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Maribel and the Strange Family (1960)

Maribel y la extraña familia (original title)
Marcelino's earnest wish is to marry Maribel, a former prostitute. When she gets to know his elderly mother and aunt, however, strange things concerning Marcelino's first wife start to arise.


(play), (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maribel (as Sylvia Pinal)
Adolfo Marsillach ...
Julia Caba Alba ...
Tía Paula
Guadalupe Muñoz Sampedro ...
Doña Matilde
Trini Alonso ...
Carmen Lozano ...
Gracita Morales ...
Niní (as Gracia Morales)
José Orjas ...
Erasmo Pascual ...
Don José
Dolores Bremón ...
Doña Rosita
Antonio Queipo ...
Doctor Roldán
Pilar Muñoz ...
Alicia Hermida ...
Pilar Gómez Ferrer ...
Julia Pachelo ...


Marcelino's earnest wish is to marry Maribel, a former prostitute. When she gets to know his elderly mother and aunt, however, strange things concerning Marcelino's first wife start to arise.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

prostitute | based on play | See All (2) »







Release Date:

6 April 1961 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Margherita e la strana famiglia  »

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Did You Know?


Version of Cásate conmigo, Maribel (2002) See more »


Für Elise
Written by Ludwig van Beethoven
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User Reviews

Enjoyable though dated comedy with portentous as well as likable characterizations by a great Spanish cast
5 May 2016 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

The film deals with the timid Marcelino (Adolfo Marsillach) , a quiet widower and owner of a chocolate factory at a village next to a lagoon . Marcelino along with his mother Doña Matilde (Guadalupe Muñoz Sampedro) arrive in Madrid to stay at aunt Paula (Julia Caba Alba) home . Then , Marcelino meets a woman called Maribel (Silvia Pinal who holds a strong Mexican accent) at an American Bar and he falls in love for her , but she results to be a call-girl . As shy Marcelino's earnest wish is to marry the former prostitute Maribel , but things go awry . As he pretends to marry her but her three whore friends (Gracita Morales , Carmen Lozano , Trini Alonso) think Marcelino attempts to kill her by drowning , similarly to his first wife . When Maribel gets to know his elderly mother and aunt , however, strange things concerning Marcelino's first wife start to arise .

This agreeable picture with very good cast concerns a widower , his family and bride , along with a group of unfortunate as well as bungling people . There are some nice jokes in the film and the cast , playing eccentric characters , make a cosy fit . It takes a simple concept , a peculiar couple wishes to marry but complications ensue . This film packs attractive images , strange situations , diverting events , twists and turns ; but it especially contains charming touches of humor and irony . The flick interweaves fun comedy along with a brief social criticism about Spain of the sixties and a little bit of suspense and great amusement . It turns out to be a highly original yarn , being made to entertain , and this movie , especially for a good time and a pleasant entertainment . The flick contains silly incidents , fun plot twists , tongue-in-cheek , grotesque situations and above all , humor . Sitting in a strange middle ground between the completely absurd and the stylishly cool ; being mostly set in interiors and adapted to Spanish characteristics by that time . This film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few ridiculous . Interesting as well as funny screenplay by prolific as well as distinguished writers Miguel Mihura , Luis Marquina , Vicente Coello and the same director Jose Maria Forqué ; all of them attempt to adapt the original play to contemporary times . However , it was rigidly censored by the stiff censorship of the Franquismo . Based on the homonymous novel by Miguel Mihura who also collaborates in screenplay . Mihura was a known writer and playwright , he along with ¨Tono¨ created the famous magazine ¨La Codorniz¨. Mihura scripted successes as ¨Hija Del Penal¨, ¨Castillo De Naipes¨, ¨Calle Sin Sol¨ , ¨la Corona Negra¨, ¨Bienvenido Mr Marshall¨ and ¨Viva Lo Impossible¨. And also wrote several plays , most of them had its cinematic rendition , such as : ¨Tres Sombreros De Copa¨, ¨Mi Adorado Juan¨, ¨Melocotón En Almibar¨, ¨Carlota¨ and ¨Ninette Y Un Señor De Murcia¨ , the latter bears remarkable resemblance to ¨Maribel..¨. The characters are quite odd , grotesque and geek and the film races on at incredible incidents . Filmmaker Forqué delivers a sympathetic comedy in which the main and support cast are frankly outstanding . The main attraction resides in its excellent support cast cast in which stand out the old women , the illustrious veterans : Guadalupe Muñoz Sampedro and Julia Caba Alba . With special mention for the three friends : Gracita Morales , Carmen Lozano and Trini Alonso . Furthermore , other prestigious secondaries in brief interventions such as Jose Orjas , Alicia Hermida and Erasmo Pascual .

It displays an atmospheric cinematography in black and white by expert cameraman Jose F. Aguayo , being shot in Madrid and Lago Sanabria , Zamora . Evocative musical score , including some catching songs , by maestro Manuel Parada . The motion picture was compellingly realized by prolific filmmaker Jose Maria Forque who carries out a decent , nimble and professional direction , though including some flaws . José María Forqué was born in Zaragoza , being father of actress Verónica Forqué and director Álvaro Forqué . He was a director and writer, known for filming some classic Spanish films , such as ¨Accidente 703¨ (1962) , ¨Amanecer en Puerta Oscura¨ (1957) , ¨Un Millon En La Basura¨ and especially ¨Atraco a Las Tres¨ . And shot successful TV series : ¨Miguel Servet¨ , ¨El Jardín De Venus¨ , and ¨Ramon Y Cajal¨ . He also filmed some international co-productions such as ¨Tarot¨ with Gloria Grahame , ¨Mujer De Tierra Caliente¨ with Stuart Whitman , Laura Gemser and ¨El Ojo Del Huracan¨ or ¨In the eye of hurricane¨ with Tony Kendall and Jean Sorel . Rating : 6.5/10 . Well worth watching for Spanish cinema fans .

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