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The Pride and the Passion (1957)

aka The Pride and the Passion

Directed By: 
Details: 125 mins · English, French, Spanish


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During the Peninsular War, Napoleon's armies overrun Spain. An enormous cannon, belonging to a Spanish army, is abandoned when it slows down the army's retreat. French cavalrymen are dispatched to retrieve it.

Britain, Spain's ally, sends Royal Navy captain Anthony Trumbull (Grant) to find the cannon and see that it is handed over to British forces. However, when Trumbull arrives at the Spanish headquarters, he finds that it has been evacuated and is now occupied by a guerrilla band led by the French-hating Miguel (Sinatra). Miguel agrees to help Trumbull search for the cannon, although the two men come to dislike each other. One cause of their enmity is Miguel's mistress Juana (Sophia Loren), who falls in love with Trumbull.

Meanwhile, sadistic General Jouvet (Theodore Bikel), the French commander in Avila, orders the execution of Spaniards who do not give information of the cannon's whereabouts. The cannon has in fact undergone an arduous journey in the direction of Avila, which Miguel is obsessed with capturing.

The guerrilla band, whose ranks have swelled considerably, almost loses the cannon when General Jouvet deploys artillery near a mountain pass that they need to use to get to Avila. With help from the local populace, they get the cannon through, although it rolls down a hillside and is badly damaged.

The cannon is hidden in a cathedral while it is repaired, once having to be disguised as an ornamental piece during a religious celebration. French officers are informed about the cannon's presence, however, but the cannon has been moved by the time the officers arrived and they scorn the informant.

When the cannon finally arrives at the guerrillas' camp near Avila, Trumbull and Miguel prepare to attack the city. However, Avila is defended by strong walls and eighty cannons, Trumbull going so far to estimate that half of the guerrillas will be killed during the assault. He tries to convince Juana not to participate in the attack, but, the next day, she goes with the men.

The cannon is used to breach the walls, and, despite suffering heavy losses (including Juana and Miguel), the guerrillas get inside the city. Jouvet is killed and the remaining French troops are overrun in the town square. After the battle, Trumbull places Miguel's body in front of the statue of Avila's patron saint.

Release Dates:

DVD : 2002-05-07