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The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

El espíritu de la colmena (original title)
Unrated | | Drama, Fantasy | 5 January 1977 (France)
A sensitive seven-year-old girl living in 1940 in a small Spanish village is traumatized after viewing the movie "Frankenstein" and drifts into her own fantasy world.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (story) | 3 more credits »

On Disc

at Amazon

7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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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 ...
Frankenstein
Juan Margallo ...
Fugitivo
Laly Soldevila ...
Doña Lucía
Miguel Picazo ...
Doctor
Edit

Storyline

In Castilla around 1940, a traveling movie theatre brings James Whale's black and white film classic "Frankenstein" (1931) to a small village. Two young girls, Isabel and Ana, are subsequently determined to find the monster themselves. 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:

The Spirit of the Beehive  »

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

Cinematographer Luis Cuadrado was going blind at the time this film was made. He eventually went completely blind and committed suicide in 1980. 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

Isabel: Papa, have you ever picked a bad mushroom?
Fernando: No. You know why?
Isabel: Why?
Fernando: Because I always do like my grandfather told me.
[he gets up and starts to walk; the girls follow]
Fernando: If you're not sure a mushroom's good, don't pick it. Because if it's bad, and you eat it, it's your last mushroom and your last everything too.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
graceful and elegant
7 August 2006 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

Like many of the other commentators here, I had heard about this movie long before I had ever had a chance to see it, although it typically is mentioned as one of Spain's greatest films. It definitely is. It is masterfully directed and I have not been able to stop thinking about it for days.

The story is elliptically told and demands your participation in making sense of the narrative, but it's also leisurely paced and allows you to breathe in the atmosphere rather than forcing a particular reading on you. One thing you wouldn't guess from reading the other comments is how this is as much a film about nature as about history--it is like a poem of the countryside in winter, with long vistas of stone farmhouses framed against the rising sun. The film with the most similar visual palette is Malick's "Days of Heaven", but that film feels simplistic compared to the full immersion in history and memory presented in this film--a much more complete vision of the past.

Ana Torrent is unforgettable. I can think of no better film about children, yet (as with so many other things in this movie) it doesn't feel forced--these kids aren't just the director's pawns, but real, living beings.

If you get a chance to see it, definitely make the effort.


42 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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