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23 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

A great movie

Author: bsinc from Ljubljana, Slovenia
11 March 2005

A Basque student I am living with right now explained a rough background behind the story of this movie and it made the experience of seeing it a whole lot more enjoying. I was astonished at the quality this movie had, the acting, directing, pacing, all impeccable and on a very impressive level. The story itself is simple, but the movie's tag line should be enough an explanation-an explosion that changed the history of Spain. The finale had me on the edge of my seat and the way the director chose to show certain time lapses was also very wise because the ending of the story, which indeed Was relevant to the movie's story, doesn't leave a bitter taste.

I highly recommend this movie, but before seeing it just find some rough info about this fascinating true story, it'll make the experience a whole lot more satisfying. 9/10

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

masterpiece on the last episode of the Franco dictatorship

Author: (hond70) from Terheijden, the Netherlands
28 January 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an outstanding movie of historical value. The movie outlines how ETA prepared and successfully carried out the murder on general Franco's right hand Carrero Blanco on 20 December 1973. This act may have contributed to the end of the period of dictatorship in Spain in 1975. Therefore the movie has historical value.

The movie is fabulously directed. The cast is OK. Gradually the suspence is becoming killing and erupts on the event of the super explosion. This explosion lifts the protected car of Blanco some 20 metres up, smashing it on top of a building.

Site seeing: Calle Claudio Cuello, corner Maldonado in Madrid

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Method, Patience, Precision

Author: Eumenides_0 from Portugal
19 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Gillo Pontecorvo's final movie is an outstanding thriller. After watching Kapo, The Battle of Algiers and Burn, I was curious to watch this movie about an ETA terrorist cell carefully plotting the assassination of Franco's successor in the final days of his regime.

Ogro is a movie that has all the marks of the celebrated director of The Battle of Algiers: it's based on real events, it's realistic, it's political. But it's also a child of the glorious '70s, the greatest period for intelligent political thrillers. I really don't know why we film lovers were blessed with Costa-Gavras, Bernardo Bertolucci, Elio Petri, Francesco Rosi, Alan J. Pakula and Pontecorvo in such a short time: the movies they left behind were all entertaining, gutsy, raw and stimulating. Ogro is slow-moving, but well-written, acted and directed. It's a very convincing portrayal of the lives of terrorists operating secretly in the streets of Madrid to assassinate a well-guarded politician. The terrorists' plan is like the movie - it demands method, patience and precision. We follow their daily lives as they have secret meetings, change hideouts, abort plans because of changes in circumstances, and live under constant fear of being arrested or murdered. If I had to compare this movie with others, I'd say it's similar in tone to Alain Resnais' The War Is Over, about a members of the Spanish resistance during Franco's era, and Jean-Pierra Melville's Army of Shadows, about the inglorious actions of the French resistance in World War II.

There isn't a lot of action, but the suspense builds up from start to finish. The terrorists' plan moves slowly, but also has some boldness to it, including pretending to belong to the electricity company and setting up a detonator in broad daylight to blow up their target in middle of the road.

The movie, however, is not a celebration of terrorism: although it recognizes the use of violence against totalitarian regimes, when no other solutions are available, it's very clear in denouncing its use in democracy, which is the dilemma that continued to plague Basque nationalists for decades after Franco's fall.

All the actors are very good in this movie, with particular attention to Gian Maria Volontè, who plays the leaders' group and the voice of wisdom and experience. The movie was co-written by two-time Oscar nominee Ugo Pirro, screenwriter of Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and A Ciascuno il suo. To watch Ogro is to watch a movie by some of Europe's finest talents of the time. Satisfaction guaranteed.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Dark political thriller

Author: CurtHerzstark from Sweden
17 February 2012

This film is based on real life events that took place during 70's under Francos fascist regime in Spain.

Just like Gillo Pontecorvos previous film La battaglia di Algeri/The Battle of Algiers (1966) this film has very realistic, semi documentary feel, look about this depiction of terrorism acted out by group of members in the basque terrorist network ETA.

Even though Gillo Pontecorvo was a marxist this film does not only portray the fascist dictatorship but also contains subtle criticism against ETA and its struggle.

While being a very low key film, it packs very emotional, punch without becoming too obvious.

So viewers that liked O Que É Isso, Companheiro?/Four Days in September (1997), L'armée des ombres/ Army of Shadows(1969), Popiól i diament/Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Kanal/Canal (1957)etc should definitely check this film out.

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