"...Kramer has used locale and crowds of people superbly, alternating the big panoramic canvas with telling close-ups that are right from Goya"
|With Frank Sinatra and Sophia Loren.|
The Pride and The Passion - Review is taken from 'The Films of Cary Grant' by Donald Deschner (1973):
"One great advantage that The Pride and The Passion has over most epic films is its unity of theme; all action revolves around the gun, the symbol of men fighting for what they believe in. The English captain, skillfully played by Cary Grant, is a trained soldier, an authority on ordnance who has been commanded by his commodore to rescue the giant cannon, which was jettisoned by the fleeing Spanish army, and deliver it to a British warship. The guerrilla leader, played by Frank Sinatra, is an uneducated, undisciplined patriot determined to deliver his hometown, Avila, from the occupying French. Again and again the two men are contrasted: the smart, immaculately dressed, cold but sentimental English officer versus the emotional, cruel, provincial Spaniard. Each has his big moments: the Englishman muddies his clothes as he assembles the broken cannon and directs its perilous journey, blows up a bridge and even eloquently pleads with the Bishop at the Escorial that the cannon be hidden in the cathedral; with less eloquence but with greater passion, the guerrilla leader persuades a group of townfolk to help drag the cannon out of the river and he effectively commands the peasants who work under him in the long march to Avila...
It is fortunate that producer-director Stanley Kramer stressed the visual aspects in telling his story. The script, written by Edna and Edward Anhalt, and stemming from C. S. Forester's novel The Gun, is strangely ineffectual; and the dialogue, whether due to the actors' odd mixture of accents due to poor recording, does not come through well. The plot's argument is, therefore, difficult to follow at times; but Kramer has so directed the picture that the visuals succeed in developing the themes with little help from the spoken word. Kramer's film is occasionally reminiscent of For Whom The Bell Tolls, another movie in which a foreigner was involved in one particular objective in helping the war-torn Spaniards; although the characters in the film made from the Hemingway novel were better drawn and motivated, The Pride and The Passion is far superior visually. In magnificent scenes, like those showing the Holy Week procession in the Escorial, the dragging of the cannon through a dangerous mountain pass, the storming of Avila's walls and the routing of the French, Kramer has used locale and crowds of people superbly, alternating the big panoramic canvas with telling close-ups that are right from Goya. Without minimizing the horrors of war, The Pride and The Passion is an epic sung in praise of the triumph of will over all obstacles.
- Philip T. Hartung, The Commonweal
|New Artwork by Rebekah Hawley at Studio36 -|
Number 61 - The Pride and The Passion (Lobby Card Style)
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