3 user 1 critic

The Hold-Up (2001)

El palo (original title)
Lola's a single mom, broke, working as a janitor and maid. Silvia is pregnant, and her lover (her boss) won't leave his wife. Maite, newly a widow, discovers she's penniless but wants to ... See full summary »


Eva Lesmes


Luis Marías
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Adriana Ozores ... Lola
Malena Alterio ... Violeta "Pecholata"
Maribel Verdú ... Silvia
Carmen Maura ... Maite
Juan Gea Juan Gea ... Director
Jaime Pujol Jaime Pujol ... Gustavo
Joaquín Climent ... Enrique
Antònia Martínez Antònia Martínez ... Abuela
Alejandro Sigüenza Alejandro Sigüenza ... Daniel
Omar Muñoz ... Felipe
Pep Guinyol Pep Guinyol ... Cajero
Francisco Casares Francisco Casares ... Inspectór Policía (as Paco Casares)
Chelo Vivares Chelo Vivares ... Monja
Diana Palazón Diana Palazón ... Luisa
Lina Mira Lina Mira ... Vanessa


Lola's a single mom, broke, working as a janitor and maid. Silvia is pregnant, and her lover (her boss) won't leave his wife. Maite, newly a widow, discovers she's penniless but wants to maintain appearances and give her daughter a fancy wedding, and Pecholata, a punk kid living in a youth center, will soon be turned out on the streets. Lola, who cleans a bank every morning, decides to rob it, convincing the others to join her: they'll use replica guns, dress as men, take Silvia hostage, and all will be smooth. But things go awry, including the fact that Lola's ex, Gustavo, is a cop. Desperation may be the mother of invention - and a corrupt bank manager its father. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Release Date:

4 May 2001 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Bankrablás női módra See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


By José Miguel Gallardo Vera
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User Reviews

A sympathetic quartet of unlucky women carry out a heist with unexpected consequences
20 May 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

¨El Palo¨is an acceptable and funny comedy with several fun and hilarious set pieces and some pursuits , action scenes , social critique on economical crisis and many other things . It deals with an enjoyable group of characters , such as : Lola's (Adriana Ozores) an unlucky mother and recently separated her police officer husband Gustavo (Jaime Pujol) , she cleans a bank every morning as well as a flat inhabited by an allegedly upper class , wealthy mistress called Maite (Carmen Maura) , who discovers she's penniless . While , unfortunate Silvia (Maribel Verdu) works as a hair-dresser , but she is pregnant, and her lover who results to be her chief (Joaquin Climent) won't leave his spouse . And Pecholata (Malena Alterio) , an orphan punk , she seems to be a poor devil who will soon be on the streets . Lola , then decides to rob a bank , convincing the others to join her : they'll use replica guns , dresses as men , take Silvia hostage , and all will be smooth and rapid . But events get worse , including the fact that they are discovered by the bank manager director (Juan Gea) .

This agreeable picture concerns a hold-up pulled off by a quartet of unfortunate women but things go awry . There are some nice jokes in the film and the cast , playing eccentric characters , make a cosy fit . It takes a simple concept , a spectacular robbing , being schemed , planned and proceeded by botcher people and in similar style to Spanish classy ¨Atraco a Las Tres¨ by Jose Maria Forque . This is a comical and sometimes disconcerting account of a bunch of middle-lower class women from the personal, social , cultural , and economic perspective , because needing all of them , urgently, a lot of money to resolve their problematic lives . This interesting film packs colorful a images , strange situations , swift frames , twists and turns ; but it also contains some touches of humor and irony . The flick interweaves fun comedy along with a social criticism about the deep Spanish crisis and a little bit of suspense and action . This film is made to entertain , and this movie , especially for a good time and a pleasant entertainment . And it results in a highly original yarn , with a fine message , which is very-well delivered . The flick contains silly incidents , fun plot twists , tongue-in-cheek , emotion , grotesque situations and above all , humor . Sitting in a strange middle ground between the completely absurd and the stylishly cool . This film moves in fits and starts most of which would be desirable and some moments of enjoyment and others quite a few ridiculous . The characters are quite odd , grotesque and geek and the film races on at incredible speed . The main cast is frankly good , as nice acting by Adriana Ozores as a single mom , broke , a hard-working woman as a janitor and maid , likable Maribel Verdu as pregnant young , Carmen Maura as a newly widow who wants to maintain appearances and give her daughter a fancy wedding and Malena Alterio as a Punkie girl living undercover in a youth center .

Colorful photography in juicy atmosphere by Gonzalo Berridi, deemed to be one of the best Spanish cameramen , he has photographed successes such as ¨El Viaje De Carol¨, ¨Amantes Circulo Polar¨ , ¨Ardilla Roja¨ , ¨Camaron¨ and ¨8 Apellidos Vascos¨. Lively and catching musical score by Manuel Villalta who has composed in ¨La Gran Vida¨ , ¨Planta 4¨, ¨Oro De Moscu¨ , ¨Nada En Nevera¨ ,¨El Forastero¨ . The motion picture was well directed by Eva Lesmes . Eva Lesmes was born in Gijón, Asturias , location where she usually shoots her films . She is a director and writer, especially for TV , known for ¨Maitena: Estados Alterados¨ (2008), ¨A las Once en Casa¨ (1998) , ¨El Comisario¨ , ¨Casa De Los Lios¨ (1997) and this , ¨El Palo¨ (2001) . Being his best picture another comedy titled : ¨Pon Un Hombre En Tu Vida¨ (1996) . ¨El Palo¨ is a film worth watching and, in turn, is really amusing and truly a hoot to watch . It is probably one of the best satisfying comedian efforts to come out of Spain in the early nineties .

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