Manuel Artiguez, a famous bandit during the Spanish civil war, has lived in French exile for 20 years. When his mother is dying he considers visiting her secretly in his Spanish home town. ... See full summary »
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Manuel Artiguez, a famous bandit during the Spanish civil war, has lived in French exile for 20 years. When his mother is dying he considers visiting her secretly in his Spanish home town. But his biggest enemy, the Spanish police officer Vinolas, prepared a trap at the hospital as a chance to finally catch Artiguez. Written by
Olaf Mertens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As they were not allowed by Spanish Gobernment to film in Spain, Fred Zinnemann and Alexandre Trauner stayed for two days at Frontón Hotel of Vitoria (Now Vitoria-Gasteiz) and went around the city to get pictures and information about buildings and people trying to reach the "intimate heartbeat of the city" in order to later recreate them properly. No local newspaper took the news maybe due censorship. See more »
In the first 5 minutes of the movie it is supposed to be 1939 and the Loyalist (Republican) soldiers are crossing into exile on the French border. As they cross over they are turning in their guns and the first one to turn in his gun turns in a Russian PPSh-41 submachine gun. The PPSh-41 was not developed until 1941. See more »
This is a film which has almost faded into total obscurity, and that's tragic, because it's well worth seeing. It's sort of a thinking person's suspense movie, better appreciated if you know some details about the intricate historical background in which it is set. Even so, it can be appreciated for its dramatic settings and characterizations. It has a complicated plot, to be sure, but the story rolls right along...not a lot of action until the end, but the tension builds steadily. I'm no fan of Peck, but his role here really drew me in. He looks beaten down by a hard life and way too much unhealthy passion. Quinn doesn't have much screen time, but I liked some of the minor characters best...their faces were great. The credit sequence, meshed together perfectly with newsreels, shows a long line of defeated soldiers, their faces reflecting defeat and confusion... a great tracking scene.
Here are some reasons I think the film is unknown: 1. The main character is an atheist communist anti-catholic guerilla bandit. Not a popular icon in American movies. 2. Complex historical background. 3. Knowledge of political situation in Spain a minimum requirement. Not a priority on many American's lists. 4. Black and white photography in 1964. (Hey, I liked the scenery...but you always wonder how it would look in color...and this was a late date for a black and white feature film.) 5. Civil War movies (even Spain's) always run a risk...you might alienate half the audience.
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