8.1/10
4,609
12 user 22 critic

The Executioner (1963)

El verdugo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Comedy | 13 March 1964 (Italy)
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 (as Luis Gª. Berlanga)

Writers:

Luis García Berlanga (story) (as Luis Gª Berlanga), Rafael Azcona (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After finding out that North American people are visiting the Spanish villages, the citizens of Villar del Río start preparing themselves to welcome them when they arrive.

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Lolita Sevilla, Manolo Morán, José Isbert
Plácido (1961)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 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 | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The Runeberg family is an ordinary middle class family, with a house in a suburb, a car and three children. By vacationing in a rented house by the sea, the hope is that the tension and ... See full summary »

Director: Susanne Bier
Stars: Loa Falkman, Stina Ekblad, Simon Norrthon
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After an accident Raymond has gone blind .His family treats him like a child .But fortunately ,a nun comes to his rescue.She works in a center where blind people learn to read with the Braille alphabet.

Director: Georges Lacombe
Stars: Jean Gabin, Simone Valère, Gérard Oury
Drama | Romance | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Famous swimmer Nikhil Kapoor (Suri) deals with the repercussions of announcing the fact that he has HIV/AIDS.

Director: Onir
Stars: Sanjay Suri, Juhi Chawla, Purab Kohli
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock-'n'-roll legend experiences a personal awakening when her husband's estranged son comes to visit.

Director: Ira Sachs
Stars: Dina Korzun, Rip Torn, Darren E. Burrows
The Delta (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Lincoln, who's not yet 18, leads a straight life most of the time: he has a girl friend, goes to dances, jokes with guys. But he also has a secret life, in which he's drawn to dark places ... See full summary »

Director: Ira Sachs
Stars: Shayne Gray, Thang Chan, Rachel Zan Huss
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In Paris around 1900, Georges Randal is brought up by his wealthy uncle, who steals his inheritance. Georges hopes to marry his cousin Charlotte, but his uncle arranges for her to marry a ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Geneviève Bujold, Marie Dubois
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In 1960s Dublin a young girl becomes involved with an older man, a much-travelled and still married land-owner.

Director: Desmond Davis
Stars: Peter Finch, Rita Tushingham, Lynn Redgrave
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Jaume Canivell, Catalan manufacturer of mechanical porters , attends with her lover on a hunt to relate to important people. The farm where it is organized is full of strange characters.

Director: Luis García Berlanga
Stars: Rafael Alonso, Luis Escobar, Antonio Ferrandis
Les ogres (2015)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

They go from town to town, a big top on their backs, their show over their shoulder. They bring dreams and disorder to our lives. They are ogres, giants. They've devoured the theater and ... See full summary »

Director: Léa Fehner
Stars: François Fehner, Marion Bouvarel, Marc Barbé
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The tempestuous love story between Fernando, an older man who has recently returned to his crime-ridden drug capitol hometown of Medellin, Colombia and the gun-happy 16-year-old assassin ... See full summary »

Director: Barbet Schroeder
Stars: Germán Jaramillo, Anderson Ballesteros, Juan David Restrepo
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nino Manfredi ... José Luis Rodríguez, el enterrador
Emma Penella ... Carmen, la hija de Amadeo
José Isbert ... Amadeo, el verdugo (as Jose Isbert)
José Luis López Vázquez ... Antonio Rodríguez, el hermano mayor de José Luis (as Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez)
Ángel Álvarez ... Álvarez, el enterrador (as Angel Alvarez)
Guido Alberti Guido Alberti ... Director de la prisión
Julia Caba Alba ... Mujer visitante de la obra nº 2
María Luisa Ponte ... Estefanía (as Maria Luisa Ponte)
María Isbert ... Ignacia (as Maria Isbert)
Erasmo Pascual ... San Martín
Xan das Bolas ... Guarda de la obra
José Orjas ... Marqués (as Jose Orjas)
José María Prada ... Vigilante con botella de champán (as Jose Maria Prada)
Félix Fernández ... Organista (as Felix Fernandez)
Antonio Ferrandis ... Funcionario de prisiones
Edit

Storyline

The history starts with the main character (an old executioner in the Spain of early 60's) approaching retirement age. As his profession is not exactly what you could call "popular", he (a very gentle and nice man, caring, and proud of traditions) begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual "spinsterhood": as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad's "trade", he runs away from her, scared. A sad life... However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a handsome and young man who has exactly the same problem... No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other. But here the old executioner has something to say: He does not object to her daughter marrying the young undertaker; he seems a decent man, and all that... But there is a condition: ... Written by Jose Beltran <pepe@prince.pe.u-tokyo.ac.jp>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Spain | Italy

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

13 March 1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Executioner See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Naga Films,Zebra Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 42151 delivered on 24-1-1964. See more »

Quotes

Woman in the book fair: [subtitled version] Have you got something about Bergman or Antonioni...?
Sr. Corcuera, el académico: Bergman... Bergman?
Woman in the book fair: Yes.
Sr. Corcuera, el académico: The actress...?
Woman in the book fair: No, no, it's not the actress...
See more »

Connections

Featured in Berlanga, plano personal (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

El verdugo
(twist)
Composed by Adolfo Waitzman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Classic Spanish film about a justice executioner full of satire , criticism and black comedy
2 March 2013 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Another masterpiece by the notorious filmmaker Luis Garcia Berlanga who shows the lively as well as sad existence of an executioner . Maestro Berlanga realizes another excellent film plenty of irony , habits , Spanish social life , good feeling and political critical . An undertaker (Nino Manfredi) gets married to an old executioner (Jose Isbert)'s daughter (Emma Penella) and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement . However , his profession is not exactly what you could call ¨popular¨ . As when the old man retires, his place is vacant , as his son-in-law doesn't like at all becoming an executioner, but that is the only way to keep the house where he is going to live after getting married.

This is an enjoyable story that contains busy comedy , humor , frantic pace , blatant critical against death row , amusing gags , rowdy satire , noisy hustle and is pretty entertaining . It is considered to be one of the best films from Spanish cinema history and has been voted second best Spanish film by professionals and critics in 1996 cinema centenary .The main and support actors stand out under perfect direction of Berlanga , including sour criticism as well as carried out in previous and subsequent works such as ¨Placido or Escopeta Nacional¨ that include bitter , pessimistic descriptions of social classes . In ¨el Verdugo¨ we can find very fun characters, all of them caricatures of the "spanish way of life" and a mirror on the Spanish society by that time . ¨El Verdugo¨ (1963), one of the undisputed masterpieces and fundamental in filmography of Luis Garcia Berlanga where shows the miseries of an amoral society and shot at the height of his creativity, in a period cultural difficult, where the enormous censorship of the political regime, exacerbated the ingenuity and imagination of the scriptwriters . Awesome playing by Nino Manfredi as a naive , ingenuous ,gentle undertaker turned into executioner , an agreeable Emma Penella and of course , the great Jose Isbert , Berlanga's habitual , in the best interpretation of his long career . The movie displays a Spanish secondary star-studded such as : Maria Luisa Ponte , Jose Maria Prada , Angel Alvarez , Xan Das Bolas , Alfredo Landa , Agustin Gonzalez , Chus Lampreave , Jose Saza , Julia Caba Alba , Antonio Ferrandis , Jose Luis Coll , Felix Fernandez , Jose Orjas and the likable Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez who improvised the moment when measured the child's head , among others . Evocative cinematography in white and black by Tonino Delli Colli , Sergio Leone's usual cameraman ; being filmed on location in Island of Mallorca , Madrid exteriors and C.E.A. studios , Ciudad Lineal, Madrid. Atmospheric and adequate musical score by Miguel Asins Arbo .

Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is very good , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily Berlanga filmed several polemic movies during the 50s , all of them were beset by difficulties with the censors caused by real critical to social stratum such as ¨Bienvenido Mister Marshall¨ (1953) , a very good film which tended not to be very well received by the censor for its acidity and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the history ; however, his strong portrait of Spanish society , plenty of sharpness , didn't please the pro-Franco authorities . His next joint venture was ¨Los Jueves, Milagro¨ (1957), it was modified by the censors and delayed for several years before its eventual release . Later on , Berlanga made one of his best films ¨Placido¨ (1961) masterfully played by Cassen , this is the film debut for the great producer Alfredo Matas and received an Oscar nomination in 1963 , being well-received at the International Festivals , reviewing the useless charity , it's a sublime film but with censorship realized by this great maestro Luis Garcia Berlanga . He continued filming other interesting pictures as in 1973 he went to Paris to begin filming ¨Grandeur nature¨ with Michael Piccoli , another problematic film , focusing this time on the fetishism of a man who falls in love with a doll . Several years later , after Franco's death, he filmed a trilogy comprising ¨La Escopeta Nacional¨ (1978), ¨Patrimonio Nacional¨ (1981) and ¨Nacional III¨ (1982), where he clarified the evident disorders in the Spanish upper , middle-class upon being confronted with a new political status quo , realizing a sour denounce of the Spanish society . Berlanga ulteriorly shot a peculiar film titled ¨La Vaquilla¨ (1985) plenty of Spanish-star-cast and set in the Spanish Civil War , resulting to be the first time dealing with this convulsive period in comedy style . Following the same themes, he went on filming coral films such as ¨Moros and Cristianos¨ and ¨Todos a Carcel¨ (1993) that won three Goya Awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Sound ; being his final film : ¨Paris Tombuctu¨. Rating ¨El Verdugo¨ : 8'5 , pretty good . Essential and indispensable watching for Berlanga aficionados . Better than average and well worth seeing . Essential and indispensable seeing .


13 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 12 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed