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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

a spectacular movie

Author: (mg@meadfair.com) from new york city, new york
24 December 2003

i saw this movie over 30 years ago at the carnegie theatre in new york city. i have never forgotten it and in subsequent years have tried to obtain a dvd or vhs for my collection. unfortunately it doesn't seem to be available and the film is rarely shown any more. whether you agree or disagree with the plot of the film, it is a cinematic experience.

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13 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Power and Poetry and Pathos

10/10
Author: roberta_eidman from United States
5 March 2005

Saw it as a young girl, and it changed my life. It was shown in an art-house as part of a double bill, with Guns of August - about World War I. I was prompted learn move about the Spanish CIvil War, became more committed than ever to populist movements and cherishing of life.

I have ever since been a passionate fan of political documentary. In recent years docs are intended to 'educate with facts'. Facts are meaningless without heart and a vision of what makes life beautiful. I yearn for the return of this type of documentary instead of the talking heads that dominate now.

WHY ISN'T THIS OUT OF DVD OR VHS? An outrage.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Lastingly Powerful

Author: jackhart2000 (jackhart2000@yahoo.com) from Quebrangulo, Brasil
23 February 2004

40 years later I still remember seeing a movie showing real people fighting for real freedom - in particular a scene where bullets hit a empty hilltop, then rebels run through the same space, then bullets again - the sense that two seconds earlier or later in their actions would have meant real death (not movie death). I feel that we all should see understand what was shared in this film. ALSO - the music of Maurice Jarre was simple and beautiful.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It was a long time ago...

9/10
Author: irenerose from NYC
14 October 2004

I saw this film 40 years ago--it was the first I saw that did more than merely entertain. It's a movie for those who ponder larger issues. I recall the contagion to the viewer of the spirit of those fighting for liberty, and the hope for the future, unfortunately only to finish in futility.

As I recall, the opening scene was of a peasant walking a burro along a road--the ending scene was exactly the same, denoting that despite the fervor of many, sometimes nothing much changes in this world. I thought it was genius to depict the futility in this way.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A forgotten movie and score

10/10
Author: peter-de-rijcker (peter.de.rijcker@pandora.be) from Antwerp, Belgium
26 June 2005

All the comments reflect my own experience and feelings. Frédéric Rossif is a cineast who touches both heart and mind by his documentary work, as well as Ken Loach does in his social-political statements. More than the latter's "Land of Freedom" in color, the black-and-white of Mourir à Madrid reveals as much Spain's tragic sufferings of civil war as it pictures an archaic rural world now almost vanished.

The film score by Jarre, which I taped from the movie once shown on TV, is magnificent: it's Spanish guitar themes are still as beautiful and haunting as the ones of "Jeux Interdits". And yes, it's deplorable indeed that it hasn't already been re-edited and remastered on DVD; it can't be that difficult to bring it out and distribute it, seen the rubbish that does nowadays... An idea for Criterion?

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It continues to be one of my favourites

10/10
Author: rhclinton from United Kingdom
19 November 2009

It is rare to see such unanimity in comments, and I can only add my 10/10 to the list. I first saw it in 1961 at the Larkin Theater in San Francisco. I was fortunate to catch it on British TV many years ago and taped it - poor quality but better than nothing. Not only is it a wonderful film but it has been influential in shaping the political and social outlook of several generations, as is evident from the comments above. The Spanish Civil War ended seventy years ago but the passions it stimulated still persist. As in any war, it is easy to find heroes and villains (which is which depends on your political point of view) but, also as in any war, one can also see victims. They are poignantly evident in this great film.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

This is a movie experience I will never forget after one viewing 43 years ago.

10/10
Author: sandyfontwit from New Zealand
9 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I saw this movie at UC Berkeley soon after it came out, in the milieu of the Vietnam war protests and the Free Speech Movement. I was profoundly affected by one scene in particular when a truck arrives carrying food to the starving people in Madrid. A huge crowd gathers around the truck, mothers carrying children, wounded soldiers, etc, all holding out their hands begging for the parcels of food. Then the camera pans to an old man who stands alone to the side obviously too proud to beg and also, aware of the fact that there will not be enough food to go around, deciding to give up his portion to those more needy. This simple scene still brings tears to my eyes. This wonderful and terrifying movie proves that, in the right hands, documentary footage has an inherent power to move us. I add my name to the list of those who want to see this movie made available to the general public once again.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great Documentary

10/10
Author: cafecon1 from United States
24 March 2006

To Die in Madrid,follows a documentary filmed in 1938, released in 1939 The Spanish Earth. Both documentaries chronicle the Spanish Civil War. From Andre Segovia's guitar in the background,to the voices of Irene Worth and Sir John Guilguld, it's wonderful. To Die in Madrid is a testament to the first anti-fascists as the veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade refer to each other. I recommend both documentaries to any one that is interested in the roots of WWII. I am also looking for a copy of To Die in Madrid in VHS format if anyone knows where i could purchase, please contact me through the above e-mail address. Thank you.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It was a long time ago...

9/10
Author: irenerose from NYC
14 October 2004

I saw this film 40 years ago--it was the first I saw that did more than merely entertain. It's a movie for those who ponder larger issues. I recall the contagion to the viewer of the spirit of those fighting for liberty, and the hope for the future, unfortunately only to finish in futility.

As I recall, the opening scene was of a peasant walking a burro along a road--the ending scene was exactly the same, denoting that despite the fervor of many, sometimes nothing much changes in this world. I thought it was genius to depict the futility in this way.

irenerose

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Most anguishing movie I ever saw

9/10
Author: renzostrada from Argentina
12 January 2010

First caught this documentary back in the early seventies at an art-house, and beyond my political beliefs at that particular moment, it filled me with sadness. Sorrow for the opportunities lost, for the needless cruelty, for the unnecessary deaths, for the destruction of the hopes of a nation. Nor victors neither vanquished enjoyed nothing but pain, exile, hard work, and tyranny, some of them or all. And, of course, death everywhere.

I do have the DVD, french language with Spanish subtitles. Last night I foolishly decided to watch it again, only to find myself with my soul filled with grief, and on the brink of crying (and I'm 50).

Having had the opportunity to know well the Spanish people, as well as too many an expatriate since '39, I must praise this chef d'oeuvre beyond all criticism. It's simple, it's linear, it's predictable, it's sometimes a little corny, and it's profoundly TRAGIC, as it retells forever the tragedy a a most beautiful country and its bloody self-sacrifice.

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