The Executioner (El Verdugo)

Now for something truly remarkable from the neglected Spanish cinema. Luis García Berlanga's wicked satire is a humanistic black comedy, free of cynicism. The borderline Kafkaesque situation of an everyman forced into a profession that horrifies him is funny and warm hearted - but with a ruthless logic that points to universal issues beyond Franco Fascism. The Executioner Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 840 1963 / B&W / 1:85 widescreen / 92 min. / El Verdugo / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date October 25, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, José Isbert . Cinematography Tonino Delli Colli Film Editor Afonso Santacana Original Music Miguel Asins Arbó Written by Luis García Berlanga, Rafael Azcona, Ennio Flaiano Produced by Nazario Belmar Directed by Luis García Berlanga

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Criterion brings us 1963's The Executioner (El Verdugo), a major discovery for film fans that thought Spanish cinema began and ended with Luis Buñuel. I've seen politically-charged Spanish films from
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