This is Luis García Berlanga's second take on the Leguineches, a down and out aristocratic family who settle in their palatial home in the middle of Madrid and try to feign relevance. As the leit-motiv in most of Berlanga's films (people pretending to be something they're not), it marginally works. No matter how indebted the Count of Leguineche is, he nonetheless goes on to use his connections to get loans and re-establish himself in newly-democratic Spain.
Sure, the gags are all about how they simply ignore reality (and covet royalty's attention).
A first-rate cast saves the film from absolute tedium, that including the marvelous Mary Santpere and Luis Escobar as the unflappable marquises, and José Luis López Vázquez. Luis Ciges as the ever-loyal servant and Agustín González as the venal family priest provide a comfortable yet predictable performance.
The story in itself is spiral-like and, like the Leguineches, really looks good but goes nowhere.
If you like character-driven cinema soft on plot and big on redundant gags that lampoon aristocracy, this one is for you.
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