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La colmena (1982)

As in the novel of the same title from Camilo Jose Cela, "La Colmena" is a sad composition with the stories of many people in the Madrid of 1942, just the postwar of the spanish civil war. ... See full summary »


Mario Camus
13 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Victoria Abril ... Julita
Ana Belén ... Victorita
Concha Velasco ... Purita
Francisco Rabal ... Ricardo Sorbedo
Mario Pardo ... Rubio Antofagasta
Fiorella Faltoyano ... Filo
José Sazatornil ... Tesifonte Ovejero
José Luis López Vázquez ... Leonardo Meléndez
Mary Carrillo ... Doña Asunción
José Bódalo ... Don Roque
Charo López ... Nati Robles
Marta Fernández Muro ... Amparito
Emilio Gutiérrez Caba ... Ventura Aguado
Elvira Quintillá ... Doña Visitación
Luis Ciges ... Don Casimiro


As in the novel of the same title from Camilo Jose Cela, "La Colmena" is a sad composition with the stories of many people in the Madrid of 1942, just the postwar of the spanish civil war. The main theme of the film is the contrast between the poets, surviving close to misery under the Franco's regime, and the winners of the war, the emerging class of the people that makes easy money with illegal business. Written by <andrade@gredos.cnb.uam.es>

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Did You Know?


Camilo José Cela, writer of the novel La Colmena, has a short participation in the movie as the writer that invent new words. See more »


Martín Marco López: And why do you call her the Uruguayan?
Purita: Because she's from Buenos Aires.
Martín Marco López: Ah, okey.
See more »


Featured in Salvados: Sacristán: Retrato del compromiso (2016) See more »


Ojos verdes
Written by Valverde, León & Quiroga
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User Reviews

A Brilliant Film, an Outstanding Cast...
19 January 2002 | by MRBICKLESee all my reviews

Due to the recent death of Nobel Prize Winner Camilo José Cela, the Spanish TV showed this wonderful film as an homage. It's an adaptation of one of his most famous novels, "La Colmena" (The Beehive) and what an adaptation!

A terrific cast with the best of Spanish cinema then (early 80's): José Sacristán, Paco Rabal, Victoria Abril, José Luis López Vázquez, José Sazatornil "Saza", Agustín González and in brief appearances a lot of excellent secondary actors like Luis Ciges, Miguel Rellán or Paco Algora.

The movie follows several characters who live in the same city, Madrid, and whose problems are more or less the same. Spanish Civil War has just ended, Franco rules the country and the poverty, the hunger and the repression affect the entire population. This can be seen on the sad character played by Sacristán, a homeless writer who's forced to spend the nights in a miserable brothel.

Besides, those from upper classes (mostly, Franco followers) are also well described in the character of Agustín González, who smoke expensive cigars while others near to him live in a complete poverty.

A wonderful film, one of the best spanish movies of the 80's, made by someone with real talent (Mario Camus) who 2 years later directed an astonishing masterpiece called LOS SANTOS INOCENTES (The Holy Innocents).

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Release Date:

17 August 1983 (Uruguay) See more »

Also Known As:

The Beehive See more »

Filming Locations:

Madrid, Spain


Box Office


ESP90,000,000 (estimated)
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