Down 22,751 this week

¡Ay, Carmela! (1990)

 -  Drama | War  -  16 March 1990 (Spain)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.2/10 from 1,225 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 4 critic

Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into... See full summary »


0Check in

Related News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 43 titles
created 05 Apr 2012
a list of 28 titles
created 26 Sep 2012
a list of 27 titles
created 7 months ago
a list of 27 titles
created 6 months ago
a list of 28 titles
created 2 months ago

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: ¡Ay, Carmela! (1990)

¡Ay, Carmela! (1990) on IMDb 7.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of ¡Ay, Carmela!.
23 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Andrés Pajares ...
Paulino (as Andres Pajares)
Gabino Diego ...
Maurizio De Razza ...
Teniente Ripamonte
José Sancho ...
Capitán (as Jose Sancho)
Mario De Candia ...
Bruno CTV 1º
Miguel Rellán ...
Teniente interrogador (as Miguel Angel Rellan)
Edward Zentara ...
Soldado polaco
Rafael Díaz ...
Centinela (as Rafael Diaz)
Chema Mazo ...
Antonio Fuentes ...
Alférez artillero
Mario Martín ...
Cacique (as Mario Martin)
Emilio del Valle ...
Cabo Cardoso
Silvia Casanova ...
Mujer presa
Alfonso Guirao ...


Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into rebel territory by mistake. They are arrested, fear a firing squad, and receive a reprieve from an Italian Fascist commander who loves the theatre. He arranges a performance for his troops, bargaining with Paulino to stage a burlesque of the republic in exchange for the actors' freedom. Will the fiery and patriotic Carmela consent? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War


PG-13 | See all certifications »





| |

Release Date:

16 March 1990 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

¡Ay, Carmela!  »

Box Office


ESP 332,903,142 (Spain)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


Version of Estudio 1: ¡Ay, Carmela! (2000) See more »


¡Ay, Carmela!
(Battle of the Ebro version)
Unknown author
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Varietee' company takes on difficulties , shortages and dangers during Spanish Civil War
3 August 2013 | by (Santander Spain) – See all my reviews

This dramatic film with comical elements deals about lives of a group of artists and comics that travel around the country in hard times the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Carmela (Carmen Maura), his husband Paulino (Andres Pajares) and their mute helper Gustavete (Gabino Diego) are street performers who entertain the Republican troops after the battle in Aragon , 1938 . The trio of troubadours touring scenarios decides to seek a less dangerous destination . However, the Republican trio by mistake go to the national zone and immediately are arrested by a captain (Jose Sancho) . Suspecting that all of them collaborate with the Republican rebels opposite to the Francoist Regime they are imprisoned by a Lieutenant (Miguel Rellan) and they fear a firing squad , but receive a reprieve from an Italian Fascist commander who loves the theatre . As an Italian Lieutenant named Ripamonte (Maurizio De Razza) arranges a performance for his troops , playing burlesque , bargaining with Paulino to stage a burlesque show in exchange for the actors' freedom.

This is an interesting story about human beings , three sympathetic troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War and how they cope with this unsettling nightmare ; including their pain , poverty but also some mirth and joy . Drama with historical and hilarious elements ; including enjoyable performances and adequate set design by Rafael Palmero. ¨¡Ay Carmela¡¨ results to be other of the innumerable stories to deal with dramatic deeds regarding the Civil War background . A familiar theme about the global horrors of a fratricide war , impossible to forget to our cinema . An agreeable as well as dramatical story plenty of enjoyable moments , moving feelings , wonderful songs , attractive musical score by Alejandro Masso and tragic finale . Above all , the acting is first rate , as Carmen Maura gives a terrific acting as the fiery and patriotic Carmela, along with Andres Pajares who won several national as international prizes . The story describes the penury and sadness of a nation at recent war which itself is expressed through the tortuous mental , emotional processes and final nervous breakdown Carmen Maura goes through . Director Carlos Saura , also writes the interesting script along with prestigious screenwriter Rafael Azcona , Luis Garcia Berlanga's usual writer . Carlos Saura conveys us the escalating tension before the show in important measure of difficult along with an ironic humor backstage . Filmed in his usual formal and stylistic scholarship , but plenty of marvelously ancient songs , musical numbers and without leaving a trace the thought-provoking issues , in terms of dramatic and narrative excitement . The flick can be defined as a realistic tragedy-drama , a romantic history , a historic/comical fresco and a socio-political fable . This theme about a troupe constantly being dragged back to the reality of war and in an extreme situation continues through the picture . The flick bears remarkable resemblance to subsequently directed by Emilio Aragon titled "Paper Birds" by Emilio Aragon with Imanol Arias , Luis Homar , but the latter failed as box office with indifferent reception by public as critical . Good support cast with prestigious Spanish secondaries as Luis Rellan , Jose Sancho , Maurizio De Razza , and Chema Mazo , among others . Including a spotless pictorial cinematography by Jose Luis Alcaine and a willingness , almost perfect of the elements of each shot , every sequence, every space .

The motion picture was stunningly written and directed by Carlos Saura He is one of the best Spanish movies director . He began working in cinema in 1959 when he filmed ¨Los Golfos ¨(1962) dealing with juvenile delinquency from a sociological point of view . He subsequently made LLanto por Un Bandido (1964) starred by an European all-star-cast . Saura is a well recognized filmmaker both nationally and internationally, and in proof of it he won many prizes among which there are the following ones: Silver Bear in Festival of Berlin for Peppermint Frappé (1967) and the successful La Caza (1966) that also won numerous prizes in International Festivals and in which four characters facing each other and terminating into a jarring burst of violence . Saura achieved Special Jury Awards in Cannes for La Prima Angélica (1974), in 1973, and for Cría Cuervos (1976), in 1975. Also, the film Mamá Cumple Cien Años (1979) got an Oscar nomination in 1979 as the best foreign film, and it also won the Special Jury Award at the San Sebastian Festival. He subsequently made ¨Deprisa , Deprisa¨ based on facts about juvenile delinquency in Spain since the 80s , as he tried to take a position in favour of outcast people and he got to make a both lyric and documentary-style cinema . In 1990, he won two Goya , The Spanish Oscar , as best adapted screenplay writer and best director . Saura became an expert on Iberian musical adaptations as ¨Carmen , Amor Brujo , Bodas De Sangre , Sevillanas , Iberia , Salome , Fado, Flamenco ¨ and even recently Opera as ¨Io , Don Giovanni

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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Deserves a DVD release cinestreak
soundtrack jamez548
Discuss ¡Ay, Carmela! (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: