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The Spanish Earth (1937)

Unrated | | Documentary, War | 20 August 1937 (USA)
A documentary showing the struggle of the Spanish Republican government against a rebellion by ultra-right-wing forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco and backed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.


Joris Ivens


John Dos Passos (English narration), Ernest Hemingway (English narration)
1 win. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Manuel Azaña Manuel Azaña ... Self (President of Spain)
José Díaz José Díaz ... Self (Parliamentarian)
Dolores Ibárruri Dolores Ibárruri ... Self (as La Pasionaria)
Enrique Lister Enrique Lister ... Self (Republican Army)
Commander Martinez de Aragón Commander Martinez de Aragón ... Self (Republican Army)
Gustav Regler Gustav Regler ... Self (German writer)
Orson Welles ... Narrator (English version) (later replaced by Ernest Hemingway) (voice)


This documentary tells of the struggles during the Spanish Civil War. It deals with the war at different levels: from the political level, at the ground military level focusing on battles in Madrid and the road from Madrid to Valencia, and at the support level. With the latter, a key project was building an irrigation system for an agricultural field near Fuentedueña so that food could be grown to feed the soldiers. Written by Huggo

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Documentary | War


Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Orson Welles recorded the commentary written by Ernest Hemingway and receives on-screen credit, but Hemingway decided to use his own voice instead. It is not clear which version of the film uses Hemingway's voice; the most common print does use the more cultured voice of Welles, which seemed jarring to members of the Contemporary Historians production company--formed by Herman Shumlin, Lillian Hellman and Dorothy Parker, which produced the movie. Both versions are available. See more »


Orson Welles, Narrator: This is the moment the rest of war prepares for. When six men go forward into death, to walk across a stretch of land, and by their presence on it, prove - this earth is ours.
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Featured in Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure: Episode #1.1 (1999) See more »

User Reviews

Red blood sinking into the Spanish earth
26 May 2002 | by Jim TrittenSee all my reviews

Probably more shocking at the time, this dated essay on war documents the good peasants and peoples army vs. the bad professional army and foreign troops. One of the earlier times that a camera was permitted to document the horrors of war, the production attempts to tell the moral message of the righteousness of the Republican cause -- but ultimately the film denounces war itself. Despite its noble crew, the documentary is slow-moving and suffers from what appears to be a voice-over of a silent film. A must see for those who have to see something about the Spanish Civil War or who have to hear Hemingway's voice, but this is not an evening's entertainment. The Why We Fight series done by the US Army during World War II is far superior. The horrors of war were captured for the present generation on their TV screens during the Viet Nam War.

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English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

20 August 1937 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

This Spanish Earth See more »

Filming Locations:

Fuentiduena , Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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