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The Blackmailers (1963)

Chantaje a un torero (original title)
A young man nicknamed "El Cordobés" wants to become a famous bullfighter, but becoming involved in the murder of a foreign woman they put him in jail. But when he complies and finally goes out, his life changes.


Rafael Gil


José López Rubio (screenplay), José López Rubio (story) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Manuel Benítez 'El Cordobés' ... Juan Medina
Alberto de Mendoza ... Vergara 'El Americano'
Manolo Morán ... Don Fulgencio, apoderado de Juan
María Andersen María Andersen ... Wilma, turista alemana
Elena Duque Elena Duque ... Marta, novia de Juan
Luis Dávila ... Don Andrés, el sacerdote
Venancio Muro Venancio Muro ... El Tinta
Carlos Mendy Carlos Mendy
José Mata José Mata
José María Seoane
Manuel Alexandre
Luis Induni
Antonio Casas
José María Caffarel
Juan Cortés Juan Cortés


A young man nicknamed "El Cordobés" wants to become a famous bullfighter, but becoming involved in the murder of a foreign woman they put him in jail. But when he complies and finally goes out, his life changes.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bullfighting | See All (1) »


Crime | Drama







Release Date:

23 October 1963 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

The Blackmailers See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm-Magnetocord)


Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Passable melodrama with intrigue , dealing with a killing and about the bullfighting world
17 December 2018 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Drama , tragedy , blackmails , murder , love stories and Toreo in this fictious version about life of a famous bullfighter . Having been a poor boy who grew up in the hospice Juan Medina/Manuel Benítez 'El Cordobés' awaits his opportunity , as his dream is to become himself a great bullfighter . A young man Juan Medina , nicknamed "El Cordobés" , wants to be a known bullfighter, but becoming involved in the killing of a foreign woman and he is put in prison . In jail is helped by a good priest , Don Andrés (Luis Dávila) . Out of prison , things go wrong , he complies , as he is blackmailed by some crooks (Alberto De Mendoza, Venancio Muro) and finally his life changes , at worst . At last , Medina triumphs , as he gets to be famous , but he is apparently unrequited . Meantime , he falls in love for a beautiful girl (Elena Duque) . When he is blackmailed , then tragedies and distresses emerge . At the end , he confronts at a noisy plaza where takes place a suspenseful denouement .

This is a bullfighting drama about a notorious Torero , narrating his humble origin as well as his successful raise , in which he will learn to overcome difficulties and penury . It revolves around the bullfighting world and displaying a colorful , evocative cinematography and being professionally directed by Rafael Gil who made a great number of Spanish classics . The movie gives a nice description about the culture of Spain surrounding the age old traditions of the Matador , in which Toreros are really submitted to nerves during slaughter. As the ancient Toreo art-form is described with unflinching and fetching realism , it is the story of bullfighters against brave beasts . The motion picture was competently made by Rafael Gil carrying out an acceptable filming , halfway between a thriller and a bullfighting issue , as he pulls off in this production a brief description on the brave bullfighters , and there are lots of shots about bullfighting , especially in its final part , showing a spectacular Corrida , being technical consultants the professional Toreros . Lousy acting by Manuel Benitez El Cordobes as a simple but honest boy who finds patronage to become a Torero -bullfighter- thanks to an ¨Apoderado¨ , well played by the great veteran Manolo Morán . Although Benitez's debut film was ¨Aprendiendo a morir¨(1962), it dealt with own life , and here concerns about a fictional story about killing and blackmail . Support cast is frankly excellent , plenty of Spanish secondary star-studded , such as : Alberto De Mendoza , Manuel Alexandre , Venancio Muro , José María Seoane , Luis Induni , Antonio Casas , José María Caffarel , Juán Cortés , Hugo Pimentel , Yelena Samarina and special mention for Manolo Morán in one of his always sympathetic roles .

The film gives an appropriate portrayal about ¨Bullfighting¨ art , as the bull is released into the ring , where he is tested for ferocity by the matador and Banderilleros with the magenta and gold Capote ("Cape"). This is the first stage , the Tercio de Varas ("the lancing third"). The matador confronts the bull with the Capote , performing a series of passes and observing the behavior and quirks of the bull . Next , a ¨picador¨ enters the arena on horseback armed with a Vara (lance) . In the next stage, the Tercio De Banderillas ("the third of Banderillas") , each of the three Banderilleros attempts to plant two Banderillas, sharp barbed sticks, into the bull's shoulders . In the final stage, the "the third of death" , the matador re-enters the ring alone with a small red cape, or Muleta, and a sword .

Atmospheric photography in Eastmancolor by the Spanish classic cameraman José F. Aguayo , shot on location from Alcala De Henares , Aranjuez , Madrid Fuengirola, Málaga, Andalucía, Marbella, Torremolinos, Málaga ,Andalucía, Spain and Munich, Bavaria, Germany . Evocative and popular musical score by Gregorio García Segura .The motion picture lavishly produced by Marciano De La Fuente and the powerful producer Cesareo Gonzalez , Suevia Films' owner , that along with Cia Cifesa were the most known production companies during Francoist period , that often financed these false but breathtaking historical spectacles , being well directed by Rafael Gil , though it has some flaws and failures . This movie was professionally realized by Rafael Gil , shooting a hastily assembled decent picture , but uneven and ups and downs . Director Gil took advantage of the marvelous exteriors from Andalucia and the breathtaking ¨Corridas¨. Being filmed in usual style of the sixties and in stylistic scholarship , without leaving a trace the dramatic issues , in terms of moving and narrative excitement . He was one of the best filmmakers from Spanish cinema , fiming a large numeber of vintage movies , such as : ¨Don Quijote De La Mancha¨ , ¨El Clavo¨ , ¨La Fe¨ , ¨La Señora De Fatima¨, ¨Aventuras De Juán Lucas¨, ¨La Reina Santa¨ , ¨La Guerra De Dios¨ , ¨El Beso De Judas¨ , and several others . And he made some films about bullfighting as ¨Currito de la Cruz¨, ¨El Litri y su sombra¨ , ¨El relicario¨, ¨Sangre en el ruedo¨ , starred by known toreros such as : Angel Teruel , El Litri , Antonio Bienvenida , El Pireo , and Manuel Benitez El Cordobes. Rating : Acceptable and passable 5.5/10 . The motion picture will appeal to bullfighting aficionados .

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