Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into... See full summary »
Paquita and her brother Venancio, both single and childish, live in a small town near Madrid. Their bossy eldest sister Ignacia, also an old maid, dominates them. One night, Paquita hears ... See full summary »
Fernando Fernán Gómez
In rural Spain, sister of an ex con convinces him to take revenge against the local who tipped off the authorities about the man's whereabouts, which led to his subsequent arrest. Unfortunately, she soon falls in love with the snitch.
Rodolfo and Petrita each live in separate quarters in dilapidated Madrid, while looking to have a little apartment (or "pisito", in Spanish dialect). Unfortunately their low salaries ... See full summary »
Isidoro M. Ferry
José Luis López Vázquez,
Concha López Silva
Another masterpiece by the notorious filmmaker Berlanga who shows the lively existence at a village where appears an escaped scientist
Maestro Berlanga realizes another acceptable film full of good feeling and brief social critical . Spanish coral film with enjoyable screenplay by Leonado Martin and the same Berlanga dealing with a scientist whose inventions he thought to be good for humanity , but he then escapes from a hypocrite society that builds atomic dangers and nuclear weapons . Spanish/Italian co-production masterfully directed by veteran Berlanga who satirizes daily life of the post Spanish war and full of a high level of ingenious humor , including a light critical but without malevolent intention . The professor Hamilton (Edmund Gwenn) is a famous scientific , a wise naive old man that makes atomic artifacts , but tired his inventions to be used for military objectives , flees to realize his mistake . He escapes and shelter a Spanish little town called Calabuch , a idyllic place located on Mediterranean coast , a location where the whole world does what he likes . It is inhabited by diverse people : the priest (Felix Fernandez) , the smuggler (Franco Fabrizi) , the teacher (Valentina Cortese) , the Corporal (Juan Calvo) of Guardia Civil , the lighthouse man (Jose Isbert) , these are the most wonderful of the world . They have nature of naivety and help the scientific who befriends neighbours , all of them are very good people . Hid in these people he can live and die in peace ; Utopian Calabuch has an air of surrealism magic.
This is a fable/metaphor story that contains busy comedy , humor , frantic pace , blatant anti-militarism , joy , amusing gags , rowdy satire , noisy hustle ; but the main problem is that if you are foreigner you will have to know well the Spanish society to understand the double-senses and jokes . The main and support actors stand out under perfect direction of Berlanga very far from sour criticism that carried out in previous and subsequent works such as ¨Placido or El Verdugo¨ that include bitter , pessimistic descriptions of social classes . In ¨Calabuch¨ we can find very fun characters, all of them caricatures of the "spanish way of life" and a mirror on the Spanish society by that time . Awesome playing by Edmund Gwenn as a naive , ingenuous wise scientist . The movie displays a Spanish secondary star-studded such as : Juan Calvo , Manuel Alexandre (Berlanga's habitual) , the great Jose Isbert and the likable Jose Luis Ozores , Maria Vico , Mario Berriatua , Nicolas Perichot , as well as Italian players as Franco Fabrizi and Valentina Corteres who married Richard Basehart who starred ¨El Jueves Milagro¨.
Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is pretty good , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily . Acceptable cinematography by Francisco Prosper , though is necessary a perfect remastering ; being filmed on location in Peñiscola (Castellon) , where years later was filmed ¨El Cid¨ by Anthony Mann . Lively and emotive musical score by Guido Guerrini and Angelo Francisco Lavagnino , though uncredited . Berlanga filmed several polemic movies during the 50s , all of them were beset by difficulties with the censors caused by real critical to social stratum such as ¨Bienvenido Mister Marshall¨ (1953) , a very good film which tended not to be very well received by the censor for its acidity and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the history ; however, his strong portrait of Spanish society , plenty of sharpness , didn't please the pro-Franco authorities . His next joint venture was ¨Los Jueves, Milagro¨ (1957), it was modified by the censors and delayed for several years before its eventual release . Subsequently , Berlanga made ¨Placido¨ (1961) masterfully played by Cassen , this is the film debut for the great producer Alfredo Matas and received an Oscar nomination in 1963 , being well-received at the International Festivals , reviewing the useless charity , it's a sublime film but with censorship realized by this great maestro Luis Garcia Berlanga . Later on , Berlanga made one of his best films: ¨El Verdugo¨ (1963), one of the undisputed masterpieces and fundamental in filmography of Luis Garcia Berlanga where shows the miseries of an amoral society and shot at the height of his creativity, in a period cultural difficult, where the enormous censorship of the political regime, exacerbated the ingenuity and imagination of the scriptwriters . He continued filming other interesting pictures as in 1973 he went to Paris to begin filming ¨Grandeur nature¨ with Michael Piccoli , another problematic film , focusing this time on the fetishism of a man who falls in love with a doll . Several years later , after Franco's death, he filmed a trilogy comprising ¨La Escopeta Nacional¨ (1978), ¨Patrimonio Nacional¨ (1981) and ¨Nacional III¨ (1982), where he clarified the evident disorders in the Spanish upper , middle-class upon being confronted with a new political status quo , realizing a sour denounce of the Spanish society . Berlanga ulteriorly shot a peculiar film titled ¨La Vaquilla¨ (1985) plenty of Spanish-star-cast and set in the Spanish Civil War , resulting to be the first time dealing with this convulsive period in comedy style . Following the same themes, he went on filming coral films such as ¨Moros and Cristianos¨ and ¨Todos a Carcel¨ (1993) that won three Goya Awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Sound ; being his final film : ¨Paris Tombuctu¨. Rating ¨Calabuch¨ : 7'5 , pretty good . Essential and indispensable watching for Berlanga aficionados . Better than average and well worth seeing .
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