8.0/10
1,059
7 user 4 critic

Main Street (1956)

Calle Mayor (original title)
A couple of friends decide to have a good time and play a trick on an unmarried woman. Therefore one of them has to pretend to fall in love with her.

Director:

Juan Antonio Bardem (as J.A. Bardem)

Writers:

Carlos Arniches (play) (as D. Carlos Arniches), Juan Antonio Bardem (as J.A. Bardem)
Reviews
7 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Betsy Blair ... Isabel
José Suárez ... Juan
Yves Massard Yves Massard ... Federico Rivas
Luis Peña ... Amigote #1 - Luis
Dora Doll ... Tonia
Alfonso Godá Alfonso Godá ... Amigote #2 - José María - 'Pepe el Calvo'
Manuel Alexandre ... Amigote #3 - Luciano
José Calvo José Calvo ... Amigote #4 - Doctor
Matilde Muñoz Sampedro ... Chacha (as Matilde M. Sampedro)
René Blancard ... Editor
María Gámez María Gámez ... Madre
Lila Kedrova ... Pepita
Josefina Serratosa Josefina Serratosa ... Obdulia
Julia Delgado Caro Julia Delgado Caro ... Señora de la procesión
José Prada ... Evaristo
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Storyline

A couple of friends decide to have a good time and play a trick on an unmarried woman. Therefore one of them has to pretend to fall in love with her. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Spain | France

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

10 March 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Lovemaker See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Official submission of Spain for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' category of the 30th Academy Awards in 1958. See more »

Connections

Version of Primera fila: La señorita de Trevélez (1963) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Exile on main street.
2 January 2005 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Prologue:let's put it straight.Betsy Blair is miscast.Is this because she played Borgnine's so called ugly girl in the Oscar-winning "Marty" (1955)?Perhaps so ,but her beaming face ,her luminous smile,her intense longing for happiness are anything but unattractive .She's not Ava Gardner,by a long shot,but she easily outshines her would be handsome lover.

Prologue 2:Is it possible,considering the high rating of "calle mayor",that nobody -Spanish users,get a life!It's your culture!- felt like writing about this unfairly overlooked gem? "Calle Mayor" (Grand Rue,Hauptstrasse,Main Street)is the place where ,in a provincial town,people meet,talk and wait.All a woman has to do , Tonia says ,is wait wait wait ,behind her window,at the ball,or on "calle mayor".Isobel has been waiting for eighteen years for a man,because,in the fifties in Spain (and in Europa as well),the only way a woman had is marriage.Or she would become a wallflower and a spinster.

"Calle mayor" is a trap :the omnipresence of religion can be felt here there and everywhere ,with the church bells marking out the hours in a town that has stood still for years,with the nuns pacing up and down the street ,asking for a few pesetas more for their good works.A group of men ,not so young anymore,is searching for something to do.A good joke would be nice to kill time :so they ask one of them to pretend he's in love with Isobel ,the thirty-five year old woman-at the time,it was much too late !-.Isobel begins to live in a dream,and the buck cannot bring himself to tell her the truth (out of pity?he does not know himself)..I say it again,Betsy Blair,although excellent was not the right choice :first she's not Spanish ,and mainly she 's not ugly .So it does not always work well,because,if we were in the man's shoes,we would fall in love head over heals with her.But this must not prevent you from watching Juan Bardem's sensitive work:his depiction of the provincialism is absorbing , the sad landscapes on the edge of town or this little railway station where the tragedy is resolved are masterfully filmed.

Juan Bardem was a committed artist.He was arrested before he finished "Calle Mayor" and later he produced Bunuel's masterpiece "Viridiana".It's really too bad that ,now that Spanish cinema triumphs again with Amenabar ,Bardem's name should be virtually forgotten.


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