Stephen Boyd and director Jose Antonio Nieves : “Casa Manchada” (Impossible Love) 1977

Stephen Boyd worked with only one director multiple times- and it happened to be Spanish director José Antonio Nieves during the 1970’s. Of all directors, I think José Antonio Nieves had a real sense of Stephen on screen (along with William Wyler,of course), and when filming Stephen he allowed him to be both quier, brooding and emotional in a way Stephen could never be in his early work. Because of being so attuned to Boyd, I think José Antonio Nieves directed Stephen in some of his best work – particularly “Marta” and “Casa Manchada”. Unfortunately many of Stephen’s movies with José Antonio Nieves are very hard to find, but they are out there. I particularly encourage people to get “Casa Manchada” on Amazon Spain! This is one of Stephen’s best roles- ever. Now, the movie is completely dubbed in Spanish, but this does not detract from Stephen’s performance. It was most likely filmed in 1974 or 1975. Stephen has shed the shaggy hair and western mustache for a very sophisticated look. He looks younger than he had in years and very handsome in the 1930’s outfits. The story revolves around Stephen, who plays Alvaro, and his male ancestors (also portrayed by Stephen in flashbacks) who all meet violent deaths at the hands of Spanish revolutionaries. The story is based on a novel by Emilio Romero.  Alvaro is married, but falls in love with a girl Laura, played by Sara Lezana,  who he finds mysteriously abandoned on his vast estate, Casa Manchada. (This plot line is similar to “Marta”).  After carrying on this affair, his wife soon finds out, and banishes the girl, claiming back her husband. Alvaro is not pleased, but after his wife dies, he falls into a deep gloom. Only a distant relative, Rosa, played by the gorgeous  Paula Senatore, can break his mood and he soon falls in love with her and they marry. But shortly thereafter, Alvaro meets his destiny – just like his ancestors – and dies at the hands of new revolutionaries. It is beautifully filmed, and the score is heart-wrenching. The wintry, dry Spanish scenery is equally impressive. According to IMDB ths movie was filmed in Cebreros, Ávila, Castilla y León, Balaeric Islands Spain . It is a very romantic movie, and maybe one of Stephen’s best romantic roles as his character tries to juggle three different relationships with women and confront his own dark destiny. His acting covers the gamut from pained, happy, brooding, in lust and in love, and once again, José Antonio Nieves does a beautiful job of filming all the actors with perfect lighting and angles. This film is a very quiet masterpiece.



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