An attractive recounting of the Greek myth of Phaedra , freely based on Lucio Anneo Seneca play
This is an agreeable and excessive melodrama about Greek mythology transferred to a seacoast village , plenty of human passions . Estrella/Phaedra (Emma Penella) is a beautiful woman , hated by the female community , who lives along with his father at a seaside cliff , next to a fishing village . The powerful shipowner Don Juan (Enrique Diosdado) in infatuated for her beauty and proposes to marry Phaedra . Soon after , there appears Fernando (Vicente Parra) , but his return home brings problems for all ; he has left previous destination to dedicate himself to his horses and Estrella/Fedra learns that he is his estranged son from his first marriage . Then , the extremely wealthy shipping magnate marries the younger , fiery Phaedra . When Estrella meets Fernando , she falls in love with her stepson and seduces him . When Fernando meets his stepmother , they immediately begin a steamy affair , but Estrella is rejected . Their doomed love affair leads the family to a tragedy.
This is a tragic portrayal of the known myth , an immortal tragedy about Phèdre , Hyppolyte , Théramène , Thésée , adapted on Spanish names : Estrella , Fernando , Don Juan and others . Loose and updated retelling of Fedra's Lucio Anneo Seneca play with interesting screenplay by Antonio Vich and the same director Manuel Mur Oti . The picture is an intense melodrama with extreme passions , a nutty love story , and really exaggerated denouement . As the final scenes bear remarkable resemblance to ¨Duel in the Sun¨ by King Vidor and ¨Queen Kelly¨ by Erich Von Stroheim . The movie is well paced in harsh and violent manner , including a twisted and unexpected ending . Thrilling set pieces when the sea storm takes place , including obvious and ridiculous ship maquettes . Nice acting by Emma Penella as Estrella , a wild young woman who is lusted after by every man and therefore hated the villagers women . Here she delivers enough sexiness and seductiveness , and , of course , an acceptable interpretation . Excellent performance from Enrique Diosdado as the good-natured shipping owner who falls in distress . And fine acting by Vicente Parra as the good-looking and dyed in platinum blonde young of homosexual trending . Very good support cast , including brief appearances of prestigious secondaries , such as : Raúl Cancio , Alfonso Rojas , Rafael Calvo , Xan Das Bolas and uncredited José Riesgo . Evocative cinematography in black and white filmed by the famed Manuel Berenguer , being shot on location in Estepona , Málaga, Andalucía and interiors in Chamartín studios .
The motion picture was compellingly written/directed Manuel Mur Oti who had several problems with the Spanish censorship . In fact , this movie was really censored , that's why to be prohibited a suicide scene and other erotic and sadist images . Director Mur Oti was a professional craftsman who obtained a great prestige in Cinema Festivals , he started writing scripts for filmmaker Antonio Del Amo . Mur was a dramas expert , his film debut was ¨Un Hombre Va Por El camino¨(1949) , following an awesome melodrama : ¨Cielo Negro¨(51) and ¨Orgullo¨ (55) which he writes , produces and directs . Mur Oti went on shooting the reputed neighborhood drama ¨El Batallón De Las Sombras¨ (56) and ¨El Escuadron Del Panico¨. He , then shoots comedies as ¨Guerra Empieza En Cuba¨, ¨Una Chica De Chicago¨ and ¨Pescando Millones¨. Mur , subsequently , directs a religious drama : ¨Milagro a Los Cobardes¨ (61) and two films with international cast , such as : ¨La Encadenada¨ with Marisa Mell , Richard Conte and ¨Morir , Dormir , Tal Vez Soñar¨(75) with Jane Seymour .
Others films dealing with this notorious Greek myth were the followings : The best vest version was ¨Fedra¨(1961) by Jules Dassin with Melina Mercouri , Raf Vallone and Anthony Perkins ; ¨Phèdre¨ (1968) by Pierre Jourdan with Marie Bell , Jean Chevrier Jacques Dacqmine , Claude Giraud ; and ¨Fedra West¨ (1968) by Joaquin Romero Marchent , Greek mythology transferred to the old spaghetti west with James Philbrook , Norma Bengell and Simón Andreu .
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