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The Spanish Earth (1937)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, War  |  20 August 1937 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 422 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 5 critic

A documentary showing the struggle of the Spanish Republican government against a rebellion by ultra-right-wing forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco and backed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

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Writers:

(English narration), (English narration), 4 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Manuel Azaña ...
Himself (President of Spain)
José Díaz ...
Himself (Parliamentarian)
Dolores Ibárruri ...
Herself (as La Pasionaria)
Enrique Lister ...
Himself (Republican Army)
Commander Martinez de Aragón ...
Himself (Republican Army)
Gustav Regler ...
Himself (German writer)
...
Narrator (English version) (later replaced by Ernest Hemingway) (voice)
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Storyline

This documentary tells of the struggles during the Spanish Civil War. It deals with the war at different levels: from the political level, at the ground military level focusing on battles in Madrid and the road from Madrid to Valencia, and at the support level. With the latter, a key project was building an irrigation system for an agricultural field near Fuentedueña so that food could be grown to feed the soldiers. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | War

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 August 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

This Spanish Earth  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles recorded the commentary written by Ernest Hemingway and receives on-screen credit, but Hemingway decided to use his own voice instead. It is not clear which version of the film uses Hemingway's voice; the most common print does use the more cultured voice of Welles, which seemed jarring to members of the Contemporary Historians production company--formed by Herman Shumlin, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, which produced the movie. Both versions are available. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hemingway & Gellhorn (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The Images Make This Documentary Worth Watching
13 July 2011 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Spanish Earth, The (1937)

*** (out of 4)

Nice documentary from Joris Ivens about the struggles of the Spanish Republic who were trying to save their lives against forces led by Gen. Franco who was being backed by Nazi Germany. Ernest Hemingway narrates this documentary, which lasts just over 53-minutes. At that short of a running time you know not every aspect of this legendary battle is going to be talked about so if you're needing a history lesson then this here probably isn't going to be for you. We really don't learn too much about how this battle got started and of course there's no conclusion but THE Spanish EARTH remains rather interesting simply because of the images and the heart behind the storytelling. There's no question that the production company and director Ivens wanted to stand up against those they felt were doing evil things against human beings only wanting to put food on the table for their children. There are many striking visuals where we see people waiting in line for food, which of course runs out before everyone could be fed. We get images of the young men going off to war to fight and of course with war comes the images of many who lost their lives. The production is rather crude as the cinematography isn't all that impressive and there are many issues with the sound but this really doesn't take away from the film and in many ways it makes it even more raw. What I was most impressed with where the images that really put us in the middle of this battle and one of the most striking happens at a bread line where we see that even bread has been stamped so that the poor knows who it belongs to. Film buffs will notice that Orson Welles gets credited for "narration" but his vocals were dropped and replaced by Hemingway.


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