Spanish Affair

Architect Male White Luis Marquina, Don Siegel Richard Collins 1957 Spain Drama


American architect Merritt Blake travels to Madrid, Spain to oversee the construction of a new hotel. Upon his arrival, however, Merritt is told by Carlos Sotelo, the project's director, that his modern design for the building has been rejected, as it clashes with the traditional Spanish architecture of the city. The stubborn Merritt refuses to modify his plans and insists that he be given the opportunity to meet directly with the company's board of directors, as they were the ones who actually rejected his proposal. Informed that the three directors are on vacation in various parts of Spain, Merritt convinces Mari Zarubia, Sotelo's secretary, to act as his interpreter on a business trip to see the three men. Though Merritt has no romantic intentions toward Mari, Antonio, her jealous gypsy fiancé, is furious to learn that his intended has gone on the excursion unchaperoned. Arriving in Segovia, Merritt shows Mari how the city's famous aqueduct system, built by the ancient Romans, contains design aspects similar to his proposed hotel. Later, when Merritt and Mari arrive at the bull farm of Count Rivera, they are forced to go out on horseback to meet with the board member, and Merritt is soon given a lesson in being a cowboy, Spanish style. Though Rivera is a traditionalist, having gone so far as to painstakingly match the design of a new addition to his thirteenth century farmhouse, he tells Merritt that he admires the architect's courage and will agree to his design if the other members do. As they prepare to leave for Barcelona, Mari sees that Antonio is following them and insists on returning to Madrid, but Merritt refuses to alter his course. In turn, Mari refuses to stay in the same hotel as Merritt, arguing it would be improper. That night, the two learn that Manuelo Oliva, the director they have come to Barcelona to see, has gone to his summer home in Tosa del Mar. Mari tries to warn Merritt that he is danger, telling the American that Antonio will kill him if he sees them together, but Merritt dismisses her concerns. The two then go to a dance in Barcelona's city square. Later, after walking Mari back to her hotel, Merritt is stalked by Antonio, but the gypsy is unable to attack the unsuspecting architect, as Merritt is escorted to his hotel by a friendly policeman. The next morning, Merritt and Mari are nearly involved in an automobile accident, which leads Merritt to recount a similar incident that took the life of his wife several years earlier. Finally meeting with Oliva in Tosa del Mar, Merritt and Mari are offered the hospitality of his home, but Oliva refuses to alter his negative opinion of the proposed hotel. Though dejected, Merritt agrees to go on a picnic with Mari at a nearby beach, where they once more run into Oliva. After Mari argues vehemently for the American's design, even though she personally finds it "ugly," a grateful Merritt kisses her. Mari then tells Merritt that she has fallen in love with him, but before he can respond, the two are confronted by Antonio. Merritt insists that she tell the gypsy that there is nothing between them, which the heartbroken Mari does. Mari then goes with Antonio to a gypsy camp to see his parents, but, repelled by its squalor, rushes back to her father's home in Toledo. Her father tells Mari that if she really loved Antonio, she would not care where or how they lived. Meanwhile, back in Tosa del Mar, Merritt goes to an inn and becomes friends with a local fisherman. During their chat, Merritt realizes that he loves Mari, so he goes to Toledo and professes his feelings to her. The two are then set upon by Antonio and his friends, but Merritt decides to face his fears, rather than running from them as he has always done, and stands up to the gypsy. Though the cowardly Antonio brandishes a knife, Merritt is stronger than the gypsy and overpowers him. After Mari picks up the fallen blade and gives it to the American, the defeated Antonio leaves. Afterward, Merritt agrees to follow tradition and ask Mari's father for her hand in marriage. In turn, Mari drops her engagement ring into the river.

Actors Who Play Architects:

Richard Kiley
[Merritt Blake]