The fifth film made by Rafael Gil, with the collaboration of José Antonio Nieves Conde as assistant director. The screenplay is by Rafael Gil and Eduardo Marquina, who adapted the story "El Clavo" (1881), by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (1833-1891). Shooting in Sevilla Films Studios (Madrid), except for some exterior shots real (part of the journey by coach, river scene, village rooftops ...) that are filmed in Cuenca. The dramatic action takes place in Cuenca, Madrid, Nueva Mérida (Extremadura town of fiction) and other unnamed locations in the country. It extends from 1865 to about 1870. The single judge "Javier Zarco" (Duran), meets "Blanca" (Amparo Rivelles), during a trip to Madrid to Teruel, a fascinating woman, mysterious and secretive. They fall in love, but she disappears shortly after.
The film adds drama, romance, mystery and fantasy. The love story that builds Rafael Gil, follows the story of Alarcón, but adds elements of mystery, intrigue, shameful secrets and fantasy, dealing with success, although lower than the models in American films inspired. Gil gets wrapped in a climate history unsettling and disturbing, but away from the subtleties and the vibration of their role models.
The film is not about politics, about being a drama and only drama. However, the work is the result of their time and as such it reflects aspects as interesting as the omnipresence of Catholicism, poor means the Administration of Justice, the centrality of power, very high levels of popular ignorance, fearful reactions of the weak, the inexorable importance of confession and public repentance, etc.. Competition from Rafael Gil takes to fill the story sets the mood consistent with the general restriction of civil liberties and, therefore, the system reviews. The humor is based on personal disabilities (deafness), excesses "sinful" (gluttony, sloth ...), confusion pious, female authoritarianism...
The script, correct and well built, proving the skill and preparation as a screenwriter Rafael Gil. Reasonable uses of time and pace, effectively mixing contrasting elements (drama and humor) and develops a dramatic progression efficient. The staging, but today seems dominated by artisanal criteria, shows a good knowledge. For the modern viewer, the dialogue is contrived, individual interventions are long and discursive and tone them is unnatural and somewhat tedious, according to the conventions of the time.
Still this good movie is recommended for moviegoers of Spanish cinema.
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