Something for the weekend. Conquest theme from the 1947 film Captain From Castile. As all University of Southern California alums know, the work was composed by Alfred Newman who bequeathed all rights in the work to the University to play at football games.
The movie Captain From Castile, based on the novel of the same name by Samuel Shellenbarger, is quite worth watching. Tyrone Power plays Pedro de Vargas, a nobleman on the run from the inquisition who becomes one of Hernan Cortez’ captains. Cortez is portrayed by Caesar Romero who steals every scene he is in. He captures Cortez perfectly: larger than life, endlessly innovative, always optimistic no matter the challenge, and overflowing with raw charisma. The film ends before the campaign to conquer Tenochtitlan which is a disappointment.
Throughout the film, the Church and the Catholic faith are treated with complete respect. Thomas Gomez is brilliant in the role of Father Bartolome de Olmedo, the priest accompanying the expedition, who tells the conquistadors to forego their greed for gold, to treat the Indians with mercy, and to build a land where all can stand equal before Christ. He chides Cortez at one point for firing on a temple of the Indians saying that when idols are ready to fall they fall of their own accord. In short, he is filled with Christian mercy and charity, and is in accord with what we know of the priests who during these years worked tirelessly to protect the Indians and made many converts by their good works and charity.
Here is a trailer for the film. The trailer is in black and white, but the film is in glorious Technicolor and is out on DVD.