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The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
"El espíritu de la colmena" (original title)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 8,937 users   Metascore: 87/100
Reviews: 79 user | 66 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

A sensitive seven-year-old girl living a small village in 1940 rural Spain is traumatized after viewing James Whale's "Frankenstein" and drifts into her own fantasy world.

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(screenplay), (story), 3 more credits »
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Title: The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fernando Fernán Gómez ...
Fernando
Teresa Gimpera ...
Teresa
...
Ana
Isabel Tellería ...
Isabel
Ketty de la Cámara ...
Milagros, la criada
Estanis González ...
Guardia civil
José Villasante ...
Juan Margallo ...
Fugitivo
Laly Soldevila ...
Doña Lucía
Miguel Picazo ...
Doctor
Edit

Storyline

In Castile c.1940, a travelling movie theatre brings James Whale's b/w film classic "Frankenstein" (1931) to a village. (Admission 1 peseta for adults, 2 reales for children.) Two young girls, Isabel and Ana, determine to find the Monster. Written by Michael Crew <m.crew@bbcnc.org.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 January 1977 (France)  »

Also Known As:

El espíritu de la colmena  »

Box Office

Gross:

ESP 43,269,044 (Spain)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The deserted building next to the well was actually an abandoned sheep-shed. See more »

Goofs

When Ana & Isabel first go to the well there are stones around the base. Ana steps on one to look down in to the well. When she returns later there are no longer any stones so when she looks in to the well she is much too short to see down in it. See more »

Quotes

Ana: [unable to sleep] Isabel?
Isabel: [opening her eyes] What?
Ana: [whispering] Tell me what you were going to tell me.
Isabel: [whispering] About what?
Ana: The movie.
Isabel: Not now... Tomorrow.
Ana: Now... You promised. Why did he kill the girl, and why did they kill him after that?... You don't know - you're a liar.
Isabel: They didn't kill him, and he didn't kill the girl.
Ana: How do you know? How do you know they didn't die?
Isabel: Everything in the movies is fake. It's all a trick. Besides, I've seen him alive.
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Story of Children and Film (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Visually beautiful story seen through the eyes of a child
3 August 2009 | by (Santa Monica, CA) – See all my reviews

The Spirit of the Beehive is set in 1940, right after the civil war of Spain. It is a beautifully story seen trough a young girl's eyes. The main character of the movie is Ana, who lives with her father who spends most of his time writing about his beehives and her mother who is writing love letters to a distant lover and Ana's older sister Isabel, all of them living in their own isolated world. One evening, Ana and Isabel goes to the movie theater to see the Frankenstein. While most of the children are terrified by the story, Ana finds it fascinating and is excited by the darker sides of life. At home the same night, Ana asks her sister Isabel why Frankenstein killed the girl. Isabel answers that he didn't really kill her and that everything in the movies is fake. Frankenstein is like a spirit and if she closes her eyes and calls him, he might show up. This has a profound impact on Ana and the story of Frankenstein also come to function as the movies' nave. Isabel takes her to an abandoned building where she says that Frankenstein lives. Day after day, she comes back alone in hope to see him. One day, a soldier escapes from a train and finds the building. Ana finds him and brings him food and warm clothes. Just a couple of days later, the soldier is found and killed. When Ana goes back to the building, she finds only the blood and understands that he has been killed. Here, Ana's world comes into its own and when Ana is wandering the woods at night an inner journey is taking place as well. That night, she doesn't return home. She meets Frankenstein when sitting by a river, just like the scene from the Frankenstein movie in the beginning. Even though the movie is set in the context of Franco's regime, this aspect seems isolated from the story, which is solely a reality told through a child's world, questioning what is right and what is wrong and maybe more important; what is reality. Visually it is beautiful. After returning home the night Ana was found in the woods, she is traumatized and doesn't speak about her experience. In the end, she goes to the window and again whispering to the spirit: "It's me Ana".


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