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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 8,965 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

There is no shot of all the family in a single frame in the entire film: even in the dinner-table scene, the actors are shown separately. See more »

Goofs

When the fugitive jumps from the train and rolls down the hill, he's wearing boots, but in the next shot he's wearing low-cut shoes. 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

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.


39 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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