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In the early Spanish Civil Post-war, in Madrid, during the most hard times of the Franco dictatorship, a group of second-rate players try to get out of their wretched lives taking advantage of the artistic caprices of the son of a rich man who supports the regime. They try to stage a Pre-war 'zarzuela' (a sort of Spanish operetta), 'La Corte Del Faraón', which ironically, thirty years later, is too obscene for the regime censorship. They finally manage to perform the 'zarzuela' but end up in the police station where they confirm that justice depends on which side are you on Written by
Paco Delgado <email@example.com>
Fun picture packing musical show , enjoyable performances , amusing comedy and with all Spanish star cast
During post-Spanish civil war (it happened : 1936-1939) , the religious censor (Agustin Gonzalez) and civil censor (Antonio Gamero) detain members of a theatrical company . They are a group of second-rate actors attempting to get out of their wretched lives taking advantage of the artistic caprices of the son of a wealthy man named Roque Collado (Fernando Fernan Gomez) who supports the regime . They attempt to stage a Pre-war 'Zarzuela' titled 'La Corte Del Faraón', at Gayarre theatre . The group finally arrange to perform the 'Zarzuela' but end up in the police station where they confirm that justice depends on which side are you on . There , the police commissioner Vicente (Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez) interrogate them . The rich Roque , his son Tarsicio (Josema Yuste ) , his bride Mari Pili (Ana Belen) explain by means of successive flashbacks it results to be a profitable play : ¨The caste Jose¨ , to get funds for the convent of Saint Donato and authorized by Fray José (Antonio Banderas) . Meanwhile, Mari Pili convinces Fray José to take the role as Casto Jose to fall in love with him .
This film had a fairly large budget in the case of Spanish cinema , being an acceptable comedy seasoned with musical numbers . After five years without filming , Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez is hired by the great producer Luis Sanz , expert on musical genre , to shoot a peculiar version based on popular Zarzuela , which ironically, thirty years later , is too obscene for the regime censorship sort of Spanish operetta , being banned during dictatorship of General Francisco Franco . This is his first collaboration to prestigious screenwriter Rafael Azcona . However , it results in a silly and spoof flick , and it is not among their best works . It is shot in real embarrassment , including ridiculous scenes and being next to caricature more than realism . The best parts of the movie are the choreographic numbers and known songs adapted in theatrical style with roots in popular music of the forties ; recreating the essence of the Zarzuela vintage songs , accompanying sensual melodies and lyrics . It introduces several fragments of the original Zarzuela where highlights turn out to be duets between Antonio Banderas and Ana Belen . It has some moments of enjoyment as well as amusement and others quite a few embarrassing . Regular and unbalanced , but gaining the sympathy almost at all times . Bad timing results to be the voice of the singers with the actors , it is less achieved . Main actors as Antonio Banderas , Ana Belen , Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez , Fernando Fernan Gomez steal the show , interpreters who provided a considerable boost to the result . As well as an awesome support cast such as Millan Salcedo , Luis Ciges , Maria Luisa Ponte , Juan Diego , Guillermo Marin , Quique Camoiras , Guillermo Montesinos , Mary Carmen Ramirez and several others . Many of them play and dance wonderful and classic Spanish songs . The picture is well set in the early Spanish Civil Post-war, in Madrid, during the most hard times of the general Franco dictatorship , being well photographed by notorious cameraman Jose Luis Alcaine .
The motion picture was professionally directed by Jose Luis Garcia Sánchez , though contains flaws , gaps and too much mayhem . He is a notorious writer and director, known for writing : ¨Belle Epoque¨ (1992) for director Jose Luis Garci , ¨Corazon Solitario¨, ¨Furia Española¨ for filmmaker Francisco Betriu , ¨Habla Mudita¨ and ¨Camada Negra¨ for Manuel Gutierrez Aragon . His films debuts were a trilogy of comedies in politic trendy : ¨El Love Feroz¨, ¨Colorin Colorado¨ and ¨Las Truchas¨ (1978) , the latter won Golden Bear in Berlin Festival . He also directed a documentary : ¨Dolores¨ that pays tribute to communist Ibarruri . He subsequently collaborates with Rafael Azcona such as ¨Hay Deshacer La Casa¨, ¨Pasodoble¨, ¨El Vuelo De La Paloma¨ and ¨El Seductor¨ . And two rendition upon Ramon Valle Inclan novels : ¨Divinas Palabras¨ (1985) , and ¨Tirano Banderas¨ , as well as a pair of farceur comedies ¨Suspiros De España¨ (1995) , and ¨Siempre Hay Camino a la Derecha¨ . Furthermore , two historical films ¨La Noche Mas Larga¨ and and Lazaro De Tormes (2001) .
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