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El pequeño ruiseñor (1957)

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Cast

Cast overview:
... Joselito
... Fuensanta - madre de Joselito
... Padre Jesús
... Párroco
Luis Domínguez Luna
Carmen Sánchez ... Romualda
Luis Roses
Domingo Rivas
José María Martín ... (as José Mª Martín)
... (as Manuel Granada)
José Cuenca
... Martín - el sacristán
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Genres:

Drama | Family | Musical

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Release Date:

1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Pequeno Rouxinol  »

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Referenced in Spanish Movie (2009) See more »

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Weeper drama about the famous kid , Joselito , who shows efficiently his singing skills
21 December 2014 | by See all my reviews

Joselito lives at an Extremadura village with his grandfather (Anibal Vela) . Joselito help a rascal Sacristan (Mariano Azaña) , and the latter profits from him when the kid sings in Communions , Baptisms and weddings . There , then appears his exiled mother (Lina Canalejas) who escaped leaving her illegitimate child . The village priest (Mario Berriatua) hosts the mother at his home . Later on , the grandfather reconciles his daughter . But there appears her husband (Luis Induni) and problems emerge . Later on , Joselito is sent to Monastery of Guadalupe as a singer boy .

This is a sensitive story proceeded in simplicity and delicacy by Antonio Del Amo . In fact , Joselito was introduced to the movie business in 1956 by this filmmaker , who directed him in this first feature, El Pequeño Ruiseñor (1957) ("The Little Nightingale"), where he earned his famous nickname . He was widely known in Spain when he became a widely successful child star , following to ¨El Ruiseñor De Las Cumbres¨ , ¨Saeta Del Ruiseñor¨ and ¨El Pequeño Coronel¨. The main role "Joselito" is played by the same in a phenomenal manner , can be said that he is perfectly adequate to his measure . He was a milestone in Spanish "child prodigies" under Franco along with Marisol , Pili and Mili and especially Pablito Calvo who starred the hits ¨The Bait¨ , ¨Mi Tio Jacinto¨ and ¨Marcelino Bread and Wine¨ . And the producers trying to keep them as little kids for as long as possible . Due to false advertising by the studios that made their movies, and which wanted to make him appear younger than they really were , an obsession that haunted them through the whole of their careers .

¨El Pequeño Ruiseñor¨ is a joyful as well as sad Spanish musical/weeper/drama movie , professionally realized in Neorealism style . This an enjoyable and feeling movie full of mirth , drama , humor touches and agreeable message . At the same time the film gives us an ample panorama about village life , its pity and goodness ; furthermore, showing the villagers , men at work , priests , weddings , parties and various situations happen in a small town . The scenarios in which develops the deeds are perfectly designed . Musical score responds appropriately to the ambient , originating a careful atmosphere . Evocative and luminous cinematography by Cesar Fraile , though a perfect remastering is necessary . There appears notorious secondary actors , such as Mariano Azaña , Mario Berriatúa , Luis Induni ,Jose Prada , all of them acting to perfection .

Of course , Joselito steals the show as the singer boy . Spanish film studios were looking for a new child star to follow the steps of Pablito Calvo, and make popular and populist folkloric movies and they found Joselito . After the international success of El Pequeño Ruiseñor , and following successful films such as ¨La Saeta Del Ruiseñor¨ , ¨Bello Recuerdo¨ , ¨Los Dos Golfillos¨, which were big box-office hits in Spain during Franco's dictatorship he became Spain's most famous child actor , outstanding his highly expressive face and eyes , enormous eyes and innocent, angelical face . In his films he often sings Flamenco Cante , Saetas , Soleadas and other Folkloric songs . After several movies and records, and already a big star as a singer and an actor in Europe, the next move was trying to triumph in America, so Joselito went to Mexico where he filmed various projects, starting by ¨El Caballo Blanco¨ , ¨Aventuras de Joselito en América¨ (1960), which paired him with Mexican child star 'Cesáreo Quezadas Pulgarcito to grant local box-office . His success even reached around the world , in fact he was discovered as a singer by Luis Mariano, who got him to perform in France, pretending he was 9 at the moment of his debut, when he actually was 13 . However, life was not too glamorous for Joselito, as he was treated almost as a sideshow act by his managers, not allowing him to become an ordinary teenager , and even locking him in his room between rehearsals so he couldn't meet girls . He was forced to keep his childlike image up to 1969 (when he was in his mid-twenties) in ¨Loca Juventud¨ , ¨Falso Heredero¨ and when he appeared in his last film , ¨Prisionero En La Ciudad¨ (1969). But, as his voice had long broken, he was not successful anymore . Retired from acting at early age to become a drifter , even working as a mercenary . Disappearing from public life until it was discovered much later that he had become a heroin addict and even worked as a mercenary in Africa . An attempt of a comeback as an adult proved unsuccessful, as the tastes of the audience had changed, and his voice didn't resemble the one he had as a kid, so Joselito definitely retired from show business to his home in Utiel (Valencia), where he, now clean and sober, lives a quiet life far from movie and recording studios. Nowadays , he has reappeared doing brief TV interventions and cinema such as ¨Torrente¨ and ¨Spanish movie¨ .

The filmmaker Antonio Del Amo succeeds in this picture , obtaining a great achievement , managing perfectly to the performers and taking advantage of them , giving the best of his acting . The picture touched the hearts of numerous Spanish spectators by the time . Rating : Acceptable and passable for its worthwhile mingle of drama , music , comedy , sentimentalism and good feeling .


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