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The Heifer (1985)
"La vaquilla" (original title)

 -  Comedy | War  -  6 March 1985 (Spain)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 860 users  
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A platoon of mismatched republican soldiers cross the front-line to steal the bull that the enemy is going to fight on the saint patron date of the village. In addition to ruining the ... See full summary »


(screenplay), (story), 2 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfredo Landa ...
Brigada Castro
Guillermo Montesinos ...
Santiago Ramos ...
José Sacristán ...
Teniente Broseta
Carles Velat ...
Eduardo Calvo ...
Coronel Republicano
Violeta Cela ...
Agustín González ...
Comandante Nacional
María Luisa Ponte ...
Amelia de la Torre ...
Carlos Tristancho ...
Valeriano Andrés ...
María Elena Flores ...
Antonio Gamero ...
Sargento Nacional 1º


A platoon of mismatched republican soldiers cross the front-line to steal the bull that the enemy is going to fight on the saint patron date of the village. In addition to ruining the nationals' celebration they want the animal in order to butcher it and feed their famished troops. They get caught in the procession and have to go through a series of funny and pathetic incidents before they can get back to their side. Written by Mary Solari

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | War





Release Date:

6 March 1985 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

A Vitela  »

Box Office


ESP 527,459,739 (Spain)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


Director Luis García Berlanga took over 30 years to do the movie because on it he was looking the Civil War in a fun way. See more »


Brigada Castro: La clave de todo es este chico, Mariano se llama.
Teniente Broseta: Mucho pelo, eh, mucho pelo.
Brigada Castro: Se le corta.
See more »


Songs performed by Angelillo
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User Reviews

Oh what a lovely war!
28 November 2010 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

It took someone of the stature of Luis Garcia Berlanga, who just recently died, to come out with a satire about a subject that is usually presented in a different way. The Spanish Civil War of the 1930s is something that most filmmakers of that country think they must deal with in different fashion. Most of the movies on the subject are usually of the heavy handed type, so this sunny comedy, written by Rafael Azcona and the director, sets a different pace to tell a different account of what they imagined went on, even during the worst days of that conflict.

We are taken to a place where the troops loyal to Franco have control of a small town. Their enemy, the Republicans, were holding positions in the fields nearby. The Republican army had almost no provisions left to feed the troops, so knowing their foes were about to celebrate a feast which involved a bullfight, they decide to infiltrate the town and steal the bull for themselves.

The absurdity of war is explored by Mr. Garcia Berlanga in a funny way. It is a different take on a conflict that pitted Spaniards against one another in one of the cruelest war in recent memory. The cast of this film is splendid. Jose Sacristan and Alfredo Landa are seen as part of the Republican invaders. The film offers a comic version of how things might have been, had the director, and creator of this film had anything to do with the fighting.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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