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El Cid is a 1961 epic historical drama film directed by Anthony Mann and produced by Samuel Bronston. The film is loosely based on the life of the Christian Castilian knight Don Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, called "El Cid" (from the Arabic as-sidi, meaning "The Lord"), who, in the 11th century, fought the North African Almoravides and ultimately contributed to the unification of Spain. The film stars Charlton Heston in the title role and Sophia Loren as Doña Ximena. The screenplay is credited to Fredric M. Frank, Philip Yordan, and Ben Barzman with uncredited contributions by Bernard Gordon.

Plot

Gen. Ibn (pronounced Ben) Yusuf (Herbert Lom) of the Almoravid dynasty has summoned all the Emirs of Al-Andalus to North Africa. He chastises them for co-existing peacefully with their Christian neighbors, which goes against his dream of Islamic world domination. The emirs return to Spain with orders to resume hostilities with the Christians while Ibn Yusuf readies his army for a full-scale invasion.