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El verdugo
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The Executioner (1963) More at IMDbPro »El verdugo (original title)


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Release Date:
17 February 1964 (Spain) See more »
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Classic Spanish film about a justice executioner full of satire , criticism and black comedy See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Nino Manfredi ... José Luis Rodríguez, el enterrador
Emma Penella ... Carmen, la hija de Amadeo
José Isbert ... Amadeo, el verdugo (as Jose Isbert)
José Luis López Vázquez ... Antonio Rodríguez, el hermano mayor de José Luis (as Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez)
Ángel Álvarez ... Álvarez, el enterrador (as Angel Alvarez)
Guido Alberti ... Director de la prisión
Julia Caba Alba ... Mujer visitante de la obra nº 2
María Luisa Ponte ... Estefanía (as Maria Luisa Ponte)
María Isbert ... Ignacia (as Maria Isbert)
Erasmo Pascual
Xan das Bolas ... Guarda de la obra
José Orjas ... Marqués testigo de la ejecución (as Jose Orjas)
José María Prada ... Funcionario de prisiones (as Jose Maria Prada)
Félix Fernández ... Monaguillo nº 2 (as Felix Fernandez)
Antonio Ferrandis
Lola Gaos ... Mujer visitante de la obra nº 3 (as Dolores Gaos)
Santiago Ontañón ... Sr. Corcuera, el académico (as Santiago Ontañon)
Alfredo Landa ... Monaguillo nº 1
José Sazatornil ... Administrador (as Jose Saza)
Agustín González ... Hombre que pelea en la calle nº 1 (as Agustin Gonzalez)
Goyo Lebrero ... Witness (as Goyo Lebreros)
Sergio Mendizábal (as Sergio Mendizabal)
Vicente Llosa
Chus Lampreave ... Mujer visitante de la obra nº 1
José Luis Coll ... Organista que hace gárgaras (as Jose Luis Coll)
José Cordero (as Jose Cordero)
Pedro Beltrán (as Pedro Beltran)
Rafael Hernández (as Rafael Hernandez)
Dolores García (as Dolores Garcia)
Magdalena Mora
Enrique Pelayo
Enrique Tusquets
José Antonio Rodríguez (as Jose Anton Rodriguez)
Francisco Serrano
Antonio Pascual
Agustín Zaragoza (as Agustin Zaragoza)
Valentín Tornos ... Vendedor de libros (as Valentin Tornos)
Antonio Alfonso Vidal (as Antonio A. Vidal)
Lorenzo Nogueras
Emilio Alonso (as Emilio A. Ferrer)
Elena Santonja
Emilio Laguna ... Funcionario de Aduanas
Magda Maldonado
Gonzalo Parra
Carmen Ripoll
Javier Escobar
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Manuel Alexandre ... (uncredited)
Elvira Quintillá ... (uncredited)

Directed by
Luis García Berlanga  (as Luis Gª. Berlanga)
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Rafael Azcona  story and screenplay
Ennio Flaiano  writer
Luis García Berlanga  screenplay
Luis García Berlanga  story

Produced by
Nazario Belmar .... executive producer
Moris Ergas .... co-producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
Miguel Asins Arbó  (as Miguel Asins Arbo)
Cinematography by
Tonino Delli Colli 
Film Editing by
Alfonso Santacana 
Art Direction by
Luis Argüello 
Set Decoration by
José Antonio de la Guerra 
Makeup Department
José Luis Campos .... assistant makeup artist
María Teresa Gamborino .... hair stylist
Francisco Puyol .... makeup artist
Production Management
José Manuel M. Herrero .... unit production manager (as Jose Manuel M. Herrero)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Félix Fernández .... second assistant director (as Felix Fernandez)
Ricardo Muñoz Suay .... assistant director
Art Department
Luis Cuevas .... property master
Manuel Frías .... set dresser (as Manuel Frias)
Juan García .... construction coordinator
José María Guerra .... assistant set decorator (as Jose Maria de la Guerra)
Sound Department
Felipe Fernández .... sound engineer (as Felipe Fernandez)
Camera and Electrical Department
Miguel Agudo .... camera operator
José Cobos .... second assistant camera (as Jose Cobos)
Alejandro Diges .... still photographer
Ramón Sempere .... assistant camera (as Ramon Sempere)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Humberto Cornejo .... wardrobe
Maruja Hernáiz .... tailor
Editorial Department
Pilar Bernardo .... second assistant editor
Alicia Castillo .... assistant editor
Other crew
Ramón Baillo .... production assistant
Francisco Escobar .... production assistant
Concepción Hidalgo .... script supervisor (as Conchita Hidalgo)
Julio F. Alymán .... voice dubbing: Vendedor de pólizas (uncredited)
Vicente Bañó .... voice dubbing: Megafonia de feria del libro (uncredited)
Rafael de Penagos .... voice dubbing: Alfredo Landa (uncredited)
Lucita García Luengo .... voice dubbing: Mujer en feria del libro (uncredited)
Antolín García .... voice dubbing: José María Prada (uncredited)
Víctor Orallo .... voice dubbing: Enrique Tusquets / Juan (uncredited)
José María Prada .... voice dubbing: Nino Manfredi (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"El verdugo" - Spain (original title)
See more »
Italy:90 min | Spain:87 min | USA:90 min | UK:91 min | Argentina:91 min | West Germany:90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Did You Know?

Italian censorship visa # 42151 delivered on 24-1-1964.See more »
Amadeo, el verdugo:[subtitled version] You think that's bad? That's only 125 volts! The Americans are worse, with their electric chairs...See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Berlanga, plano personal (2011)See more »
El verdugoSee more »


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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful.
Classic Spanish film about a justice executioner full of satire , criticism and black comedy, 2 March 2013
Author: ma-cortes

Another masterpiece by the notorious filmmaker Luis Garcia Berlanga who shows the lively as well as sad existence of an executioner . Maestro Berlanga realizes another excellent film plenty of irony , habits , Spanish social life , good feeling and political critical . An undertaker (Nino Manfredi) gets married to an old executioner (Jose Isbert)'s daughter (Emma Penella) and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement . However , his profession is not exactly what you could call ¨popular¨ . As when the old man retires, his place is vacant , as his son-in-law doesn't like at all becoming an executioner, but that is the only way to keep the house where he is going to live after getting married.

This is an enjoyable story that contains busy comedy , humor , frantic pace , blatant critical against death row , amusing gags , rowdy satire , noisy hustle and is pretty entertaining . It is considered to be one of the best films from Spanish cinema history and has been voted second best Spanish film by professionals and critics in 1996 cinema centenary .The main and support actors stand out under perfect direction of Berlanga , including sour criticism as well as carried out in previous and subsequent works such as ¨Placido or Escopeta Nacional¨ that include bitter , pessimistic descriptions of social classes . In ¨el Verdugo¨ 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 . ¨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 . Awesome playing by Nino Manfredi as a naive , ingenuous ,gentle undertaker turned into executioner , an agreeable Emma Penella and of course , the great Jose Isbert , Berlanga's habitual , in the best interpretation of his long career . The movie displays a Spanish secondary star-studded such as : Maria Luisa Ponte , Jose Maria Prada , Angel Alvarez , Xan Das Bolas , Alfredo Landa , Agustin Gonzalez , Chus Lampreave , Jose Saza , Julia Caba Alba , Antonio Ferrandis , Jose Luis Coll , Felix Fernandez , Jose Orjas and the likable Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez who improvised the moment when measured the child's head , among others . Evocative cinematography in white and black by Tonino Delli Colli , Sergio Leone's usual cameraman ; being filmed on location in Island of Mallorca , Madrid exteriors and C.E.A. studios , Ciudad Lineal, Madrid. Atmospheric and adequate musical score by Miguel Asins Arbo .

Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is very good , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily 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 . Later on , Berlanga made one of his best films ¨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 . 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 ¨El Verdugo¨ : 8'5 , pretty good . Essential and indispensable watching for Berlanga aficionados . Better than average and well worth seeing . Essential and indispensable seeing .

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