When Women Wrote Hollywood – 19 in a series – Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino, Written for the screen by June Mathis

To highlight the wonderful yet largely forgotten work of a collection of female screenwriters from the early years of Hollywood (and as a companion to the book, When Women Wrote Hollywood) we will be posting quick bits about the many films they wrote along with links to further information and clips from their works which are still accessible online. Take a few moments once or twice a week to become familiar with their names and their stories. I think you’ll be surprised at how much bold material these writers tackled at the birth of this new medium. — Rosanne Welch


When Women Wrote Hollywood – 19 in a series – Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino, Written for the screen by June Mathis

When Women Wrote Hollywood - 19 in a series - Blood and Sand starring Rudolph Valentino, Written for the screen by June Mathis

Blood and Sand is a 1922 American silent drama film produced by Paramount Pictures, directed by Fred Niblo and starring Rudolph Valentino, Lila Lee and Nita Naldi. It was based on the 1909 Spanish novel Sangre y arena (Blood and Sand) by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez and the play version of the book by Thomas Cushing.

Juan Gallardo (Valentino), a village boy born into poverty, grows up to become one of the greatest matadors in Spain. He marries a friend from his childhood, the beautiful and virtuous Carmen (Lee), but after he achieves fame and fortune he finds himself drawn to Doña Sol (Naldi), a wealthy, seductive widow.

They embark on a torrid affair with rather sadomasochistic overtones, but Juan, feeling guilty over his betrayal of Carmen, tries to free himself of Doña Sol. Furious at being rejected, she exposes their affair to Carmen and Juan’s mother, seemingly destroying his marriage. Growing more and more miserable and dissipated, Juan becomes reckless in the arena. He is eventually killed in a bullfight but does manage to reconcile with Carmen moments before he dies.

There is also a subplot involving a local outlaw whose career is paralleled to Juan’s throughout the film by the village philosopher: Juan’s fatal injury in the bullring comes moments after the outlaw is shot by the police.  Wikipedia  

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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs
** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out!
† Available from the LA Public Library

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