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Mamá cumple 100 años (1979)
A festive tragicomedy with good players but deliberate and strangely developed by Carlos Saura
Manzanares Del Real , Madrid , in a countryside manor called ¨La Jara¨ takes place a celebration for the centennial birthday of the matriarch (Rafaela Aparicio) , she is the old omnipotent grandmother of an upper-class family . There arrives the British Ana Boulton (Geraldine Chaplin) , an ex-nanny accompanied by her hubby (Norman Brisky) and meets the three little girls she cared are now grown-up . There also shows up Natalia (Amparo Muñoz) who falls in love for Antonio . In this meeting , Ana to be aware that the stiff military José (José Maria Prada who actually passed away a bit later on) died three years ago ; Juan (José Vivó) abandoned his spouse Luchy (Charo Soriano) and Fernando (Fernando Fernán Gómez) carries out unsuccessful attempts to fly by Delta-wing . Meantime , Ana and the rare family go successively to José's tomb to pray him . Besides , Anna uncovers Juan , Fernando and Luchy attempt to kill their mom to get the valuable inheritance and her luxurious mansion to built an urbanization .
During the seventies Carlos Saura shot a trilogy produced by Elias Querejeta about the selfish Spanish bourgeoisie or middle-class formed by ¨Jardín De Las Delicias¨ or "The Garden of Delights" (70) , ¨Ana Y Los Lobos¨ or ¨Anna and the wolves¨ (72) and ¨La Prima Angelica¨ or ¨Cousin Angelica¨ (73) . Carlos Saura directed in 1972 ¨Ana Y Los Lobos¨ in which a nanny/Geraldine Chaplin goes to educate three little girls at a mansion , there Ana is seduced , harassed , mistreated , raped by the elder sons : Fernando Fernan Gómez-José Vivó-José Maria Prada and finally killed . But in "Mama Turns 100" the omnipresent Ana is alive and married to Antonio/Norman Brisky . "Anna and the Wolves" had a symbolic and thoughtful tone , as the manor represented the peculiar Spain ruled by a dark Franquist period and the sons were the different political factions which discussed by that time ; and it got a sequel : "Mama Turns 100" with uneven results , as this one has a less provoking style than the original , being more a comedy that a brooding drama . This "Mama Turns 100" results to be a black as well as merry Dramedy dealing with a dysfunctional and utterly broken family in which some ruthless sons are embezzling mother's money and subsequently killing her . It is a coral film , a piece of nonsense and absurdity with grotesque roles magnificently played by a great plethora of actors . As nice acting by Geraldine Chaplin as an ex-nanny who returns a manor where she worked many years ago . Carlos Saura filmed 7 movies with Geraldine (his then wife) , and this one resulted to be their final collaboration . Excellent Fernando Fernan Gómez , as usual , he plays a weird man who is still living with his mummy and attempting to fly a hang glider . Special mention for Rafaela Aparicio who steals the show as a sympathetic and bigmouth grandmother . The picture contains an evocative and colorful cinematography by Teo Escamilla , Saura's regular . Being shot on location in Torrelodones , Madrid .
This Spanish/French co-production dark comedy was well but slowly written/directed by Carlos Saura , at his usual style . Saura is a good Spanish movies director who goes on nowadays filmmaking . He began working in cinema in 1959 when he filmed ¨Los Golfos ¨(1962) dealing with juvenile delinquency from a sociological point of view . Later on , he made ¨LLanto Por Un Bandido¨ or "Weeping for a Bandit" (1964) starred by an all European-star-cast . Saura is a well recognized filmmaker both nationally and internationally , and in proof of it he won a lot of 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 and being full of political allegories . Saura achieved Special Jury Awards in Cannes for ¨La Prima Angélica¨ (1974) , and for ¨Cría Cuervos¨ (1976) . Also, the surrealistic and disconcerting comedy ¨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 of 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¨
Del rosa al amarillo (1963)
Spanish ¨Cult movie¨ dealing with two nice and amusing love stories stunningly directed by Manuel Summers
An agreeable flick formed by 2 episodes about a 12-year-old boy called Guillermo (Pedro Diaz Del Corral) who falls in love with a 13-year-old girl named Margarita (Cristina Galbó) of his very same age but more mature , and goes on to yellow , the love between two elders , : 85-year-old Valentin (José Cerrudo) and Josefa (Lina Onesti) that live at an asylum run by stiff nuns and they are not allowed to see each other . Formed by two parts , the first one starred by kiddies is longest than the second performed by old people ; both of them are crammed with comedy , jokes and good feeling .
Dramedy with plenty of humor , romances , light drama , social habits and a lot of songs . As the title of the film indicates , this film starts with a pink story ¨Del Rosa¨ starred by kiddies and a yellow tale ¨Al Amarillo¨ performed by two elderly people who live at an old people's home . This is not the typical comedy by that time , here there is a brief social denounce about the repression and excessive religion during Franco dictatorship , particularly on the second episode . In the flick there is especially comedy , humor , satire and social customs . This one belongs a diptych : ¨Del Rosa Al Amarillo¨ (63) that was formed by two episodes about love stories between teenagers and elderly people and ¨La Niña De Luto¨ starred by Alfredo Landa and Maria José Alfonso (1964) . Following to Summers's first film was made a third episode dealt with a young romance , but it was adapted on another movie , ¨La Niña De Luto¨ or ¨The girl in mourning¨ that pays tribute to previous picture . In fact , the grandfathers roles are incarnated by the same actors who played in ¨Del Rosa Al Amarillo¨ , but while the grandfather Jose Cerrudo gives a brief acting , the grandmother Lina Onesti only appears on a photo . It belongs to a Spanish period called ¨New Spanish cinema¨ of the 60s directed by students of the ¨Official Academy of Cine¨ or Escuela Oficial De Cinematografia . These films contained good stories that were beset by difficulties with the censors caused by a relentless critical to Catholic religion , sour urban or rural conventionality and extreme religious practices . "From Pink to Yellow" has an interesting as well as fun script by the same Manuel Summers , based on his own childhood experiences , as there appears his Madrid house , school , streets , O.J.E. summer camps , personal games and Tebeos or comic books about ¨El Guerrero Del Antifaz¨ . This film packs an atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Francisco Fraile . And atmospheric musical score full of ordinary sounds of the sixties by Antonio Pérez Olea . Adding traditional music , popular songs and modern music . And , of course , the famous songs , and film leitmotif : ¨Toda Una Vida Estaria Contigo , Mimando Y Cuidando¨ , plus : ¨Mirando Al Mar¨, ¨Yo Soy Aquel Negrito De Africa Tropical¨, ¨Margarita Se Llama Mi Amor¨ .
The motion picture was well produced by C. B. Films , Juan Miguel Lamet and Francisco Lara and compellingly directed by Manuel Summers . As it was successfully premiered , ¨"From Pink to Yellow" got awesome critics and had big hit at the Spanish box office . It won several awards in San Sebastian Festival and Circle of cinematographic writers . Manuel was a comic books humorist who publicized in ¨Pueblo¨ diary and on magazines as ¨Hermano Lobo¨and ¨La Codorniz¨. He was a comedian actor and an acceptable filmmaker . He realized a lot of films including social critical which tended not to be very well received by the censor . His successful first film ¨Del Rosa Al Amarillo¨ was followed by personal works wasted by excessive jokes as ¨El Juego De La Oca¨(65) . His first films were well considered in the ¨New Spanish Cinema¨ of the sixties and Summers was deemed to be the great hope of the Spaniard cinematic ; however , being subsequently frustrated . Summers was really interested in juvenile love stories and extreme humor . In his early and best first films , Summers developed sour critics to selfish villagers and repressed characters , coerced by social conventionalism , gossip and hypocrisy . He had a big flop titled ¨Juguetes Rotos¨ (66) . Summers , then , made two typical Spanish comedies with Alfredo Landa : ¨No Somos De Piedra¨(67) and ¨Porque Te Engaña Tu Marido¨ (68) . He , subsequently , directed teenager films as ¨Adiós Ciqueña Adios¨ (71) , ¨El Niño Es Nuestro¨(73) that achieved big hit and some of them are censored as ¨Ya Soy Mujer¨(75) , ¨Mi Primer Pecado¨ and ¨Me Hace Falta Un Bigote¨ , also concerning about romances among boys during the post-war in Madrid . His last works are mediocre , making fake documentary , such as : ¨To er Mundo e Gueno ¨ , ¨To Er Mundo E Mejo¨ , ¨To Er Mundo E Demasiao¨ and ¨Biblia En Pasta¨ (85) . He finishes his career directing his son David Summers , a known singer leader of the band ¨Hombres G¨ in commercial titles as ¨Sufre Mamon¨(87) ,¨and ¨Sueltate El Pelo¨(88)
The Sea Chase (1955)
Vigorous as well as odd war drama set at the outbreak of WWII and with an unusual role by the ¨Duke¨ Wayne
Exciting flick on the danger waters of the Pacific with Wayne as a seasoned Captain undertaking several adventures and risks . As the Second World War breaks out , -1939- German freighter captain Karl Ehrlich (John Wayne) is about to leave Sydney , Australia , with his his boat , the Ergenstrasse (it was portrayed by the real HMCS New Glascow , a Prestonian-class frigate) , as he is determined to steer his vessel back to Germany . But a suspicious beauty is aboard as the British Commander Jeff Napier's (David Farrar who narrates the tale by voice-in-off) girlfriend , she's called Elsa Keller (Lana Turner) . As Elsa , a mysterious woman , is on board , that's why Ehrlich has been ordered to return to Germany safely along with whatever secrets she carries . Then the brave skipper sails despite an English blockade , being pursued by British and German navies as he abandons Down Under . As Karl must smuggle throughout enemy Oceans plenty of warships and cruisers . When Ehrlich's fiercely Nazi chief officer Kirchner (Lyle Bettger) commits an atrocity , the British chase becomes deadly . As Ehrlich tries to get his ship back to Germany across the Pacific , Atlantic Oceans and through a gauntlet of Allied warships .
This enjoyable picture packs thrills , drama , action , sea pursuits , it results to be pretty entertaining and appear as supporting players a lot of prestigious actors ; however , being overlong . John Wayne's good vehicle , though miscast as an obstinate Prussian skipper . The plot is plain and simple , as World War II begins , at its violent outbreak , a renegade as well as stubborn German freighter captain named Karl Ehrlich escapes from Sidney and must transport a mysterious passenger and arrive in his destination , Germany . Interesting and stirring script from James Warner Bella , John Ford's regular screenwriter , and John Twist based on a novel written by Andrew Geer . This ¨Sea chase¨ or ¨La Cacería¨ bears certain resemblance with "Blood Alley¨ (55) by William A. Wellman , also with a skipper Wayne , along with Lauren Bacall , pursued and surrounded by enemy ships and attempting to escape . The Wayne-Turner combination ignite the sparks you'd expect . Nice acting by the great John Wayne , here he takes an unusual character as Ehrlich , an anti-Nazi but proud German who hopes to outrun or out-maneuver the British warship pursuing him . A German Wayne rivaled only by his infamous Genghis Khan in ¨The Conqueror¨ film directed by Dick Powell , for strange role selection . And aboard his ship is the gorgeous and elegant Lana Turner who sings a wonderful song accompanied by the seamen . However , star Lana Turner and filmmaker John Farrow did not get along well during production , she felt Farrow gave her no direction at all and that he was unpleasant with her and her co-stars . There is a colorful secondary cast that includes Lyle Bettger as second-in-command officer , David Farrar as the British Commander , Tab Hunter as a young cadet , the veteran Paul Fix , the ordinary Alan Hale Jr , Richard ¨Dick¨ Davalos , John Qualen as chief machinist and John Doucette . Furthermore , two notorious support actors : Claude Akins , -Claude' normally dark hair was bleached blond for this character- and Gunsmoke's James Arness ; Akins later appeared on ten episodes of "Gunsmoke". Evocative cinematography in Cinemascope and WarnerColor by William H. Clothier , John Ford's customary cameraman . And thrilling and moving musical score by Roy Webb.
The motion picture was well directed by John Farrow . At his beginning he wrote short stories and plays during his four-year career in the navy ; in fact John was injured while serving as a Lieutenant Commander in the Royal Navy in World War II . In the late 1920s Farrow came to Hollywood as a technical adviser for a film about Marines and stayed as a screenwriter , from ¨A Sailor's Sweetheart¨ (1927). He began directing in 1937 ¨Men in Exile¨ and ¨West of Shanghai¨ (1937). He married Tarzan's Jane , Maureen O'Sullivan , in 1936 and being Mia Farrow's father . John collaborated in the writing of several of his movies and shared the Academy Award for ¨Around the world in Eighty days¨ (56) . John was a good craftsman who directed all kinds of genres as Western : ¨Copper Canyon¨(50) , ¨Hondo¨ (53) with Wayne , ¨A bullet is waiting¨(54) ; Adventure : ¨Five come back¨(39) , ¨Two years before the mast¨(46) , ¨Botany Bay¨ (59) , ¨Back from eternity¨(56) ; Noir : ¨The Saint strikes back¨(39) , ¨The Criminal Court¨(46) , ¨The Big Clock¨(48) ; Crime drama : ¨Unholy wife¨(57) , ¨His kind of woman¨(51) , Historical : ¨John Paul Jones¨ (59) and Warfare : ¨Commandos strike at dawn¨(43) and this ¨Sea chase¨ (55) .
L'assedio dell'Alcazar (1940)
Spectacular and dramatic Italian/Spanish co-production about the known Siege of the Alcazar or L'Assedio dell'Alcazar set in Toledo
On July 17, 1936 , Francisco Franco began the military rebellion in Spanish Morocco . On July 18, the military governor of the province of Toledo, Colonel Moscardó (Rafael Calvo) , ordered the Guardia Civil of the province to Toledo. During July 19 and 20, various attempts were made by the War Ministry of the Republican government to obtain the munitions in the arms factory at Toledo . Each time, Colonel Moscardó along with some captains (Fosco Giachetti as Il Capitano Vela , Carlo Tamberlani as Il Capitano Vincenzo Alba ) refused and they were threatened that a force from Madrid would be sent against him . The Republicans controlled most of Toledo and sought the surrender of the Alcázar by artillery bombardment . For the duration of the siege , the Nationalists engaged in a passive defense, only returning fire when an attack was imminent . Colonel Moscardó was called on the telephone by the chief of the Worker's Militia , Commissar Candido Cabello , on the morning of July 23 in Toledo and told that if the Alcázar were not surrendered within ten minutes, Moscardó's 16-year-old son, Luis (Carlos Muñoz) , who had been captured earlier in the day, would be executed. Colonel Moscardó asked to speak to his son and his son asked what he should do. "Commend your soul to God," he told his son, "and die like a patriot, shouting,'¡Viva Cristo Rey!' and '¡Viva España!' The Alcázar does not surrender" , "That," answered his son, "I can do" . An envoy from the Republicans, Major Rojo, was sent to Colonel Moscardó on September 9 to ask for the surrender of the Alcázar. This was refused, but Colonel Moscardó requested for a priest to be sent to baptize the two children born during the siege and to also say Mass . Vázquez Camarassa (Oreste Fares) , a Madrid preacher with left-wing views, was sent to the Alcázar during the morning of September 11, performed the necessary functions and issued a General Absolution to the defenders of the Alcázar. The Republicans had been digging two mines and launched four attacks on the Alcázar with the aid of armored cars and tanks. The attacks failed after a determined defense by the Nationalists, but the Republicans responded with a continuous artillery bombardment of the Alcázar throughout the night and into the next day.
This is a historical story in which an intense drama collides with war , ideology and politics . The film was preceded by a prologue in the Italian , Spanish and German versions , all introducing the subject and setting the scenes and praising the courage of the besieged . The picture is pretty well , though there is an excessive pamphlet tone and Falangist propaganda . The film was shot in Cinecittà with Italian, French and Spanish actors . In the Italian version all three non-Italian actors : the French Mireille Balin, and the Spanish , Rafael Calvo and Carlos Muñoz spoke their lines in Italian they were dubbed by Italian actors afterwards .The Siege of the Alcazar or L'Assedio dell'Alcazar was professionally directed by Augusto Genina , winning Mussolini Cup for the Best Italian Film in Venice Festival . After the war, the film was re-released in Italy under the new title 'Alcazar' with significant cuts . All references to the involvement of Italy in the Spanish Civil War as well as the cruelty of the Republicans were excised to avoid any political debate.
The picture "Sin Novedad en El Alcazar!" was based on historical events , these are the followings : The Nationalists saw the Alcázar as a representation of the strength and dominance of Spain. Losing the Alcázar to the Republicans would have been a serious blow to the Nationalists' vision and morale. The Nationalist forces there were isolated, badly equipped and in no condition to conduct offensive operations. The Republican troops sent from Madrid first arrived at the Hospital of Tavera on the outskirts of Toledo, but redirected their attack towards the Arms Factory upon receiving heavy fire from the hospital. A detachment of 200 Guardia Civil was stationed at the Arms Factory and negotiations with the Republicans ensued. During these talks, the Guardia Civil loaded trucks with ammunition from the factory and sent it to the Alcázar before evacuating and destroying the Factory . Yet the Republicans due to the increasingly symbolic value of the Alcázar as weeks went by threw badly needed men, artillery and weapons .The Republican government believed that since the garrison was only 40 miles southwest of Madrid and would not be receiving any immediate help from the other Nationalist forces that it would be an easy propaganda victory. Over the next five weeks, the Republicans attacked the House of the Military Government on eleven occasions, but were turned back each time by the Nationalists . Republicans had been digging two mines towards the southwest tower of the Alcázar . Explosives in the mines were detonated by Francisco Largo Caballero, completely destroying the southwest tower and the two defenders in it. The press was invited by the Republican government to witness the explosion of the mines and storming of the Alcázar on September 18, but it wasn't until September 29 that the press entered the Alcázar, this time by the invitation of the Nationalists, turning the whole thing into a huge propaganda victory for the Nationalists, undermining the Republican morale . The story of the siege was very interesting for foreign supporters of Franco, who would read the several books published in foreign languages, and would strive for meeting Moscardó when visiting wartime Spain.
El diputado (1979)
A strong tale of forbidden love in which a gay Congressman is blackmailed by a group of extreme right-wing
An undercover militant of a left-wing party , Roberto Orbea (José Sacristán) is elected as a Parliament member . But he is really homosexual who hires rent boys and teenage hustlers . Supposedly he falls in love with the last rent boy , Juanito Garcia (José Luis Alonso) , but the latter discovers himself passionately in love with the man he must betray . Then , Roberto starts bringing the young man into his family and the risks escalate . As his wife Carmen (María Luisa San José) to be aware and she decides she's had enough pretending not to know and they foolishly embark on a threesome . But a group of ultra right-wing run by Carrés (Agustin González) attempts to blackmail him and to compromise the prominent politician as sexually as non-sexually , by means of his young lover , getting photographed extensively by the opposition . Things go wrong when Roberto is about to be elected Secretary General and ultimately happens the discovery of scandal . At the final point the film abruptly finishes .
This is a provoking story in which politics collide with gay underworld , forbidden loves , blackmail , treason , violence and murder . Shot a bit later on the events are developed and including apparition of prestigious politicians as Adolfo Suárez , Felipe Gonzalez , Manuel Fraga Iribarne , Santiago Carrillo from the troublesome period when the known ¨Spanish Transition¨ took place . Narrated by a long flashback and voice-in-off by the same protagonist Roberto/Sacristán , though there is an excessive pamphlet tone and communist propaganda . And as trivia , to expose that Enrique Tierno Galván , President of Popular Socialist Party , PSP , had a meeting with the Communist leader Santiago Carrillo to press De La Iglesia , famous communist militant , to impede Eloy to shoot this film , due to similarity on a case happened in his own party . It displays a complex , extreme and curious screenplay by Gonzalo Goicoechea and Eloy De La Iglesia , both of them collaborated extensively on various films . Nice acting by José Sacristán as a politician who has several trysts with very young rent boys and becomes involved with nasty blackmailers . Support cast are pretty good , such as Agustin Gonzalez , Enriqué Vivó , José Manuel Cervino , and finally Queta Claver and Angel Pardo , both of whom played in ¨La Corea¨ and Pardo in the same gay role as ¨Nes¨. In addition , filmmaker Juan Antonio Bardem as a communist inmate , in fact Bardem was imprisoned during the start of filming ¨Calle Mayor¨; as student protests in Madrid , led to the arrest of Bardem, a communist, in the city of Palencia , he was jailed for a few days and released on the condition that he could not talk about his personal life or beliefs during interviews related to the film .
"Confessions of a Congressman" or "The Deputy" -International titles- was regularly directed by Eloy De La Iglesia . Most his films dealt with sex including shots of nude males , homosexuality , politics and forbidden lovers . De La Iglesia was a notorious communist militant , drug addict and homosexual , these personal characteristics were widely shown in his films . Eloy was a talented Spanish movies director , he began working in cinema in 1966 , at his 22 years old , he debuted in a kiddies production , ¨Fantasy 3¨(66) . Following a sordid melodrama ¨Algo Amargo En La Boca¨ (67) and a boxing story , ¨Cuadrilatero¨(69) . De La Iglesia realizes a lot of thrilling pictures with erotic background as ¨Techo Cristal¨(70) , ¨Nadie Oyó Gritar¨ (72) , ¨Gota Sangre Para Seguir Amando¨ (73) , and scabrous tales as ¨Juegos Amor Prohibido¨(75) , ¨Otra Alcoba¨ (76) . And concerning youthful gay : ¨Placeres Ocultos¨(76) , ¨El Sacerdote¨(78) and politicians : ¨The Deputy ¨, ¨Mujer Del Ministro¨ . Although he became notorious in the years of the Spanish transition to democracy with shocking and polemic films as ¨El Pico 1¨ and 2¨ , ¨Cólegas¨ , ¨Navajeros¨, ¨La Estanquera De Vallecas¨ (87) . All of them dealt with druggies , dope sellers , delinquency , terrorism , underworld suburban and generational problems are the habitual subjects in his films , and specially dedicated to the underworld of heroin ; as well as the gay world . Passing of time hasn't had mercy with most of those movies , but they represented a time and a way of life in the history of Spain ; and now they may seem a little bit naive . His last films were an academic rendition based on Henry James' novel : ¨The turn of the screw¨ and ¨Los Novios Búlgaros¨.
La niña de luto (1964)
Nice and amusing black comedy with two very good actors and compelling direction by Manuel Summers
In a little town of Huelva province lives the young Rocio Vazquez Romero (Maria José Alfonso) who holds a six-month strict mourning for death her grandmother . After that , he meets her boyfriend Rafael Castroviejo (Alfredo Landa). Then , they go walking to the field and go to the cinema to see a Peplum film . Soon after , they are going to dance at the town ball . Alfredo engages marriage to Rocio , but then , Rocio's grandfather dies and Rocio once again has to bear a stiff mourning .
Black comedy with plenty of humor , light drama , social habits and a lot of songs . Good film that was beset by difficulties with the censors caused by a relentless critical to Catholic religion , sour rural conventionality and extreme religious practices . This is not the typical comedy by that time , here there is a brief social denounce about the repression and excessive religion during Franco dictatorship . As all the villagers are repressed characters , coerced by social conventionalism , gossip and hypocrisy . In the flick there is especially comedy , humor , satire and social critical which tended not to be very well received by the censor . This is the following to Summers's first film : ¨Del Rosa Al Amarillo¨ (63) that was formed by two episodes about love stories between teenagers and elderly people . But a third episode dealt with a young romance , but it was adapted on another movie , this ¨La Niña De Luto¨ that pays tribute to previous picture . In fact , the grandfathers roles are incarnated by the same actors who played in ¨Del Rosa Al Amarillo¨ , but while the grandfather Jose Cerrudo gives a brief acting , the grandmother Lina Onesti only appears on a photo . It belongs to a Spanish period ¨New Spanish cinema¨ of the 60s directed by students of the ¨Official Academy of Cine¨ or Escuela Oficial De Cinematografia . ¨La Niña De Luto¨ or "The Girl in Mourning" has an interesting as well as amusing script by Tico Medina , Manuel-Francisco Summers and Pilar Miro , subsequently to be become a famous filmmaker . This film packs a colorful and evocative cinematography by Francisco Fraile . And atmospheric musical score full of ordinary sounds of the sixties by Antonio Pérez Olea . Adding Andalucian , Folkoric music , popular songs and modern music as twists . And , of course , the famous Bolero , and film leitmotif : ¨Están Clavadas Dos Cruces En El Monte Del Olvido...¨ The motion picture was well directed by Manuel Summers .
Manuel was a comic books humorist who publicized in ¨Pueblo¨ diary and on magazines as ¨Hermano Lobo¨and ¨La Codorniz¨. He was a comedian actor and an acceptable filmmaker . His successful first film ¨Del Rosa Al Amarillo¨ was followed by personal works wasted by excessive jokes as ¨El Juego De La Oca¨(65) . He had a big flop titled ¨Juguetes Rotos¨ (66) . Summers , then , made two typical Spanish comedies with Alfredo Landa : ¨No Somos De Piedra¨(67) and ¨Porque Te Engaña Tu Marido¨ (68) . He , subsequently , directed teenager films as ¨Adiós Ciqueña Adios¨ (71) , ¨El Niño Es Nuestro¨(73) that achieved big hit and some of them are censored as ¨Ya Soy Mujer¨(75) , ¨Mi Primer Pecado¨ and ¨Me Hace Falta Un Bigote¨. His last works are mediocre , making fake documentary , such as : ¨To er Mundo e Gueno ¨ , ¨To Er Mundo E Mejo¨ , ¨To Er Mundo E Demasiao¨ and ¨Biblia En Pasta¨ (85) . He finishes his career directing his son David Summers , a known singer leader of the band ¨Hombres G¨ in commercial titles as ¨Sufre Mamon¨(87) ,¨and ¨Sueltate El Pelo¨(88)
A detailed and graphic account of the known trials with an awesome acting by Brian Cox as Hermann Goering
Magnificent film based on actual events with top-notch performances throughout proceeded by a decent star cast and specially by Baldwin , Cox , Plummer , Sydow , Heyerdahl and Len Cariou as supreme judge who presides over the trials , among others . A stimulating portrayal of the Nuremberg trials in which members of the German authorities were brought to response their crimes in the immediate post-war period .
Supreme court Justice , judge Robert H Jackson (Alec Baldwin) is asked to head up the prosecution and he decides to try a representative sample of third Reich leaders , including Hitler's 2º man Hermann Goering (Brian Cox) . The movie initiates with scenes of Núremberg , Germany , 1948 , the destruction of the war is clear everywhere , there Robert is driven through the ruined buildings . The court is formed by three judges to preside the trial against the Nazi chiefs for their complicity in Third Reich . As Robert Jackson in charge of Allied prosecution Nazi war who must resist political pressures and speeches against him , being helped by his assistant Elsie Douglas (Jill Hennessy) . In its opening declaration , the prosecution calls these defendants to account not for violation of due process or other constitutional violations but for killings , tortures , and cruelties committed during WWII . Considers to what extent an individual may be held accountable for actions committed of a superior officer . The accuser statements that the accused cannot claim ignorance that they should have known better for their high position and knowledge . And defenders argue the disobedience to the Fuehrer would have been choice between patriotism and treason for the justices with the subsequent firing squad . Finally the defending councillors explain that not only are the high staff on trial , so are the German people . They claim that the extremists are responsible , not the defendants . They say that very few Germans knew what was going on . Defense lawyers give us the uneasy feeling that the German people never really came to terms with their innocence or guilty . They claimed that the defendants stayed in their positions to keep things from getting worse . One of the more dramatic portions of the film centers around Prosecutor Robert Jackson submitted documents by which the judges and prosecutors had sent thousands to their deaths . A film was shown , a short-documentary is based on real events by means of photographs and stock-footage . As appears work camps are transformed into extermination centers to implement the policy of genocide thought at the Wannsee Conference . At the concentration camps was some minor industrial activity linked to the war effort but the main work was the execution of inmates . Millions of prisoners died in the concentration camps through mistreatment , disease, starvation, and overwork, or were executed as unfit for labor. More than six million Jews died in them, usually in gas chambers, although many were killed in mass shootings and by other means . As the documentary showed a gas chamber at Dachau , but it is a mistake because of it was never used, prisoners died from mistreatment or from execution by means other than gas . The archival footage shows tattooed skin , but Buchenwald prisoners with unusual tattoos were killed , then their skin was preserved for the tattoo collection of convicted war criminal Ilse Koch .
This is a graphic and thought-provoking account of the Nuremberg trials in which a group of high-level hierarchy are on trial , being judged in the immediate post-war period ; and subsequently brought to book by Joseph E. Persico , as this picture is based on his novel titled ¨Núremberg : Infamy on trial¨ . This consuming as well as provoking retelling contains some interesting trial scenes that generally work but there's also the needless byplay of a love story between prosecutor attorney Robert/Baldwin and his secretary/Hennessy . Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson is perfectly played by Alec Baldwin , he gives a very good acting for his impassioned portrayal of the accusation against the nasty Nazis . And also superb : Herbert Knaup as Albert Speer , Christopher Heyerdahl as Ernst Kaltenbrunner , Colm Feore as Rudolf Höß , Fournier as Reichsminister Alfred Rosenberg , Cloutier as admiral Karl Dönitz , Frank Moore as Hans Frank , René Gagnon as Reichsminister Arthur Seyß-Inquart , Benoît Girard as Joachim Von Ribbentrop , Dennis St John as Franz Von Papen , LaFortune as Rudolf Hess , Sam Stone as Julius Streicher and , of course , the always chilling Brian Cox . This deeply moving and powerful film was well -but not overly compelling- directed by Yves Simoneau . Rating : Good , better than average .
Die Sklavenkarawane (1958)
Spanish/German co-production shot in Spain , including risked adventures and likable roles
An enjoyable adventure set in 19th century Iraq , there Kara Ben Nemsi (Viktor Staal) a writer , adventurer and doctor crosses the sunny desert when he meets two lost men , a British , archaeologist Sir David Lindsay (Theo Lingen) and a German professor (Fernando Sancho who bears the comic relief) . Later on , they are attacked by slave traffickers commanded by Murad Ibrahim (Rafael Luis Calvo) , as they are fighting an unseen Arab enemy who always struck in the dark . Kar Ben Memsi escapes but the archaeologist and the sympathetic professor are imprisoned by Abu el Mot (José Guardiola) . Soon after , the adventurer doctor is asked for help from Ibrahim , but Kara Ben Memsi frees a beautiful maid (Mara Cruz) and both of them escape on a boat pursued by Murad's hoodlums .
This is adventure movie including thrills , shots , fights , duels and marvelous oriental outdoors , though shot in Spain . Dangerous adventures and interesting roles along with solid action and a good sense of humor pulled off by a sympathetic couple : Fernando Sancho and Theo Lingen . The most spectacular scenes are the fights on the desert and the river surrounded by Crocs and hippos . Although some fights are not convincing and the short budget is occasionally revealed , as it is filled with stock-shots from Elephants , Crocodriles and hippos . Support cast is plenty of familiar Spanish faces , usual in co-productions of the 60s and 70s , such as : Fernando Sancho , Rafael Luis Calvo , Alfonso Rojas , Antonio Casas , Emilio Alvarez , Barta Barri , Julio Nuñez ,Rufino Inglés , Xan Das Bolas , José Luis Martin and an ominous leader of the bandits , José Guardiola , who played with vicious intensity . Originally it was planned to shoot this picture at its historical location in Turkey , but for organizational reasons it was decided to make it in Spain instead . The film is set in Basora , Iraq , though is was actually shot in Alicante, Comunidad Valenciana, Aranjuez, and Madrid, Spain ; being well photographed by the prestigious cameraman Alfredo Fraile .
It is based on Karl May novel , about a known personage , ¨Kara Ben Memsi¨ , this role starred several films , most of them performed by Lex Barker , such as : "Kingdom of the Silver Lion" (1965) by F.J Gottlieb , "Wild Kurdistan" (1965) by F. J Gottlieb , "The Yellow One" (1964) by Robert Siodmak and Der Löwe Von Babylon (1959) titled Spain ¨En Las Ruinas de Babilonia¨ or ¨Lion of Babylone¨ also directed by Ramón Torrado . And other silent versions starred by Carl De Vogt as "Caravan of Death" (1920) , ¨Auf den Trümmern Des Paradieses¨ (1920) and ¨Die Teufelsanbeter¨ (1920) . In addition , a series television titled "Kara Ben Nemsi Effendi" (1973), 26 episodes starred by Michael Vogler as Kara Ben Nemsi .
The motion picture was professionally directed by Ramon Torrado , he made a mostly decent , colorful fun , but not without gaps , failures and flaws . it was not huge hit , but successful enough to have a sequel : "Der Löwe von Babylon" following in the same year 1959 . Ramon was born in 1905 , Galicia, Spain. He was a director and writer, known for directing some vehicles of known Folklorics stars such as Peret in Amor a Todo gas (1969) , Manolo Escobar in Un Beso en Puerto (1966) and Paquito Rico in Malvaloca (1954). Torrado directed four mediocre Chorizo Westerns such as 1965 Los Cuatreros , 1964 La Carga de la Policía Montada , 1964 Relevo a Pistolero and 1963 Bienvenido, Padre Murray . Rating . 5.5/10 . Acceptable and passable .
Rancho Notorious (1952)
Thrilling Western of murder , hate and revenge ; being compellingly directed by the great maestro Fritz Lang
In Wyoming , when his sweetheart is murdered , then an embittered cowboy (Arthur Kennedy who was playing a young man , he was actually three years older than Mel Ferrer) hunting enemies and on the trail of his fiancee's murderer . First with a posse, then by himself , to an outlaw hideout ranch called Chuck-a-Luck (it means a gambling game commonly played in saloons in the Southwest) . As he arrives in Rancho Notorious and the main question is the following : to guess the killer in the mansion . Then , he falls for a dance girl , Altar Keane (Marlene Dietrich who sings some songs in his usual style) , ranch owner that is a refuge for thieves and she posing as an upright rancher and horse seller . In the ranch there is a motley group of bandits (Frank Ferguson , William Frawley , Francis McDonald , Jack Elam and George Reeves with a scar on his cheek) led by Frenchy Fairmont (Mel Ferrer) who scheme to rob a bank in Clay Springs city .
This traditional Western contains drama , thrills , rousing action , frontier adventure , shootouts , and exuberant outdoors , though including matte painting images . This vintage epic Western turns out to be a throughly entertaining picture that will appeal to Western fans . It is an interesting flick in which an initial murder triggering off a tale of hatred , vengeance and a triangular love . A ¨period¨ sample'of 50s westerns , but different to common themes . Fine acting and a lot of duels , shots and killings . Medium budget Western for all those who love moody , thoughtful westerns . This is a very good Western by Fritz Lang , he made three , there's only one better than this , and that's ¨The return of Frank James¨ . Good performances for all-star-cast . Nice acting by Marlene Dietrich at her slinkiest , in fact Rancho Notorious is a must for Marlene fans . As Arthur Kennedy as a ranch hand called Vern Haskell who pursues the killers his girlfriend, following the trail to an outlaw's roost . Kennedy holds his twisted expression to great effect as the relentless cowboy hunting a hidden killer . Acceptable Mel Ferrer as Frenchy Fairmont , an outlaw really enamored to Altar and who defends his love .
The film displays a brilliant cinematography in rich Technicolor by expert cameraman Hal Mohr who had previously photographed Marlene Dietrich in Arizona (1939) . In addition , attractive and evocative musical score by Ken Darby , Emil Newman and uncredited Hugo Friedhofer and Arthur Lange ; including some catching western songs . The motion picture produced by Howard Welsch and RKO was tight as well as seethingly directed by Fritz Lang with great enthusiasm and in his particular style . This was Lang's third Western , following his favorite ¨The return of Frank James¨ with Henry Fonda and ¨Western Union¨ , a Darryl F Zanuck's 20th Century Fox production about construction of the glamorous ¨Western Union¨ route from Omaha , Nebraska , to Salt Lake City , Utah with Robert Young and Dean Jagger . The German Fritz showed himself a master of the most American of genres . As Lang directed masterfully all kind of genres as Noir cinema as ¨Big heat¨ , ¨Scarlet Street¨ and ¨Beyond a reasonable doubt¨ , Epic as ¨Nibelungs¨, suspense as ¨Secret beyond the door¨ , ¨Clash by night¨ and Lang's trilogy about Nazi time as ¨Cloak and dagger¨, ¨Man hunt¨ and ¨Hangmen also die¨, and of course , Sci-Fi with the classic ¨Metropolis¨. Rating Rancho Notorious : Better than average . Well worth watching .
Cuenta atrás (2007)
¨Countdown¨is an action-filled series about tough cops who face off nasty delinquents and heinous killers
This exciting series packs a moving atmosphere by means of shaky camera and videotape . It stars various Police Inpectors of a special unit against crime that take down scum and low-life criminals , these are the followings : the main star called Corso (Dani Martín) along with Mario (Álex González) , Leo (Bárbara Lennie) , Rocío (Teresa Hurtado de Ory) and Molina (José Ángel Egido) . They take on several dangers and risked assignments , confronting unsettling junkies , violent muggers , avaricious robbers , malevolent panderers , bank attackers , extremely villain mobsters , women traffickers , heinous druggies , kidnappers , ominous murderers ... . Meantime , it happens various loving affairs among them , including nudism , strong sexual relations and intercourses . In the several episodes there are different and twisted cases dealing with kidnappings , skyjacked , a grisly murder for racism and vengeance or when Corso's father is accused for killing , or when kiddies from an elementary school are abducted by a suspect boys abuser , among others .
The series formed by 29 episodes develop his own peculiar style , full of action , twists and turns . It is with plenty of suspense , restless movements , violence , and in documentary style with the camera over the shoulders . The action moments are compactly made and fast moving . The robbing , kidnappings , heists , and attacks deliver the goods filled with non-stop action , shocks , intrigue and suspenseful . It packs tension , plot twists , thrills , chills and strong love scenes for television , too . Series itself takes place from point of sight from cameraman and in a really dynamic style . The main starring , the leader singer from ¨Canto Del Loco¨ , Dani Martin , gives a mediocre acting , he is better singer than actor . He plays a two-fisted but unpleasant cop . The best acting is given by the veteran José Angel Egido as an intelligent and resourceful Inspector . Support cast is pretty good , there appears as guest stars , a lot of notorious secondary players , such as : Manuel Tejada , Fernando Cayo , Luis Callejo , Jesús Guzmán , David Janer , Vicente Romero , Juán Gea , Juán Fernández , María León , Jorge Bosch , Craig Stevenson , Luis Bermejo , Nadia Santiago , and special mention for Ramón Barea as Corso's father and Ana Wagener as Corso's mother . The series being efficiently written as well as produced by Pablo Barrera , Manuel Valdivia and Chus Vallejo . And this thrilling series was compellingly directed by Pablo Barrera , Sandra Gallego and Guillermo Fernández Groizard .