7.4/10
909
5 user 7 critic

El cochecito (1960)

PG | | Comedy, Drama | 20 April 1961 (Italy)
Seventy-something Don Anselmo, a retired minister, becomes obsessed with owning a motorized wheelchair and fakes infirmity to get it.

Director:

Marco Ferreri

Writers:

Rafael Azcona (novel), Rafael Azcona (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
3 wins. See more awards »

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
José Isbert ... Don Anselmo Proharán
Pedro Porcel Pedro Porcel ... Carlos Proharán
José Luis López Vázquez ... Alvarito
María Luisa Ponte ... Matilde
Lepe Lepe ... Don Lucas (as Jose A. Lepe)
Ángel Álvarez ... Álvarez
Antonio Gavilán Antonio Gavilán ... Don Hilario
María Isbert
Chus Lampreave ... Yolanda (as Maria Jesus Lampreave)
Carmen Santonja Carmen Santonja ... Julita (as Mari Carmen Santonja)
Eusebio Moreno Eusebio Moreno
Tiburcio Cámara Tiburcio Cámara
José Luis Heredia José Luis Heredia ... (as Heredia)
Anteno Anteno
Antonio Jiménez Escribano
Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rodolfo and Petrita each live in separate quarters in dilapidated Madrid, while looking to have a little apartment (or "pisito", in Spanish dialect). Unfortunately their low salaries ... See full summary »

Directors: Marco Ferreri, Isidoro M. Ferry
Stars: Mary Carrillo, José Luis López Vázquez, Concha López Silva
The Children (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Four boys meet at a kiosk during a rainy afternoon. One of them has to study and the other three go to the cinema, although at a young age they are not allowed to enter. Andrés works as a ... See full summary »

Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: José Luis García, Joaquín Cascales Zarzo, Alberto Jiménez
Placido (1961)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a small spanish town, a group of old ladies decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with a "Sit a poor man at your table" dinner: each wealthy household of the town will have a homeless person... See full summary »

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Cassen, José Luis López Vázquez, Elvira Quintillá
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An undertaker marries an old executioner's daughter and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement.

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, José Isbert
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Galindo works in a bank. One day he convinces the other employees in the bank to plan a hold-up in the bank they are working. They prepare everything carefully. However, real robbers come ... See full summary »

Director: José María Forqué
Stars: José Luis López Vázquez, Cassen, Gracita Morales
Main Street (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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
Stars: Betsy Blair, José Suárez, Yves Massard
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the village of Fuentecilla, there is a medicinal spa which was very popular in the past but that now has been forgotten by the public. In order to bring back the tourists, the "prominent... See full summary »

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Richard Basehart, José Isbert, Paolo Stoppa
Poachers (1975)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Angel is a poacher who lives in the forest with his domineering mother. One day he goes to the city and meets Milagros, an escapee from a reform school and the lover of a known criminal so he takes her to his house in the mountains.

Director: José Luis Borau
Stars: Lola Gaos, Ovidi Montllor, Alicia Sánchez
The Heifer (1985)
Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A platoon of mismatched republican soldiers cross the front-line to steal the bull that the enemy is going to fight on the saint patron date of the village. In addition to ruining the ... See full summary »

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Alfredo Landa, Guillermo Montesinos, Santiago Ramos
The Hunt (1966)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three men go hunting rabbits during a hot day. Heat and talking about events happened in the past make them angry, until they go totally crazy.

Director: Carlos Saura
Stars: Ismael Merlo, Alfredo Mayo, José María Prada
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Professor Jorge Serra Hamilton, an American scientist specialist in the atomic bomb, flees from their transcendental duties, in order to take shelter incognito and for a time in the idyllic... See full summary »

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Valentina Cortese, Juan Calvo
Her Harem (1967)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A seductive woman pushes three men to the limits toying with their sexual desires and male pride.

Director: Marco Ferreri
Stars: Carroll Baker, Gastone Moschin, Renato Salvatori
Edit

Storyline

Septuagenarian Don Anselmo Proharan, a retired government minister, finds himself sharing living space with his son, a penurious, bourgeoisie solicitor and his family. Don Anselmo, a widower, is restricted to one room of the house, and his social life has narrowed to attending wakes, funerals, and visiting the cemetery. When his paraplegic friend Don Lucas, gets a motorized wheelchair, Proharan accompanies him to his wife's grave to leave flowers. Don Anselmo soon becomes obsessed with getting his own "little coach" and joining the subculture of other "cochetito" owners. However, when his tight-fisted son refuses to buy a chair for him, the old man tries several gambits to get one. Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

Don Hilario: [to Don Anselmo] After all, by the year 2000 no one will use their legs... except soccer players, of course. But everyone else will go around in coaches.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: European New Wave (2011) See more »

User Reviews

 
On Golden Wheelchair
30 June 2014 | by duke1029See all my reviews

Despite a long and prolific career, Marco Ferreri is not as well known outside his native Italy as contemporaries like Fellini and Antonioni. His anarchic, iconoclastic vision of the world and bizarre, often surreal humor may be the reason. Although on the surface this early film initially seems grounded in the Neo-Realist tradition of DeSica's "Umberto D," it carries a bittersweet subversive theme that would become increasingly apparent in Ferreri's later work.

Jose Isbert plays septuagenarian Don Anselmo Proharan, a retired government minister who has reluctantly ceded his home to son Carlos, an officious, condescending solicitor, his bourgeoisie wife, and Yolanda, their homely daughter. Carlos' law offices, which he shares with his daughter's ambitious fiancé, are also located on the premises, so Don Anselmo is limited to a single stifling and confining room in his own home. As he also has to share space with Yolanda, the old man has no sense of peace and quiet or privacy. In addition, Carlos has control of his father's pension, which he parsimoniously doles out as a parent would to a child, further restricting the old man's freedom. Ferreri emphasizes the situation with very effective traveling shots that follow the old man around the house's constrictive, almost claustrophobic, corridors.

Don Anselmo's only escape seems to be attending funerals, and when his paraplegic friend Don Lucas gets a motorized wheelchair, known as a "cochetito," Proharan accompanies him to his wife's grave to leave flowers. Don Anselmo soon becomes obsessed with getting his own "little coach" and joining the subculture of other "cochetito" owners that Don Lucas belongs to which congregates and interacts daily. These physically challenged people have achieved an exhilarating sense of independence and freedom, and the old man views joining them as an escape from his restricted life with his tyrannical family. However, to join them, he needs his own "little coach."

Like Toad in Kenneth Grahame's "The Wind in the Willows," Don Anselmo becomes obsessed with owning one and regaining his lost dignity. When his tight-fisted son dismisses his requests for his own chair, the old man tries several gambits in which he feigns physical infirmity to get one. Frustrated, Don Anselmo sells his dead wife's jewelry in order to buy a cochetito outright, but the son, who has already earmarked the jewelry for his daughter, humiliates the old man by forcing him to return the "cochetito" and reclaimimg his mother's jewels.

After further humiliating him, the son threatens to institutionalize the old man, to the delight of granddaughter Yolande, who is only too eager to co-opt the bedroom for herself. His self-esteem shattered, a desperate Don Anselmo poisons his family's food and runs away from home like a disaffected teenager. The film ends ambiguously with many issues left unresolved.

Ferreri directed his early films in Spain, and Don Anselmo's repression by his bourgeoisie family could be interpreted as a quietly subversive allegorical criticism of Spanish dictator's Francisco Franco's repressive fascist state. The whimsical early scene when Don Anselmo sees a surreal line of men marching in military fashion armed with mop handles for guns and wearing toilet bowls for helmets is in stark contrast to the film's more sober conclusion when the fugitive old man is arrested by the iconic uniformed actual Guardia Civil.

In any case, Ferreri left Spain for his native Italy after the release of "El Cochecito" and although this minor masterpiece is relatively obscure, he soon received some international critical acclaim for trenchantly scathing social satires like "The Ape Woman," "The Conjugal Bed," "La Grand Bouffe," and Felliniesque burlesques like "Don't Touch the White Woman," a wild send-up of Custer's Last Stand set in Paris.

Ferreri would return to the theme of aging with dignity in the poignantly sobering realism of "The House of Smiles" nearly three decades later. The director has been quoted as saying that his job is to give the audience a "punch in the stomach." "El Cochecito" is a punch, albeit a gentle one.


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 5 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish | French

Release Date:

20 April 1961 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Little Coach See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films 59, Portabella Film See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed