‘El Cid’ or — The Original ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’?
So the ending of ‘El Cid’ (1961) is basically ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ (1989), right?
Personally I think Anthony Mann missed a trick here because if I was director of the film I’d have leaned into the whole ‘the Cid is still alive!’ angle so hard it would’ve taken up almost the entire movie. Imagine the Cid standing on top of the battlements addressing the soldiers but, in actual fact, he’s being operated by an elaborate system of ropes and pulleys like some over-sized puppet whilst Sophia Loren crouches behind him, lowering her voice in attempt to impersonate her husband and with hilarious results.
Or how about this scene I submitted to Creative Scotland only last week as part of my application for funding to remake the movie as the riotous comedy I see it as and which, by its inherent nature, it deserves to be?
‘Weekend at the Cids’
SCENE 124 — EXT — DAY — Outside the WALLED city of VALENCIA.
The MOORS have surrounded THE CITY and are preparing to attack now the CID is dead. All that lies between the invading ARMY and the CITY is a stretch of deserted beach. Ben Yusuf raises his arms and yells to his men -
BEN YUSUF — The Cid is dead! The city is ours for the taking! Nothing can stop us no…
A FOOT SOLDIER comes running up to BEN YUSUF
FOOT SOLDIER — Lord! Lord! The CID still lives!
BEN YUSUF — Impossible!
FOOT SOLIDER — See for yourself, my Lord!
BEN YUSUF gazes down the beach and lifts a rudimentary SPY-GLASS to his eye.
CUT TO -
A MEDIUM SHOT of the CID on the beach just outside the walls of the CITY seen through the iris of the SPY-GLASS where the CID seems to be propped up sitting in a SUN LOUNGER, is dressed in a HAWAIIAN SHIRT and SUNGLASSES and with what seems to be a PINA COLADA crudely sellotaped to his hand.
BEN YUSUF lowers the SPY-GLASS and quietly mutters to himself…
BEN YUSUF — What… the… fuck?!