Above I've posted a thirty minute documentary about the relationship between Spanish actress/chanteuse Sarita Montiel (Sara Montiel to Hollywood--or is it the other way around?) and her relationship with various lovers, primarily director Anthony Mann (who I posted a very rare interview clip of a week or so ago). Unfortunately, the interview is conducted in Spanish, a language I have absolutely no knowledge of despite taking it in 7th grade. This is beyond frustrating as I have no idea what the hell she's talking about. I've watched it a few times, looking for clues as to the story she's telling. From other sources I've garnered the following info; they met on the movie 'Serenade', a Mario Lanza comeback flop that Mann directed in 1956. They fell in love and Mann, in full fifty-year-old mid-life crisis mode, left his wife for the sultry Montiel (who was twenty-two years younger than him). They married and were together for about seven years when the marriage was either annulled (according to one source) or simply sputtered to an end in divorce.

But did it sputter? Or did it explode? Montiel's demeanor in the interview is mysteriously low-key when discussing Mann. Since I can't understand a fucking thing she's saying, I've been trying to look for body language, eye tells, etc. all in an effort to uncover the tale of the marriage. Along the way there are some great photos and clips. At 11 minutes 30 seconds in, there's a clip of Mann being interviewed (not the one I posted earlier) and discussing violence. He talks of how satisfying violence is to audiences because it isn't happening to them. Mann then characterizes himself as "a very mild-mannered guy." What does this mean? Is the clips inclusion meant to be counterpoint to the tale Montiel is telling? Is Montiel recounting memories of a violent relationship with the director? Unless somebody out there translates this for me, I have only dark implications to go on. About 15 minutes into the doc there's a nice "love montage" of photos of Montiel and Mann. Finally at 19 minutes there comes behind the scenes footage of the making of "El Cid"--this little filmlet is, I believe, available on the two-disc DVD reissue. It's inclusion implies that the massive epic somehow brought about the end of the Mann-Montiel union. In closing, all I can say is: WHY DIDN'T I PAY ATTENTION IN 7th GRADE SPANISH? As I recall, it was because I was hiding in the back of the room reading books about film directors...

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  1. I've sicced some Spanish-speaking Tweeps on the case for you, Raymond, we'll see what they come up with.

  2. Spanish speaker here!
    The questions are about love and hapiness. Sara says she has loved and been happy, but some people have suffered for loving her, like Anthony. Love for them arrived too late, though. Anthony taught her most of what she knows now, including how to love in a different way and to be less impulsive. Anthony was also the man who discovered stars as Susan Hayward, Ava Gardner and Ingrid Bergman, and created innovative exterior shots working in Gone with the Wind.
    She loved Anthony since th first time she saw his movies. Since he was self-conscious about the age gap, his daughter told Sara to make the first move. They then went to walk in Santa Monica beach, she was barefoot (all men seemed to be attracted by her feet). It was 1957, when Sara had lost her husband, and five months later she married Anthony in a hospital. The union was encouraged by his daughter.
    Sara and Anthony had a son, who died when he fell down the stairs. When their relationship began to fade, Anthony went to direct El Cid in Spain, but Sara refused a role in the film and went to tour in argentina and Mexico. But he fell in love with Spain and with time they just got apart and divorced, but she was deeply moved when he died in Berlin in 1967.
    She says she felt always protected and guided by Anthony Mann, and still refers to him as "my husband", which she says is logic when the interviewer asks her why ("well, he once was my husband, right?"). She says her image as a seductress is wrong and she fought a lot in her life, receiving a lot of help from "Tony".
    Her now husband says he knew Anthony Mann better when he got to know about his relationship wth Sara. He even has a positive opinion on Anthony, the man.
    I'm glad I could help!

  3. That has to be one of the most romantic Hollywood interview summaries I've ever heard. I am so glad that Montiel was not saying, as Raymond feared, that Mann was violent -- quite the opposite. How tragic about their son. I feel like this gives me a new insight in Mann. Thanks so much. It just goes to show that body language only goes so far; sometimes you definitely need the words as well.

  4. Siren, Le--I can't adequately express my thanks for coming together in this online adventure and helping solve yet another piece of the mysterious life of Anthony Mann. Truly exceptional.

  5. Well I just seen a Gem of a film Starring Rays friend Andy Garcia. Not knowing of this film
    maybe kind of puts me in the dark ages. "Modigliani" For those of you that have not seen
    it, treat yourself and someone special. It was just perfect. Bring kleenex