A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage.

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Phantom Lady (1944)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A beautiful secretary risks her life to try to find the elusive woman who may prove her boss didn't murder his selfish wife.

Director: Robert Siodmak
Stars: Franchot Tone, Ella Raines, Alan Curtis
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a beautiful socialite masquerades as a maid, she becomes involved with an unpretentious, plain-spoken cowboy who's unaware of her true identity.

Directors: H.C. Potter, Stuart Heisler, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Gary Cooper, Merle Oberon, Patsy Kelly
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Friends since childhood, two men are on opposite sides in a salmon fishing conflict.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: George Raft, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A stranger defies the local cattle baron and his sadistic son by working for one of his oldest rivals.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis
Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Berkeley university professor adjusts (using alcohol) to tragic fire deaths of wife & son.

Director: Fletcher Markle
Stars: Ray Milland, John Hodiak, Nancy Reagan
Biography | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
History | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Crude and uncivilized backwoods trapper Jed Cooper and his two partners sign up as scouts in a remote Oregon army fort, manned chiefly by untrained rookie soldiers. Jed, flirting with the ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: Victor Mature, Guy Madison, Robert Preston
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

Director: Robert Rossen
Stars: Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, Joanne Dru
Way Down East (1935)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A family living on a farm in Maine takes in a young woman to stay with them, not knowing that the woman is not quite what she seems and has a secret in her past that she hasn't told them about.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Rochelle Hudson, Henry Fonda, Slim Summerville
Comedy | Romance | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Jonathan Street is a struggling composer when he meets and marries Annette. The problem is that Jonathan was drunk and does not want to be married. Annette does go with him to Paris and ... See full summary »

Director: John Cromwell
Stars: Lily Pons, Henry Fonda, Eric Blore
Mannequin (1937)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Rags-to-riches Hennessey meets newlyweds Jessie and Eddie from his old neighborhood. Eddie plots to have Jessie divorce him, marry Hennessey, divorce Hennessey, then bring Hennessey's money... See full summary »

Director: Frank Borzage
Stars: Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Alan Curtis
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Marco
...
Luis
...
Andre Gallinet
...
Edward Grant
...
Basil, Norma's Father
...
Vallejo
...
Pietro (as Fred Kohler Sr.)
Carlos De Valdez ...
Major Del Rio
...
Roderigo - Cafe Magician
...
Beppo
Rosina Galli ...
Waitress
...
Commandant (as Wm. B. Davidson)
...
Cabaret Girl
...
Peasant Girl
Edit

Storyline

A simple peasant is forced to take up arms to defend his farm during the Spanish Civil War. Along the way he falls in love with Russian whose father is involved in espionage. Written by Herman Seifer <alagain@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Romance under Fire ! Love versus Bullets and a million souls

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 June 1938 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Castles in Spain  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Disclaimer on film and connected paper - Note: Care has been taken to prevent any costume of the production from being accurately that of either side in the Spanish civil war. The story does not attempt to favor any cause in the present conflict, See more »

Quotes

Marco: [last lines, after being told to find peace] Marco: Peace? Where can you find it? Our country's been turned into a battlefield! There's no safety for old people and children. Women can't keep their families safe in their houses; they can't be safe in their own fields! Churches, schools, hospitals are targets! It's not war; war is between soldiers! It's murder! Murder of innocent people! There's no sense to it. The world can stop it! Where's the conscience of the world?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Trumbo (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
The Spanish Proletariat Rises
7 June 2010 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Although Blockade managed to get two Academy Award nominations for Best Music Score and Best Original Screenplay, time has not dealt well with the film. For Whom The Bells Toll is a great Hemingway novel and great film made from that novel and it is a far better interpretation of the Spanish Civil War.

Which was still going on when Blockade was made by Walter Wanger in 1938 and released by United Artists. Wanger had under personal contract at the time Henry Fonda whom he had brought to Hollywood to recreate his Broadway starring role in The Farmer Takes A Wife. After that during the Thirties he mostly rented Fonda's services out to the studios until Fonda signed a contract with 20th Century Fox to get to play Tom Joad in The Grapes Of Wrath.

One of the big problems is the casting of Henry Fonda as a Spanish peasant who joins the Republican Army and is the voice of the Spanish proletariat on screen. Fonda is just way too American in his speech to ever be convincing as anything else. As the voice of an American worker, Tom Joad in The Grapes Of Wrath, Fonda was perfect. As a Spaniard he just doesn't cut it. But he was certainly a bigger box office than the guy who should have played the part, Gilbert Roland.

While still just a peasant working his fields before war comes, Fonda meets up with Madeleine Carroll who is a Russian expatriate traveling through Spain to meet her father Vladimir Sokoloff and another family friend John Halliday. She doesn't know it, but the two of them are spies. And she gets roped into their espionage game as well.

The story of the Spanish Civil War is a complex one, but one of the failures of Blockade is that we never get any kind of background. Roughly speaking the bulk of the military staged a coup against the Republic of Spain and in the end which came in 1939, Francisco Franco emerged as a fascist dictator of Spain out of all the generals in revolt. But none of that is explained here in Blockade. All we know is that it's an amorphous 'them' out there making it tough on the peasants who are in fact supporting the constitutional and elected Republic of Spain.

Although the wholesale bombing of civilians had first been done in Ethiopia by the Italians, civilian bombing targets were first done in Europe in the Spanish Civil War. It was new and frightening and widely covered in the domestic and foreign press. The story of Blockade centers around a coastal town in which a relief ship cannot get through. The port may have to be surrendered and with it the whole province. It's what the Nationalists are working for and the Republicans like Fonda trying to prevent, though the names Nationalist and Republican are never used.

John Howard Lawson wrote the original script that got the Academy nod and he was one of the later Hollywood Ten and one who in fact made no bones about his Marxist sympathies. But this film has been so drained of politics that it's almost antiseptic.

I'd say Blockade is one for fans of the leads and an interesting if mediocre way showing how Hollywood handled a burning issue of the time.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss Blockade (1938) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?