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The Executioner (1963)

El verdugo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Comedy | 13 March 1964 (Italy)
An undertaker gets married to an old executioner's daughter and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement.

Director:

(as Luis Gª. Berlanga)

Writers:

(story) (as Luis Gª Berlanga), (story) | 3 more credits »
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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Carmen, la hija de Amadeo
...
Amadeo, el verdugo (as Jose Isbert)
...
...
Álvarez, el enterrador (as Angel Alvarez)
Guido Alberti ...
Director de la prisión
...
Mujer visitante de la obra nº 2
...
Estefanía (as Maria Luisa Ponte)
...
Ignacia (as Maria Isbert)
...
San Martín
...
Guarda de la obra
...
Marqués (as Jose Orjas)
...
Vigilante con botella de champán (as Jose Maria Prada)
...
Organista (as Felix Fernandez)
...
Funcionario de prisiones
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Storyline

The history starts with the main character (an old executioner in the Spain of early 60's) approaching retirement age. As his profession is not exactly what you could call "popular", he (a very gentle and nice man, caring, and proud of traditions) begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual "spinsterhood": as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad's "trade", he runs away from her, scared. A sad life... However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a handsome and young man who has exactly the same problem... No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other. But here the old executioner has something to say: He does not object to her daughter marrying the young undertaker; he seems a decent man, and all that... But there is a condition: ... Written by Jose Beltran <pepe@prince.pe.u-tokyo.ac.jp>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1964 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Executioner  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 42151 delivered on 24-1-1964. See more »

Quotes

Woman in the book fair: [subtitled version] Have you got something about Bergman or Antonioni...?
Sr. Corcuera, el académico: Bergman... Bergman?
Woman in the book fair: Yes.
Sr. Corcuera, el académico: The actress...?
Woman in the book fair: No, no, it's not the actress...
See more »

Connections

References Ben-Hur (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

El verdugo
(twist)
Composed by Adolfo Waitzman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterpiece
4 May 2007 | by See all my reviews

Another lesson of Berlanga about how to criticize the society avoiding censorship. "El Verdugo" looks like a comedy, sounds like a comedy, tastes like a comedy... But it is actually a fierce critic of the death penalty. The final sequence of this movie is one of the most brilliant ever (you cannot tell who's the criminal and who's the executioner!!!).

And what to say about the great José Isbert?? He was a character himself, with that voice, and that physique. I don't know if he was a genius, I just can say that there will never be another actor like him.

Berlanga + Azcona: an unbeatable team.

*My rate: 10/10


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