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El Cid (Two-Disc Limited Collector's Edition) (The Miriam Collection) [Import]

Charlton Heston , Sophia Loren , Anthony Mann    Unrated   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
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El Cid (Two-Disc Limited Collector's Edition) (The Miriam Collection) [Import] + The Fall of the Roman Empire (Widescreen 2 Disc Deluxe Edition) [Import] + Spartacus
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Product Description

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Technically ambitious but artistically underwhelming, this 1961 epic by Anthony Mann (Man of the West) stars Charlton Heston as an 11th-century hero who drives the Moors from Spain. The film has been described as "glum," and that is indeed apt for a story that focuses so much on its central character's losses in the face of his simultaneous, mythic approbation. Then again, Mann has always been interested in the hidden weaknesses in prevailing myths, so that's not unusual. What is unusual in El Cid is the degree to which technology takes over his filmmaking, as it does here with so many grandiose and bravura moments with a roving camera that don't add up to anything beyond spectacle. As an achievement of Hollywood's technical advancements in the postwar years, and also as part of the filmographies of Mann and Heston, the film is well worth a look. But it is not the artistic equal of other epics of its day, such as Lawrence of Arabia. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
My sentiments are pretty much identical with the ones of the gentleman Sri, from India. I am very disapointed that this magnificantly depicted story has not found favor with the DVD formating industry. After all stories such as 'Tale of two cities', 'Count of Monte Christo', 'Man in the iron Mask','Scarlet Pimpernel', the list goes on..;has been formated in DVD format. I can only wonder if the reason for not having 'El Cid' on disc was a matter of preference or economics at time of decision? I understand that not everyone may enjoy this 'Genre'but personally I believe it's one of the best re-telling of a magnificent, by-gone era and is certainly worthy of DVD formating-if for nothing else but to retain History. I truly wish that this masterpiece of cinamatic splendor would be re-formated and re-mastered digitally. It is such a great story and so masterfully depicted that it most certainly worthy of telling to future generations-and what better way to preserve this on DVD format, since it keeps a lot better than Tape?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful transfer Feb. 3 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
El Cid has always been one of my favorite movies. This DVD release is like seeing it at the movie theatre again. Both the sound and picture are remarkable. The scenery is incredible as well as the acting by the great stars of the 60's. The story holds your interest from beginning to end. I highly recommend this release.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Won't play June 3 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Was assured this would play in our region - it won't. Apparently we could play it if we could 'unlock' our player which we can't. What is the point of sending Region B DVD's to Canada if we can't play them?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars REASON Sept. 19 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
This product would only play on a zone B (Europe0 machine, useless to me. I returned it but had to pay the postage $7.50. I now Know what the significance of which area the pruduct is for, but I wonder why this would be sent yo me in the first place without warning.
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5.0 out of 5 stars DVD available on amazon.fr July 4 2004
Format:VHS Tape
This film deserves a Criterion DVD complete with a restored print. It certainly is a timely film and I find its vision of mutual tolerance and charity between Christians and Muslims particularly welcome at the present moment (especially with all those frothering neocons yapping about a clash of civilizations). It will be interesting to see Ridley Scott's forthcoming Crusades film, which looks to be an avatar of El Cid.
There is curently a DVD available from amazon.co.uk, but do not buy it. It is full screen, not widescreen. There is a DVD available from Amazon.fr, however, which does have widescreen. I saw the film when I was eight (for my birthday) in 1962 and saw it on television (wth a pan and scan edit) which butchered the 70 mm Technirama print. The fullscreen (tv) format gives one only less than two thirds of the actual frame. It's a wonder to see the French DVD version on my 23 inch flat computer screen. the only problems with htis DVD are that the print is not a great one--there are scratches every now nad then, and hte sound track is momentarily off for a few seconds. More troublesome is that the French subtitles were burned into the print, so they can't be removed when you watch the DVD in English (there is also a French dubbed version). And the various menu features don't work except for film and language tracks. Still, I'm glad I got it and recommend it until a DVD here becomes available.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a massive, glorious spectacle May 23 2004
Format:VHS Tape
The imagery in this film is magnificent, with lavish, spectacular sets and vast battle scenes. The cast is great, with beautiful performances by Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren; they have terrific chemistry together, and how the camera loves them ! This was Heston's follow-up to Ben Hur, and he is equally heroic as Spain's hero El Cid. Others in the cast of note are Raf Vallone as Count Ordoñez, the man who also vies for Loren's love, and Genevieve Page, as Princess Urraca, who is secretly enamoured with El Cid. Herbert Lom, though one can only see his eyes, is marvelous and fiery as Ben Yussuf, the Moorish invader who says to his followers, "burn your books, make warriors of your poets, and make your doctors invent new poisons for our arrows !".
Directed by Anthony Mann, the 11th century pageantry and medieval feel of this film has been meticulously created, and the cinematography, shot on location in Spain by Robert Krasker, is superb. The war-torn history of a divided Spain has been skimmed over and highly romanticized, but is very entertaining. There are family conflicts galore, murders and treachery, and lots of sword fights, where what amazed me was the sound of metal against metal; it has never to my knowledge been rendered so well, and adds much reality to the action.
Surprisingly, the art/set direction and song/score were nominated for Oscars, but did not win. The score by Miklos Rozsa is fabulous, but unfortunately it was up against Mancini's "Breakfast at Tiffanys". Sophia Loren received a Best Actress Oscar for this year, but not this film; she won it for "Two Women", which was also released in 1961. Total running time is 180 minutes.
History has many versions of El Cid (1040 ?
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all time favorites! May 17 2002
Format:VHS Tape
I've just been watching my murky video copy of this classic epic from 1961 and had hoped to find that a better copy has been released. Sadly, it has not. [I would like to] get a few things straight about this film. First, it's NOT history, nor is it a filmed version of "El Poema del mio Cid" as I discovered, 40 years ago when, fresh from having seen it 3 times in rapid succession, I turned to that great epic poem. What it is, is a filmed version of another classic work of art "Le Cid", a play by the 17th century French playwright Pierre Corneille (easily recognized when one realizes that the heroine's name "Chimene" is the French version of the Cid's wife's name, "Jimena". Indeed, last spring I saw another version of the same work as a 19th century opera by Jules Massenet starring Placido Domingo as Rodrigo. In other words, it is a work of art based on other works of art, not on history. And all art takes license. However, with that caveat in mind, the film contains some really wonderful things, especially in the visual area. Although trained as a historian of Baroque art, I have a sub-specialty in and grand passion for medieval art. And what we see in El Cid has surprising elements of reality. What we see is what I believe late 11th or early 12th century Spain might have been like (with some intrusions from later medieval or even later). Spain at that time was one of the most artistically advanced countries in Europe, in both its Christian and Moorish areas. I'm not a specialist in medieval weapons so I can't really comment on the armor and swords ... But I can comment favorably on most of the mural decorations used throughout, on the scene in the chapel as clerics pray over the body of King Ferdinand and on the costumes and jewelry worn by Genevieve Page as Princess Urraca. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Actually I love El Cid
Actually I love El Cid, the problem is that the disc is European Blu ray (zone 2) I won't be able to exchange it.
Published 1 day ago by Burns Matkin
4.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I purchased two ...........one for a gift and one for my personnal use. A classic movie that not to many people have seen.
Published 17 months ago by Golf Professional
5.0 out of 5 stars CHUCK'S FINEST HOUR
They should have stopped making the epic after EL CID. How can any filmmaker really think he can top this masterpiece of the cinema? Read more
Published on May 7 2004 by Joseph Murillo
4.0 out of 5 stars DVD/widescreen lovers take note
While we all wait for the US/GB distributors to pull their fingers out with a top-notch DVD release, fanatics can get the best yet 'El Cid' from Amazon France's marketplace... Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by Keith Ducklin
5.0 out of 5 stars Me encanta "El Cid"!
I too am saddened by the fact that this marvelous film is still unavailable on DVD. I immediately bought the VHS version when it first came out for almost $100 way back when and,... Read more
Published on March 4 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars El Cid
El Cid is the greatest medeval period movie ever made,barring none. Heston and Loren are at their best. 5 stars are not enough to rate this movie. Read more
Published on July 14 2002 by Thomas Magalhaes
5.0 out of 5 stars El Cid - Heston at his best
Ths is a GREAT historical epoch , in my opinion , with Heston at his best just as in Ben Hur .
Published on May 25 2002
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