7.3/10
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El crack (1981)

Private detective Germán Areta gets a terminally ill client who wishes to see his long lost, runaway daughter before he dies. But when Areta starts looking into case, it leads him to the ... See full summary »

Director:

José Luis Garci

Writers:

José Luis Garci (as J.L. Garci), Horacio Valcárcel
Reviews
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfredo Landa ... Germán Areta
María Casanova María Casanova ... Carmen
Manuel Tejada Manuel Tejada ... Don Alberto 'El Guapo'
Miguel Rellán ... Cárdenas 'El Moro'
Manuel Lorenzo Manuel Lorenzo ... Rocky
Raúl Fraire ... Francisco Medina
José Bódalo ... Don Ricardo
Francisco Vidal ... Nico
Maite Blasco ... Merche
José Manuel Cervino ... Vareta
Mayrata O'Wisiedo Mayrata O'Wisiedo ... Mimí de Torres (as Mairata O'Wisiedo)
José Luis Merino José Luis Merino ... Meri
Ramón Lillo Ramón Lillo ... Jugador de mus
Pablo Hoyos Pablo Hoyos ... Camarero (as Pablo Hoyo)
Antonio del Río Antonio del Río ... Atracador
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Storyline

Private detective Germán Areta gets a terminally ill client who wishes to see his long lost, runaway daughter before he dies. But when Areta starts looking into case, it leads him to the dark underbelly of Madrid where he finds that he is not only one looking for the girl. Someone else is also interested in her, someone powerful and dangerous who will stop at nothing to prevent Areta from discovering the truth.. Written by curtherzstark

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Details

Country:

Spain

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

1 April 1981 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

El Crack - Tödliche Rache See more »

Filming Locations:

Gran Via, 32, Madrid, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the opening scene (the robbery at the bar-restaurant), the main criminal's nickname is "Baretta". This is derived from real-life TV series "Baretta", which ran on ABC from 1975-1978, and in Spain at the time of the film action (1979-1980). TV shows were quite popular back then because there were only 2 TV channels. See more »

Goofs

Germán straps a bomb to Albertos's stomach with bandages, to force him cooperate. Alberto then travels from Madrid to New York City in a commercial flight and, once in New York, the bomb is still hidden with him. Airport security at Madrid airport would have found the bomb when Alberto accessed the terminal, unless Alberto managed to trick, blackmail or bribe them somehow. See more »

Quotes

Don Ricardo: [after a long friendly chit-chat to avoid getting to the point] ... So that's all my diet now, vegetables and boiled fish... shit, do you know what happened in my last urine test?
Germán Areta: [Evidently annoyed] No... the Press didn't say a word about it.
See more »

Connections

References El divorcio que viene (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Mercie Cherie
Written by Udo Jurgens
Performed by Jesús Gluck (piano), José Oliver (flute) and Fernando López (guitar)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
notable Spanish noir film
8 February 2006 | by johnsilverlargoSee all my reviews

I don't know why this film is called "El Crack" ("the Crack"). i searched in my English dictionary, and i found that "to crack" is to solve a mystery. probably it refers to that.

the film is dedicated to north-American crime-novel writer Dashiell Hammet. i haven't read any novel of Sam Spade... but i have watched The Maltese Falcon, and i found a subtle wink to Bogart character in Garci's movie. i remember that Bogart-Spade had a particular gesture when he was thinking: he scratched his ear. Landa-Areta scratches his mustache.

But don't think that El Crack is a film where you cant follow the plot, as in the old Bogart detectives movies... (is a famous anecdote that even Howard Hawks and Raymond Chandler -director and writer respectively- had serious doubts during the filming of THE BIG SLEEP to explain themselves some scenes of the complicated puzzle of its plot). No, the plot is easy to follow in El Crack.

José Luis Garci is one of the best directors of the Spanish film industry with no doubt. his films can be easily identified: they are perfectly written (this one was co-written by one of his collaborators, Horacio Varcárcel), with a lot of winks to Hollywood classics and to literature; the rhythm of his films use to be slow (that doesn't mean boring, cause his stories has so much substance that the slow rhythm is necessary to assimilate it); each secondary character of a Garci's film is very detailed and defined.

Garci makes in this film a great thing: he saves Landa from the bad movies and bad critics. Alfredo Landa was then, in 1981, a veteran actor that made a lot of stupid comedies during 60's and 70's. apart dubbing some American films and little interventions in some classics as Forqué's ATRACO A LAS TRES, the rest were that stupid comedies... then Garci appears to give him the best part of his career till then. Garci trusted in Landa... and Landa didn't disappointed him. Since then Landa is considered in Spain a great actor (LOS SANTOS INOCENTES, CANCIÓN DE CUNA, LA VAQUILLA...). was definitely forgotten to Spanish film-lovers that epoch of stupid comedy films that one critic called "Landism" El Crack is an notable movie. is entertaining and haven't got old. i think that Garci proposed himself with his movies of then to describe an epoch, the Spanish Transition to democracy. In this particular case he captures Madrid 1981. and he achieved his purpose.

Besides he shoots some minutes in New York too. The city of his dreams; he do that with real passion to that city, indeed; but perhaps too with a little message to American Academy members...: "eh, look, here is a young Spanish director, talented, that loves cinema and Hollywood movies as just a few persons in the world". He did the same next year (shoot a part of his film BEGUIN THE BEGUINE in USA; winks to the old Hollywood flavour) and then he got the Oscar.

This film is important not only as cinematographic. It has an important sociological and historical...: it captures the Spain of early 80's: costumes, fashions, dresses, cars, radio and TV programs, streets of Madrid...

Haven't seen the movie? watch it! :)


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