Aurora is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at her site Once Upon a Screen with her sixth edition of the Hollywood's Hispanic Heritage Blogathon on September 29th. Begin your journey HERE.
Pedro de Cordoba
September 28, 1881 - September 16, 1950
Patrician Pedro de Cordoba was born in New York City enjoying the combined cultural heritage of a French mother and Cuban father. He trained as an actor and made his Broadway debut performing in a 1902 production of Hamlet. Shakespeare provided a lot of his work at this time: The Taming of the Shrew (Hortensio), Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Othello, As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, and Julius Caesar (Brutus). Fellow performers in these productions include Harry Davenport, Sydney Greenstreet, Basil Rathbone, Leonard Mudie, Katharine Cornell, Jane Cowl, Constance Collier, Henry Kolker, Ferdinand Gottschalk, Tyrone Power Sr., John Litel, and Charles Coburn.
Other productions in his 48 play Broadway career between 1902 and 1935 include Lady Windermere's Fan, Vanity Fair, The Blue Bird (Fire), Marie Antoinette (Count Fersen), The Rivals (Faulkland), Candida (Rev. Morell), and Arms and the Man (Sam Abramovitch).
Pedro de Cordoba made his motion picture debut in Cecil B. DeMille's 1915 version of Carmen alongside opera star Geraldine Farrar in the title role and Wallace Reid as Don Jose. During the next decade, Pedro de Cordoba would appear in 23 films including The New Moon as Prince Michael and When Knighthood Was in Flower as the Duke of Buckingham. The actor with the mellifluous and commanding voice would re-enter film in 1935, again for DeMille as Karakush in The Crusades.
Geraldine Farrar, Pedro de Cordoba
The toreador Escamillo is taken with the gypsy woman Carmen. On his way to Seville to take advantage of the opportunity to become renowned in his profession, Escamillo wants to share his good fortune with the tempestuous and beautiful Carmen. Carmen enthusiastically returns his regard and will accompany him to the city and to glory. However, first, she must assist her smuggler friends by seducing the naive soldier Don Jose. The thrill of Escamillo's success and its glory do await the couple in Seville, and more.
Sidney Toler's fourth outing as Inspector Charlie Chan places our hero in Paris, a City in Darkness in 1939 as the world moved inexorably toward war. Paris is practicing blackout drills as desperate people flee and others spy for foreign entities or take advantage of the confusion about them.
Pedro de Cordoba as Antoine
Pedro de Cordoba plays the role of Antoine, a wounded veteran of the First World War who is employed as the valet of a wealthy industrialist played by Douglas Dumbrille. Antoine is a patriot, even more so as his only son is about to become involved in the current inevitable conflict. Antoine is elegant and thoughtful; a man of honour and of keen observation.
During this time in Hollywood when an A list picture took on Hitler and the Nazis, it was controversial, yet the B units such as those producing the Chan pictures could confront the politics head-on and gave us this excellent entry in the series.
Alfred Hitchcock's 1942 thriller brought WW2 to America's homeland. A munitions factory worker played by Robert Cummings is sought by authorities and by the genuine saboteurs responsible for the destruction and murder for which he is blamed. On the run with a sometimes willing/sometimes unwilling accomplice played by Priscilla Lane, the pair will meet many who will help and may who will hinder.
Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings
Anita Sharp-Bolster, Pedro de Cordoba
Bones: "In this situation, I find a parallel to the present predicament. We stand defeated at the outset. You, Esmerelda, have sympathy yet you're willing to remain passive. I have a belief, and yet I'm tempted to let myself be over-ridden by force. The rest of you, with the exception of this malignant jerk, are ignorant of the facts, and, therefore, confused. Thank heaven we're still members of a democracy. We'll vote."
Pedro de Cordoba is front and center in this grouping from the 1939 Hopalong Cassidy feature Law of the Pampas. It was his second Hoppy picture that year following Range War. Pedro plays Jose Valdez, the subject of a plot to separate him from his land. It's a good thing Hoppy is on his way. And, yes, that is "Chan", Sidney Toler next to the kid.
My time machine wish includes more comedy for Pedro de Cordoba pictured here with Cary Grant and Gail Patrick in My Favorite Wife in 1940. Dr. Kohlmar is one very confused psychiatrist in this secretive marital mix-up.
The IMDb lists 115 feature film credits for Pedro de Cordoba. You never know when you will be pleasantly surprised by his appearance as a revered rancher, a dignified Native, an ambassador, a general, or perhaps the classiest head waiter ever! Keep your eyes peeled in Comanche Territory, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Captain Blood, The Falcon in Mexico, The Sea Hawk, Anthony Adverse, Blood and Sand, Green Dolphin Street, and Five Came Back.
Pedro de Cordoba was at one time the president of the Catholic Actors Guild of American. He was married from 1928 to his passing in 1950 to Eleanor Nolan and their family included six children.
Pedro de Cordoba in Technicolor!
With Monty Banks in Blood and Sand, 1941