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Lola la piconera (1969)
Spanish Television version with Soledad Miranda
This sentimental musical, based on the play Cuando las Cortés de Cádiz by José María Pemán, was made for Spanish television. The most famous adaptation of his story was in the 1951 melodrama starring Juanita Reina. According to a magazine article about this film, the music is very Spanish and the costumes and choreography are spectacular. The film was shot during the summer, and it was apparently quite hot. A journalist visitor to the set admired the cast and crew's dedication and love for their work, despite spending so long in the heat and managing not to faint. Many scenes were set at gypsy camps and the studio used real gypsies, along with their donkeys and carts! There were a lot of big numbers, so many of the cast were professional singers and dancers. Though it was made for television, the director chose to use film cameras and also to shoot in color, as he was anticipating the future of television. Soledad Miranda plays a sympathetic gypsy. She and the actor playing her husband escaped a serious accident when a lamp exploded and shattered hot crystals where they had been minutes before.
100 Rifles (1969)
don't forget Soledad Miranda
In 1966, future cult starlet Soledad Miranda traded her artistic life for family life and took a two-year break from performing. She decided to return to cinema when offered a role in 100 Rifles. Soledad appears at the beginning of the movie in a scene with Burt Reynolds. They are in a hotel and are lovers; Soledad demands money from him, but he refuses and it gets a little rough. Their fracas on the hotel balcony (where Soledad is topless) is witnessed by all the townspeople. A Spanish journalist who saw the film in London wrote that Soledad's "charms" had nothing to envy of Raquel Welch's, and begged the Spanish censors to let her countrymen see and admire all that God had given her!
also nice for fans of Arcimboldo
This is an excellent introduction to the work of the Quay Brothers and stop-motion animation. It is enjoyable for fans of Svankmajer, but also for fans of the painter Arcimboldo, whose paintings and characters are featured heavily in this short; most notably the Librarian, which is brought to 3D life as the lead puppet, and also characters from The Seasons, The Elements, and others: Vertumnus, Summer, Fire, and so forth. In fact, a subtitle in the film is Portrait of Svankmajer a la Arcimboldo. Giuseppe Arcimboldo (1527 - 1593) was an Italian painter known for creating portraits composed of fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books, all arranged in a fashion that constitutes a portrait of a character which is represented by all those diverse elements.
Carnival of Souls (1962)
Great Atmospheric Film; Star a Gwyneth Paltrow double!
This is a really fantastic movie. The tone is very spooky and the cinematography is great, as well as the haunting organ score. What struck me most is that the lead actress, Candace Hilligoss, is a dead ringer for Gwyneth Paltrow; the resemblance is both physical and in her mannerisms. Any Paltrow fans would appreciate seeing this. It's freaky! I am surprised Hilligoss didn't make many other movies; she's a great actress and perfect for the role. The abandoned pavilion location (Saltair Resort) is fascinating. The history of the location is as spooky and interesting as the movie itself! I highly recommend this movie for fans of atmospheric scary films. Note: one user comment said the budget was $13,000. However, the budget was actually $30,000.
La reina del Tabarín (1960)
Witty musical comedy with a surprise cameo
This musical romance concerns the tragic entanglements of a beautiful Gypsy girl named Lolita in 1892 Spain. Lolita is singing at a party which she has crashed and she meets the wealthy Fernando, who is posing as a waiter to flirt with her. They begin to fall in love. Yet after Lolita finds out Fernando is engaged, she is devastated and moves to Paris; there she makes her glamorous debut at the Tabarín club. Fernando reads of her great success and goes to Paris to see her. Cult starlet Soledad Miranda has a cameo in this movie. This was an important film for Jess Franco as it was his entry into the professional film world. Several years later, Soledad became Franco's star in numerous movies (Count Dracula, Eugénie, Les cauchemars naissent la nuit, Sex Charade, Vampyros Lesbos, She Killed in Ecstasy, and The Devil Came from Akasava). Oddly enough, the French version is in black and white and begins several scenes into the Spanish version, at the introduction of Fernando.
La bella Mimí (1961)
First movie of cult 60's screen starlet Soledad Miranda
This musical comedy was cult starlet Soledad Miranda's first movie. The film is suprisingly similar to Moulin Rouge in its look, characters, and plot. We are in Madrid in 1914, where the most popular cabaret is the one ruled by the beautiful and shameless Mimí (Queta Claver), who has many suitors vying for her affection. When Mimí hears that there's a police agent (Herato, played by Jaime Avellán) determined to stamp out corruption, she plans on seducing him, disguising herself by acting and dressing like a proper lady. What follows is their romance. Soledad Miranda plays the lead dancer in the opening number and in all the other musical numbers in the movie. She has quite a bit of screen time for her first movie, mostly dancing, her talent in which surely led her to get this role. Quite interestingly, Soledad later appeared with fellow actors Antonio Garisa in Cuatro bodas y pico, Diana Lorys in Les cauchemars naissent la nuit and Sex Charade, and worked with director Elorrieta in Canción de cuna
Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht (1970)
Excellent version of Stoker's novel
Filmed in Spain and Germany, Jess Franco's version of the Bram Stoker classic has Count Dracula as an old man who grows younger whenever he dines on the blood of young maidens. This movie is quite faithful to the novel, unlike so many other Dracula films of the period. Starring screen legend Christopher Lee as Count Dracula, it also features Franco regulars Soledad Miranda, Fred Williams, Maria Rohm, Jack Taylor, Klaus Kinski, and Paul Müller. Franco appears in the film (as he does in many of his movies) as a servant to Professor Van Helsing. Franco contributes great direction and a perfectly eerie atmosphere to this low-budget film, which was one of Soledad's most prominent international roles. The talented cast and direction, as well as a fantastic score by Bruno Nicolai, make this one of the best filmed versions of the Dracula story and a great companion to Francis Ford Coppola's version made decades later.
Sugar Colt (1966)
Great spaghetti western, beautiful starlet
An army corps has mysteriously disappeared. They are actually hostages near a place called Snake Valley. A gunslinger, Rocco, is visited by a friend who tells him about this. The man's dying wish is for Rocco to find out what happened to the army corps. Rocco goes to the town near where the soldiers are held captive, posed undercover as a doctor. Cult star Soledad Miranda plays Josefa, a flirtatious barmaid at the saloon hotel where he stays. Rocco starts investigating the disappearance of the soldiers in hopes to rescue them. This flick has catchy music and the presence of the beautiful Soledad Miranda, along with star Hunt Powers, makes it an entertaining flick.
El sonido de la muerte (1966)
Cheesy but fun, interesting stars
This is an adventure/horror movie about a small group of treasure hunters. They are excavating a cave in the mountains of Greece, where a rich treasure of stolen artwork is said to be hidden. Despite warnings from the locals that the cave is cursed, they continue to look for the treasure. One of their explosions accidentally releases an invisible shrieking dinosaur that has been buried for eons. The recently hatched dinosaur terrorizes the people on the expedition, killing many of them as the opportunity arises. This is a pretty cheesy movie, but the suspense is actually good in places. Interestingly enough, this movie starred two actresses who would go on to become cult stars of European horror movies: Soledad Miranda and Ingrid Pitt.
Enthralling film, great suspense and actors!
Engineer Vance Pierson moves to Spain, where he will oversee the construction of his invention: a generator shaped like a ferris wheel. He meets a desperate young woman, Laura, who is trying to burn down her home for the insurance money she so badly needs. He stops the woman and they become passionate lovers. But soon Vance wants to end the affair he's having with Laura and go back to his wife and daughter. The jilted mistress flares up into a jealous rage and gets revenge on Vance...and he makes it his mission in life to get his own revenge on her. Barry Sullivan and Martha Hyer are excellent as the leads. Cult star Soledad Miranda appears as Liz, the daughter of a carnival worker, who falls for a mysterious older man. This was the first movie to have a $50 million set (Spain's Belesar Dam). Additionally, it was the first horror suspense movie filmed in Spain. It also was the first movie ever to be filmed in the province of Galicia, which is in northern Spain.