Spanish Affair (1958)

92-93 or 95 mins | Drama, Romance | January 1958

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HISTORY

The working title of this film was Flamenca . The onscreen credits separate the Spanish crew members from the Paramount staff. According to HR , Nomad Productions, Inc., headed by Bruce Odlum, reached an agreement with Paramount in Mar 1956, which allowed Odlum to produce Spanish Affair independently in Spain, with financial backing from Paramount, in return for U.S. distribution rights. The Var review points out that Nomad then co-produced the film with a Spanish film company, CEA Studios of Madrid, and independent Spanish filmmaker Benito Perojo. Although HR news items reported that the film was set to begin production on 18 Jun 1956, production charts indicate that shooting did not begin until late Jul 1956.
       Spanish Affair was shot on location throughout Spain, with settings that included Madrid, Barcelona, the Monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial, historic Toledo, Segovia, the rugged Costa Brava country and Tossa de Mar, and featured an entirely Spanish cast, except for American stage and television actor Richard Kiley, who played the lead role of architect "Merritt Blake." According to LAMirror-News , Carmen Sevilla, the Spanish actress-singer-flamenco dancer who co-starred in the film, had been a star in her country for five years. Spanish Affair was her first American film. Though originally planned to be shot entirely in Spain, portions of the film were filmed at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA, according to HR news items and production ... More Less

The working title of this film was Flamenca . The onscreen credits separate the Spanish crew members from the Paramount staff. According to HR , Nomad Productions, Inc., headed by Bruce Odlum, reached an agreement with Paramount in Mar 1956, which allowed Odlum to produce Spanish Affair independently in Spain, with financial backing from Paramount, in return for U.S. distribution rights. The Var review points out that Nomad then co-produced the film with a Spanish film company, CEA Studios of Madrid, and independent Spanish filmmaker Benito Perojo. Although HR news items reported that the film was set to begin production on 18 Jun 1956, production charts indicate that shooting did not begin until late Jul 1956.
       Spanish Affair was shot on location throughout Spain, with settings that included Madrid, Barcelona, the Monasterio de San Lorenzo del Escorial, historic Toledo, Segovia, the rugged Costa Brava country and Tossa de Mar, and featured an entirely Spanish cast, except for American stage and television actor Richard Kiley, who played the lead role of architect "Merritt Blake." According to LAMirror-News , Carmen Sevilla, the Spanish actress-singer-flamenco dancer who co-starred in the film, had been a star in her country for five years. Spanish Affair was her first American film. Though originally planned to be shot entirely in Spain, portions of the film were filmed at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, CA, according to HR news items and production charts. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
10 Feb 1958.
---
Daily Film Renter
25 Sep 1957.
---
Daily Variety
21 Jan 1957.
---
Daily Variety
5 Feb 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
5 Feb 58
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Mar 1956.
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
5 June 1956.
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Aug 56
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Oct 1956.
---
Hollywood Reporter
19 Oct 56
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 58
p. 3.
LA Mirror-News
20 Feb 1958.
---
Motion Picture Daily
6 Feb 1958.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
8 Feb 58
p. 708.
New York Times
6 Feb 58
p. 24.
Variety
5 Feb 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir [Spanish prod personnel]
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Set constr [Spanish prod personnel]
COSTUMES
MUSIC
SOUND
Asst sd eng [Spanish prod personnel]
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv [Spanish prod personnel]
Prod asst [Spanish prod personnel]
Asst prod mgr [Spanish prod personnel]
SOURCES
SONGS
"The Flaming Rose," music by Daniele Amfitheatrof, lyrics by Mack David.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Flamenca
Release Date:
January 1958
Production Date:
late July--mid October 1956 at CEA Studios, Madrid
addl scenes late October 1956 at Paramount Studios
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
10 December 1957
Copyright Number:
LP9654
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
Technicolor
Widescreen/ratio
VistaVision Motion Picture High-Fidelity
Duration(in mins):
92-93 or 95
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18442
SYNOPSIS

American architect Merritt Blake travels to Madrid, Spain to oversee the construction of a new hotel. Upon his arrival, however, Merritt is told by Carlos Sotelo, the project's director, that his modern design for the building has been rejected, as it clashes with the traditional Spanish architecture of the city. The stubborn Merritt refuses to modify his plans and insists that he be given the opportunity to meet directly with the company's board of directors, as they were the ones who actually rejected his proposal. Informed that the three directors are on vacation in various parts of Spain, Merritt convinces Mari Zarubia, Sotelo's secretary, to act as his interpreter on a business trip to see the three men. Though Merritt has no romantic intentions toward Mari, Antonio, her jealous gypsy fiancé, is furious to learn that his intended has gone on the excursion unchaperoned. Arriving in Segovia, Merritt shows Mari how the city's famous aqueduct system, built by the ancient Romans, contains design aspects similar to his proposed hotel. Later, when Merritt and Mari arrive at the bull farm of Count Rivera, they are forced to go out on horseback to meet with the board member, and Merritt is soon given a lesson in being a cowboy, Spanish style. Though Rivera is a traditionalist, having gone so far as to painstakingly match the design of a new addition to his thirteenth century farmhouse, he tells Merritt that he admires the architect's courage and will agree to his design if the other members do. As they prepare to leave for Barcelona, Mari sees that Antonio is following them and insists on returning to Madrid, but ... +


American architect Merritt Blake travels to Madrid, Spain to oversee the construction of a new hotel. Upon his arrival, however, Merritt is told by Carlos Sotelo, the project's director, that his modern design for the building has been rejected, as it clashes with the traditional Spanish architecture of the city. The stubborn Merritt refuses to modify his plans and insists that he be given the opportunity to meet directly with the company's board of directors, as they were the ones who actually rejected his proposal. Informed that the three directors are on vacation in various parts of Spain, Merritt convinces Mari Zarubia, Sotelo's secretary, to act as his interpreter on a business trip to see the three men. Though Merritt has no romantic intentions toward Mari, Antonio, her jealous gypsy fiancé, is furious to learn that his intended has gone on the excursion unchaperoned. Arriving in Segovia, Merritt shows Mari how the city's famous aqueduct system, built by the ancient Romans, contains design aspects similar to his proposed hotel. Later, when Merritt and Mari arrive at the bull farm of Count Rivera, they are forced to go out on horseback to meet with the board member, and Merritt is soon given a lesson in being a cowboy, Spanish style. Though Rivera is a traditionalist, having gone so far as to painstakingly match the design of a new addition to his thirteenth century farmhouse, he tells Merritt that he admires the architect's courage and will agree to his design if the other members do. As they prepare to leave for Barcelona, Mari sees that Antonio is following them and insists on returning to Madrid, but Merritt refuses to alter his course. In turn, Mari refuses to stay in the same hotel as Merritt, arguing it would be improper. That night, the two learn that Manuelo Oliva, the director they have come to Barcelona to see, has gone to his summer home in Tosa del Mar. Mari tries to warn Merritt that he is danger, telling the American that Antonio will kill him if he sees them together, but Merritt dismisses her concerns. The two then go to a dance in Barcelona's city square. Later, after walking Mari back to her hotel, Merritt is stalked by Antonio, but the gypsy is unable to attack the unsuspecting architect, as Merritt is escorted to his hotel by a friendly policeman. The next morning, Merritt and Mari are nearly involved in an automobile accident, which leads Merritt to recount a similar incident that took the life of his wife several years earlier. Finally meeting with Oliva in Tosa del Mar, Merritt and Mari are offered the hospitality of his home, but Oliva refuses to alter his negative opinion of the proposed hotel. Though dejected, Merritt agrees to go on a picnic with Mari at a nearby beach, where they once more run into Oliva. After Mari argues vehemently for the American's design, even though she personally finds it "ugly," a grateful Merritt kisses her. Mari then tells Merritt that she has fallen in love with him, but before he can respond, the two are confronted by Antonio. Merritt insists that she tell the gypsy that there is nothing between them, which the heartbroken Mari does. Mari then goes with Antonio to a gypsy camp to see his parents, but, repelled by its squalor, rushes back to her father's home in Toledo. Her father tells Mari that if she really loved Antonio, she would not care where or how they lived. Meanwhile, back in Tosa del Mar, Merritt goes to an inn and becomes friends with a local fisherman. During their chat, Merritt realizes that he loves Mari, so he goes to Toledo and professes his feelings to her. The two are then set upon by Antonio and his friends, but Merritt decides to face his fears, rather than running from them as he has always done, and stands up to the gypsy. Though the cowardly Antonio brandishes a knife, Merritt is stronger than the gypsy and overpowers him. After Mari picks up the fallen blade and gives it to the American, the defeated Antonio leaves. Afterward, Merritt agrees to follow tradition and ask Mari's father for her hand in marriage. In turn, Mari drops her engagement ring into the river. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.