor, and his dramatic scenes outside the arena come off convincingly, particularly his romantic scenes with co-star Linda Christian.

Though the setting is Spain, the movie is in Italian with English subtitles. Blu-ray bonus extras include a 2004 interview with director Francesco Rosi, new English subtitles, and a booklet containing a critical essay.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Semana Santa April 29 2012
By Morgan Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I first saw this film many years ago, then had an opportunity to see Miguelin in Pontevedra, Spain in 1965, Unfortunately he was beyond his prime because he was a truly extraordinary matador.
What I enjoyed so much about seeing it again was the beautiful photography of Semana Santa or Holy Week in Spain, something that my wife and I have enjoyed many many times.
My only regret is that it is in Italian, not Spain.
Morgan Smith
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