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The Heifer (1985)

La vaquilla (original title)
A platoon of mismatched soldiers crosses the front-line to steal the bull that the enemy is to fight on the village's patron-saint's day. In addition to ruining the nationals' celebration, ... See full summary »


Rafael Azcona (screenplay), Rafael Azcona (story) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alfredo Landa ... Brigada Castro
Guillermo Montesinos ... Mariano
Santiago Ramos ... Limeño
José Sacristán ... Teniente Broseta
Carles Velat ... Cura
Eduardo Calvo ... Coronel Republicano
Violeta Cela Violeta Cela ... Guadalupe
Agustín González ... Comandante Nacional
María Luisa Ponte ... Juana
Juanjo Puigcorbé ... Alférez
Amelia de la Torre ... Adela
Carlos Tristancho Carlos Tristancho ... Cartujano
Valeriano Andrés ... Párroco
María Elena Flores ... Vicenta
Antonio Gamero ... Sargento Nacional 1º


A platoon of mismatched soldiers crosses the front-line to steal the bull that the enemy is to fight on the village's patron-saint's day. In addition to ruining the nationals' celebration, they want to butcher the animal to feed their famished troops. They get caught in the procession and must go through a series of funny and not-so-funny incidents before they can return to their side. Written by Mary Solari

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | War


Did You Know?


Director Luis García Berlanga took over 30 years to do the movie because on it he was looking the Civil War in a fun way. See more »


Tío Cagurrio, pregonero: [through the speakers] ¿Puedo tocar la cuerna?
Brigada Castro: ¡La de tu padre!
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Songs performed by Angelillo
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User Reviews

Diverting and funny war comedy by veteran and great maestro Luis García Berlanga
16 June 2021 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

A platoon of misfit Republican soldiers formed by lieutenant Broseta : Jose Sacristan, Brigade Castro : Alfredo Landa , Limeño : Santiago Ramos , ex-priest Carlos Velat and botcher Mariano : Guillermo Montesinos who wishes to find his girlfriend : Violeta Cela , all of them cross the front line to rob a bull that the National enemy has to fight on the village's patron-saint day . In addition , they attempt to spoil the Nacional celebration of the Francoist army at the popular square where to be jointed the local population to the noisy party . Along the way , they get caught in a lot of incidents . As they have to go through the Zaragozan village : Sos Rey Catolico and facing a series of silly misadventures , pursuits , confinements and misfortune .

Amusing film with full of disconcerting and dirty humor , dealing with a mismatched group of outlandish and deranged characters who go across the enemy lines suffering insane messes , misadventures , confusion , mayhem and nutty happenings . The film is a continous succession of incidents with no much sense , such as a procession in which our protagonists pose as religious people , the enclosure in a hidden place : behind a wall while the Republicans look for them , the bullfighting on the village Plaza , among others . La Vaquilla contains adequate production design by Enrique Alarcon , atmospheric cinematography by Carlos Suárez and evocative musical score by Miguel Asins Arbo .

Resulting to be a fun and entertaining war comedy written by prestigious Rafael Azcona and Luis García Berlanga himself about a Republican team going behind enemy lines and undertaking a series of unfortunate incidents before they can get back to their side . It concerns a serious and thorny theme : the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 , here set in Aragon Front , during the famous Battle Del Ebro . This motion picture displays a nice cast with plenty of portentous Spanish actors who give sympathetic roles, interpreting attractive as well as pathetic characters . Although being a coral film stands out Alfredo Landa as brigade , a grumpy lieutenant performed by Jose Sacristan, bullfighter Limeño : Santiago Ramos , along great secondary cast filled with familiar secondaries, such as : Agustín González, Adolfo Marsillach , Amelia De La Torre , Rafael Hernández, Amparo Soler Leal , Maria Luisa Ponte , Juanjo Puigcorbe , Maria Elena Flores, Carlos Tristancho , Eduardo Calvo, Valeriano Andrés, Luis Ciges : Berlanga's regular , among others . This picture titled The Heifer or La Vaquilla was professionally directed by Luis García Berlanga and it had the highest grossing at the Spanish boxoffice , but far from other successes he made in old times as Bienvenido Mister Marshall , El Verdugo , Placido , Calabuch , El Jueves Milagro , Vivan Los Novios , Escopeta Nacional , and others . Rating : 5.5/10 , passable and acceptable Berlanga movie but very inferior than his past hits .

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Release Date:

6 March 1985 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vitela See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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