Captain from Castille (1947)

In this lavish but boring historical adventure, made by Twentieth Century Fox, Tyrone Power, then at the height of his popularity, stars as Pedro De Vargas, a young, impetuous nobleman in 16th Century Spain.

This prestigious production is directed by Henry King, based on a screenplay from Lamar Trotti, who adapted to the screen the popular and colorful novel by Samuel Shellabarger.

Pedro helps to free a slave who belongs to Diego De Silva (John Sutton), but it turns out that Diego is one of the leaders of the Inquisition.

As a result, Diego brands Pedro a heretic, puts his family behind bars, and tortures to death his very young sister. Outraged and seeking revenge, Pedro plots his escape, with the help of his friend Juan Garcia (Lee J. Cobb) and a peasant girl, Catana Perez (Jean Peters).

After helping his parents get out of Spain, he soon joins forces with Hernando Cortez (Cesar Romero), whose ambitious goal is to sail to the new world in search of gold. However, a vengeful Diego uses his powers to foil Cortez. When Diego is murdered, Pedro becomes the prime suspect.

Shot on location, the extravagant “Captain From Castile” benefits from its setting. Morelos, Mexico. Unfortunately, the active volcano Paricutin slowed down production, and escalated the already big budget to over $4.5 million (a huge amount by the times’ standards).

Running time: 140 Minutes

 

Credits:

Directed By: Henry King

Written By: Lamar Trotti

Released on January 1, 1947

On DVD: May 1, 2007

Oscar Nominations: 1

Score: Alfred Newman

Oscar Award None

Oscar Context:

The Scoring Oscar went to Miklos Rozsa for “A Double Life,” directed by George Cukor, which also won Best Actor Oscar for Ronald Colman.

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