In this prequel, Germán Areta leaves his position as a policeman to become a private detective in post-Francoist Spain.


José Luis Garci
4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Carlos Santos ... Areta
Miguel Ángel Muñoz ... Moro
Luisa Gavasa ... Moli
María Cantuel María Cantuel ... Adela
Macarena Gómez ... Luisa
Raúl Mérida ... Johny Olas
Ramón Langa Ramón Langa ... Vergara
Andoni Ferreño Andoni Ferreño ... Luengo
Alfonso Delgado
Jacobo Dicenta
Samuel Miró Samuel Miró
Susana Paz Susana Paz
Jero García Jero García ... Mendoza
Víctor Anciones Víctor Anciones
Óskar Redondo


In this prequel, Germán Areta leaves his position as a policeman to become a private detective in post-Francoist Spain.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

detective | See All (1) »


Drama | Thriller


Did You Know?


Carlos Santos replaced Víctor Clavijo in the lead role. See more »


Follows El crack (1981) See more »

User Reviews

Excellent prequel about the stubborn detective Germán Areta, including portentous interpretations by magnificent main and support cast
29 November 2019 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Enjoyable Spanish Noir Film with great performances by nice players who play well detailed as well as defined characters, interesting script and adequate settings. It deals with the moustached Germán Areta, Carlos Santos, who leaves his position as a cop to become a private eye in the Francoist and post-Francoist time. Areta nicknamed Piojo by his previous policeman superior : Pedro Casablanc, will carry out a risked investigation helped by Cardenas : Miguel Angel Muñoz, investigating motives about an alleged suicide .And Areta will stop at nothing to discover it . But things go wrong and terrible happenings take place.

This is a prequel belonging to trilogy about private detective German Areta, the most particular investigator of the Spanish cinema, dealing with his adventures, misfortunes and distresses. This is a good Noir film with a lot winks to Hollywood classic movies and to American Literature, especially writers as Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler. In fact, this picture was dedicated to James M Cain, while El Crack I is to Dashiell Hammet and El Crack II dedicated to Raymond Chandler. These films pay tribute to popular detectives as Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe that are Germán Areta-alike. This Crack cero story has so much substance, suspense, intrigue and thrills. As well as an essential sociological and historical point of view of an important period, the final of the Francoist dictatorship . The rhythm of the film is slow-moving, that doesn't mean boring, neither tiring, nor dull, but entertaining. Starring Carlos Fuentes gives a marvellous acting in Alfredo Landa style, being helped by an ex-delinquent called Barcenas played masterfully played by Miguel Angel Muñoz, as they go into action by investigating a strange tailor who committed suicide. And outstanding a top-notch support cast, such as : Paula Echevarria, Luisa Gavasa, Patricia Vico, Andoni Ferreño, Raúl Mérida, Macarena Gómez, Cayetana Guillén Cuervo, Ramón Langa, Luis Varela, Miguel Angel Muñoz as Cardenas El Moro in same character who performed Miguel Rellán, and Pedro Casablanc in the former role played by José Bódalo, among others.

It contains a sentimental and repetitive musical score by Jesús Gluck, similar to first and second installments. Evocative and adequate cinematography in black and white by Luis Angel Pérez, plenty of lights and shades . Nicely shot in Madrid, where Garci usually shoots his fims, in fact Madrid and N. Y. are the cities of their dreams . It captures fabulously Madrid of middle 70s, as costumes, dresses, fashions, streets, buildings, boxing combats, meetings in which participants playing cards, cars.. The motion picture was well directed by José Luis Garci, considered to be one of the best filmmakers of the Spanish movie industry. Garci directs good and successful movies as his first trilogy formed by Asignatura pendiente, Asignatura aprobada and Las Verdes Praderas. Following other prestigious films as Sesión continua, La herida luminosa, El abuelo, Tiovivo 1950, La luz del domingo, Ninette. And even getting an Academy Award for Volver a empezar. And Special mention for The Crack I, The Crack II with the great Alfredo Landa and this El Crack cero with Carlos Santos. Rating 7/10. Better than average.

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Spanish | English

Release Date:

4 October 2019 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Areta, investigación See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Nickel Odeon See more »
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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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