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La Celestina (1969)

In the last years of the Middle Ages, the Corpus Christi procession takes place in the Spanish city of Toledo. There, the young Calixto meets the beautiful lady Melibea, and he falls in ... See full summary »

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(as César Ardavín)

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(as César Ardavín), (play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Calixto
... Melibea
... Celestina
Gonzalo Cañas ... Pármeno
Antonio Medina ... Sempronio
... Elicia (as Uschi Mellin)
Heidelotte Diehl ... Areúsa
Eva Lissa ... Alisa
Konrad Wagner ... Pleberio
Antonio Mancho ... Bosia
Jaime Segura ... Tristan
Rafael Martínez ... Crito
Joaquín Campomanes ... Traso
Roberto Caballero ... El tuerto
Fernando Lezama ... El cojo
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Storyline

In the last years of the Middle Ages, the Corpus Christi procession takes place in the Spanish city of Toledo. There, the young Calixto meets the beautiful lady Melibea, and he falls in love immediately, trying to court her, but getting only the rejection of the young woman. Determined to make her his mistress, Calixto chases her wherever she goes, thus causing "incidental" encounters. Then the lover decides to follow the advice of his servant Sempronius and go to an old bawd called Celestina, who, with the help of her evil arts and tips, bow down Melibea's will and causes tragic consequences for everyone. Written by jsanchez

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Release Date:

6 April 1969 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Celestina  »

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User Reviews

 
Extremely faithful and overlong version based on the Tragicomedy of Calisto and Melibea by Fernando De Rojas
29 June 2016 | by See all my reviews

Medieval drama about a fateful love story based on the novel considered to be one of the greatest works of Spanish literature, and traditionally marks the end of medieval literature and the beginning of the literary renaissance in Spain . It deals with a young nobleman , Calisto (Jualian Mateos) , who falls in love for Melibea (Elisa Ramirez) , the daughter of a rich trader . Calisto's servant Sempronio suggests they get the intriguing Celestina (Amelia De La Torre) to further the romance . As he uses the old procuress Celestina to start an affair with Melibea , an unmarried girl kept in seclusion by her parents . The sorceress Celestina is the owner of a brothel and in charge of two young employees . She uses people's greed, sexual appetite which she helps create , then provides means to satisfy , and love to control them . She was once a prostitute, and now she dedicates her time to arranging discreet meetings between illicit lovers, and at the same time uses her house as a brothel for the prostitutes Elicia and Areusa . However Calisto's other servant Parmeno is suspicious of Celestina , as he knows about her tricks. After Celestina convinces Melibea of Calisto's love and manages a brief clandestine meeting between them , Calisto gives Celestina a valuable gold chain . Both servants -Pármeno and Sempronio- are not satisfied with the rewards supplied by Celestina and demand more from her . As when the weary Calisto returns home at dawn to sleep, his two servants go round to Celestina's house to get their share of the gold . Celestina tries to cheat them and in rage fight and events go awry .

The rich as well as perverse roles of this film based on famous book are inspired by the meddling characters of the comedies of Plautus and in works of the Middle Ages such as The Book of Good Love by Juan Ruiz ¨Arcipreste De Hita¨ and Italian works like The Tale of the Two Lovers by Enea Silvio Piccolomini and Elegía de Madonna Fiammeta by Giovanni Boccaccio and other usual archetypes of medieval literature . La Celestina was written during the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella , whose marriage took place in 1469 and lasted until 1504 , the year of Isabella's death, which occupies the last phase of the Pre-Renaissance for Spain and when took place major events in the history of Spain as the discovery of the Americas , the conquest of Granada and the expulsion of the Jews . The film relies heavily on the intrigues of the nasty servants plenty of nudism and sexual scenes in which the couples of whores and villains are usually making love . One common feature of all of the characters result to be their individualism , their egoism, and their lack of altruism . The private benefit of the lower-class characters forms a substitute for the love/lust present for the upper class . The character development is carried out through relationships between complementary or opposing roles , as in general there are two opposite groups of characters, the servants and the nobles, and within each group are characters divided into pairs . At the end take place a dramatic sequence of happenings , thus setting off treason , deaths and executions . Nice acting by Amelia De La Torre who steals the show as roguish , ambitious Celestina . She gives a colorful and vivid character , hedonistic , miserly , and yet full of life. She has such a deep understanding of the psychology of the other characters that she can convince even those who do not agree with her plans to accede to them . Celestina represents a subversive element in the society, by spreading and facilitating sexual pleasure . As the name Celestina has become synonymous with Procuress , especially an older woman used to further an illicit affair , and is a literary archetype of this character , the masculine counterpart being Pandarus . Celestina is the element that catalyzes the tragedy, and represents a life lived with wild abandon . Acceptable main cast formed by two prestigious actors as Elisa Ramírez and Julian Mateos . Here stands out Julian Mateos , a famed Spanish actor , early deceased , he acted in all kinds of genres , as Gialli : ¨Cold eyes of fear¨ , Drama : ¨La Celestina¨, ¨Novios De La Muerte¨ and player in US Western as well as Spaghetti as ¨Hellbenders¨ , ¨Four rode out¨ , ¨Catlow¨ , ¨Shalako¨, ¨Return of seven magnificent¨ and even produced ¨Camus's Los Santos Inocentes¨. And other unknown German players , because being a Spanish/German co-production to be necessary some foreign actors for the exportation.

Colorful cinematography by Raúl Pérez Cúbero , being filmed on location in Toledo and studios Roma , Madrid . Atmospheric and evocative musical score , full of Middle Age music and classical soundtrack by Angel Arteaga , including religious chores by Comunidad Benedictina of Leire . The motion picture was professionally shot by Cesar Fernández Ardavin , without leaving the medieval style plenty of verses and ancient language . There are several versions, although usually regarded as a novel , it is written as a continuous series of dialogues and can be taken as a play , having been staged as such and filmed . These are the followings : In "Los Libros" series as La Celestina (1974) by Jesús Fernández Santos with María Luisa Ponte as Celestina , Tony Isbert as Calisto and Carmen Maura as Melibea ; TV miniseries with Miguel Ayones , Gemma Cuervo , Cándida Losada and Tony Soler as Celestina and Mexican version (1976) with Isela Vega , Ofelia , and Ana De Sade . The most known rendition was directed by Gerard Vera ¨La Celestina¨ (1996) with Juan Diego Botto , Penélope Cruz , Nancho Novo , Jordi Mollá and Terele Pavez .


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