7.2/10
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¡Ay, Carmela! (1990)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, War | 16 March 1990 (Spain)
Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into... See full summary »

Director:

Carlos Saura

Writers:

Rafael Azcona, José Sanchis Sinisterra (play) (as Jose Sanchis Sinisterra) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
22 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carmen Maura ... Carmela
Andrés Pajares ... Paulino (as Andres Pajares)
Gabino Diego ... Gustavete
Armando De Razza ... Teniente Ripamonte (as Maurizio De Razza)
José Sancho ... Capitán (as Jose Sancho)
Mario De Candia Mario De Candia ... Bruno CTV 1º
Miguel Rellán ... Teniente interrogador (as Miguel Angel Rellan)
Edward Zentara ... Soldado polaco
Rafael Díaz Rafael Díaz ... Centinela (as Rafael Diaz)
Chema Mazo Chema Mazo ... Alcalde
Antonio Fuentes Antonio Fuentes ... Alférez artillero
Mario Martín ... Cacique (as Mario Martin)
Emilio del Valle Emilio del Valle ... Cabo Cardoso
Silvia Casanova ... Mujer presa
Alfonso Guirao Alfonso Guirao ... Campesino
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Storyline

Paulino and Carmela are husband and wife, troubadours touring the countryside during the Spanish Civil War. They are Republicans, and with their mute assistant, Gustavete, they journey into rebel territory by mistake. They are arrested, fear a firing squad, and receive a reprieve from an Italian Fascist commander who loves the theatre. He arranges a performance for his troops, bargaining with Paulino to stage a burlesque of the republic in exchange for the actors' freedom. Will the fiery and patriotic Carmela consent? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | War

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Embeded with prejudice, Carlos Saura didn't want to cast Carmen Maura as the lead, and he told her so. Instead of feeling bad, Maura decided to prove him wrong and gave such a powerful audition that the director casted her in the act. See more »

Connections

Referenced in La fiesta (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

¡Ay, Carmela!
(Battle of the Ebro version)
Unknown author
See more »

User Reviews

 
¡AY, CARMELA! (Carlos Saura, 1990) ***
11 January 2014 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This acclaimed latter-day Saura effort touches on, or rather weaves together, a number of his lifelong concerns – the performing arts are here placed within the context of the Spanish Civil War. In that respect, it inevitably elicits memories of Ernst Lubitsch's WWII masterpiece TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1942) – but that film's blackly comic tones (deemed tasteless at the time) are here largely supplanted by genuinely less salubrious elements, notably grotesquerie and (unsurprisingly) eroticism!

Incidentally, while the script (co-written by Saura and Rafael Azcona in what would prove to be their sixth and final collaboration) does clearly take the side of the "Loyalists" (epitomized by the recurring title song) against the winning "Nationalist" forces in the ongoing conflict, it wisely opts to stress a general anti-war feeling – since, by then, the alternative Communist doctrine was seen to have also reaped an oppressive system (the Berlin Wall had just been torn down when the film was made)! That said, it paints a clichéd picture of Italians (who naturally supported the soon-to-be-established Fascist dictatorship) as lovers of pasta and Neapolitan songs!

The protagonists comprise a small-time variety act, but which is seen to go a long way on the woman's sensuality (she too is named Carmela and sings one of her numbers draped in the Republican flag!), her partner's penchant for rhythmic flatulence(!) and the sheer innocence of its third member, a mute boy (who, at one point, attempts to sell to the Italians the troupe's allegiance to their cause by inscribing "Viva Mulosini" {sic} on a tablet he carries around with him and, in another comic sequence, dutifully informs his boss that the delicious meat he is gorging himself on may well be that of a cat as opposed to rabbit!).


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Details

Country:

Spain | Italy

Language:

Spanish | Polish | Italian

Release Date:

16 March 1990 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Ay, Carmela! See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$299,090
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Ultra Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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