Manolete (film)

Manolete, also known as The Passion Within in the United Kingdom, Blood and Passion in Canada, and A Matador's Mistress in the United States,[2] is a 2008 biopic of bullfighter Manuel Laureano Rodríguez Sánchez, better known as "Manolete". The film was written and directed by Menno Meyjes. This is the first film from HandMade Films since Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998).

The Passion Within poster
Directed byMenno Meyjes
Written byMenno Meyjes
Produced byAndrés Vicente Gómez
StarringAdrien Brody
Penélope Cruz
Santiago Segura
Ann Mitchell
Juan Echanove
CinematographyRobert Yeoman
Edited bySylvie Landra
Music byDan Jones
Gabriel Yared
Iberoamericana Films Producción
Future Films
Manolete Productions
Quinta Communications
Pierce/Williams Entertainment
Distributed by
  • G2 Pictures
  • (United Kingdom)
Release date
  • 28 August 2008 (2008-08-28) (TIFF)
Running time
92 minutes
United Kingdom
United States
Budget$28 million[1]


The Menno Meyjes directed drama stars Adrien Brody as Spanish bullfighter Manolete, in a film that covers his late life love affair with actress Lupe Sino (Penélope Cruz) before he was gored to death in the bull ring. Sino's communist politics turned their affair into a scandal in the early 1940s, especially after discovering her previous marriage to a PCE member.[3] The film begins with Manolete's last day in Linares.



The film premiered on 28 August 2008 in the Toronto International Film Festival.[4]

Despite a planned release date of 2007, the film faced several production delays and a spiralling budget. Although it was scheduled for a theatrical release in France on 31 March 2010,[5] Deadline's Mike Fleming reported that, "Even though the film stars two Oscar winners, it never found any takers for a theatrical run."[3] The film has been shelved since 2007.[2]

In April 2011 - Xenon Pictures CEO Leigh Savidge announced that on 7 June 2011 Xenon Pictures would release a newly edited version of A Matador's Mistress on DVD.[6]

Gravitas Ventures announced on 14 March 2011 that it has acquired VOD and digital rights to Manolete. Gravitas, which is licensing the film from Viva Pictures, plans to release the film on demand via cable, satellite, telco and online in June 2011. "We are confident no one is better positioned to exploit this epic high-value production on a digital platform," said Viva president Victor Elizalde.[7]


Although bullfighting scenes were shot expensively without bulls, animal rights activists have encouraged a boycott of the film. Protestors reject what they perceive to be a glamorous image of a matador on film. "It is inadmissible to release a film in which the hero is a matador," said the Alliance Anticorrida, a French anti-bullfighting group, in a message to its 20,000 members. "If they are properly informed, a great number of spectators will avoid this new film."[8]

Filming locationsEdit

The film was shot in 2005, four years before Cruz won her Oscar for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Penelope Cruz and Adrien Brody Steam Up The Screen In Long-Awaited "A Matador's Mistress"". PR Newswire. 5 April 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b Jagernauth, Kevin (14 March 2011). "Adrien Brody & Penelope Cruz's 'Manolete' aka 'Blood & Passion' aka 'A Matador's Mistress' Gets Date". indie Wire. Archived from the original on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Fleming, Mike (14 March 2011). "Adrien Brody-Penelope Cruz Pic 'A Matador's Mistress' Bypasses Theatrical For VOD Release By Gravitas Ventures". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  4. ^ "'Manolete', the film by Lola Films that financed 'El Pocero', will premiere at the Toronto festival on September 6 almost a year late". Archived from the original on 6 October 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  5. ^ Blood, bulls and boycott: Manolete strikes again The Independent
  6. ^ "Penelope Cruz and Adrien Brody Steam Up The Screen In Long-Awaited "A Matador's Mistress"". Retrieved 24 November 2021.
  7. ^ Punter, Jennie (14 March 2011). "Gravitas Ventures signs Brody, Cruz film". Variety. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  8. ^ "Animal rights activists condemn bullfighting film Manolete" The Telegraph. 30 March 2010

External linksEdit