Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
The lives of bullfighters, whether in Mexico or in Spain or elsewhere in Latin America, carry a weight of romance and tragedy not found in other lives, even when they die of old age in their beds. All too often, they are maimed or killed in the ring. As dealers with death, matadors offer the bullfight-aficionado a raw, powerful ritual of death. For those who despise bullfighting, all the art and ritual involved are some sort of revolting noise. This film is a documentary for aficionados, and concerns the life of the great Mexican matador, Arruza. He fought in the ring with great flair until 1953, retired to raise the very same breed of bulls he killed in the ring, and died in 1966. The film, narrated by his countryman Anthony Quinn, shows many breathtaking moments from the "corrida", the bullring, including numerous shots of Arruza himself in action. Great bullfighters are often known by only one name; this is a tribute usually given only to kings, movie stars and notorious criminals. That Arruza is known this way is an indication of his importance in the bullfighting world. Indeed, a large statue of him is now outside Mexico City's premier bullring, the Plaza Mexico.
bullfighter, career-retrospective, Latin-America, matador, Mexican [nationality], ritual, tribute