Spanish cinema under Franco

  • Josefina Molina – Vera, un cuento cruel AKA Vera, a Cruel Story (1974)

    1971-1980DramaJosefina MolinaSpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    Vera, un cuento cruel (1974)
    Vera, un cuento cruel (1974)

    Alfredo marries Vera, a French girl and they live on his estate in Spain with a butler. Vera dies, and the butler encourages Alfredo’s necrophilia; they pretend that she is still alive. Alfredo decides to return to France, but the butler entombs him, poisons his own sweetheart, and rides off leaving Alfredo to rot in the crypt.Read More »

  • Vicente Aranda – Fata/Morgana (1966)

    Vicente Aranda1961-1970ArthouseFantasySpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    Fata:Morgana (1966)
    Fata:Morgana (1966)

    A man rehearses a lecture he is planning to give, analyzing serial killers. He claims that a woman is soon to be murdered in the city. It is inevitable, he explains, as some people are born victims while others are born to kill. He plans to identify the future victim through a series of photographs of violent acts.

    Fashion model Gim, played by iconic Spanish actress Teresa Gimpera, finds herself alone in a Barcelona that seems almost deserted. She seeks out her lover, Alvaro, for help. On her way to meet him she is harassed by a series of men and followed by a huge and menacing silver truck with blacked out windows. Through a loud speaker on the truck a mechanical voice orders all persons to leave the city immediately.
    Gim finds that Alvaro’s former girlfriend, Miriam, is staying in his house having just returned from London where a terrible but unexplained event occurred. In Alvaro’s “art chamber”, an obviously disturbed Miriam finds a large knife disguised as a metallic silver fish.Read More »

  • Maurice Ronet – La vida es magnífica AKA Le voleur de Tibidabo AKA The Thief of Tibadabo (1964)

    1961-1970ComedyCrimeMaurice RonetSpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    La vida es magnífica (1964)
    La vida es magnífica (1964)

    ‘In this lighthearted crime comedy, Nicolas is a Barcelona ice cream vendor who inadvertently helps a friend who has just committed a robbery. He is chased by several shady underworld characters trying to get their hands on the stolen loot.’
    – Dan Pavlides

    Maurice Ronet’s directorial debut.Read More »

  • Pedro Olea – No es bueno que el hombre esté solo AKA It’s No Good for a Man to Be Alone (1973)

    Pedro Olea1971-1980DramaSpainSpanish cinema under FrancoThriller

    Martin (played by José Luis López Vázquez, a legend of Spanish film and theatre) is a middle-aged engineer employed by a big shipbuilding firm in the northern city of Bilbao. Quiet, diligent in his work and reserved, Martin is a model of respectability. His secretary, Monica (played by Helga Line) often asks about his wife, whom no-one has ever met and who seems to be an invalid.

    Every evening after work, Martin returns to his big, gloomy house that looks out over the bay and towards the north Atlantic Ocean.Read More »

  • Pedro Olea – La casa sin fronteras AKA The House Without Frontiers (1972)

    Pedro Olea1971-1980DramaHorrorSpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    La casa sin fronteras (1972)
    La casa sin fronteras (1972)

    Daniel, a young man in his twenties, moves from his hometown to the city of Bilbao in search of… a chance to discover himself. When he is not looking for work, he spends his time reading in the city library. One day Daniel encounters an elderly and seemingly kind old gentleman who commends his desire to educate himself. He says he might be able to find Daniel a job and sure enough, he starts work for an organization called The House Without Frontiers. After a short period of probation, Daniel is summoned to the organizations labyrinthine headquarters and is given his instructions. Although much is still not clear to him, it seems he is being asked to locate a young woman called Anabel Campos (played by Geraldine Chaplin). It turns out that Anabel, like Daniel, had accepted a job with the House Without Frontiers but fled the organization after a senior member of the tribunal was found murdered. Was she guilty? Is she in hiding or has she vanished without a trace?Read More »

  • León Klimovsky – Doctor Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo AKA Dr. Jekyll vs. The Werewolf (1972)

    León Klimovsky1971-1980HorrorSci-FiSpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    Doctor Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo (1972)
    Doctor Jekyll y el Hombre Lobo (1972)

    Quite simply the most crazed and delirious film of Spanish horror icon Paul Naschy’s long career. The trouble starts when our favorite El Hombre Lobo, Waldemar Daninsky (Naschy, of course) goes to the infamous Dr Jekyll (Euro-cult fave Jack Taylor) for help ridding himself of the lycanthropy curse. Things don’t exactly go as planned. The results are some of the most bizarre and entertaining moments of the entire 70s Spanish horror boom.Read More »

  • Margarita Alexandre & Rafael María Torrecilla – Cristo (1954)

    Rafael María Torrecilla1951-1960DocumentaryMargarita AlexandreSpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    Cristo (1954)
    Cristo (1954)

    Sonia García López (via DeepL) wrote:
    Cristo is the first feature film directed and produced by Margarita Alexandre and Rafael Torrecilla. Evoking the work of Luciano Emmer, this art documentary tells the story of the life of Jesus using only Spanish paintings. In close harmony with the montage, the photographic technique used by Juan Mariné for the filming gives movement to the paintings by Titian, El Greco and Rubens, while the presence of the voices of Fernando Rey, José María Seoane, María Jesús Valdés and other actors of the period give the characters a sense of entity. The film received the category of National Interest from the Censorship Board, undoubtedly more inspired by the film’s exaltation of the national artistic heritage and its religious subject matter than by its artistic aspirations.Read More »

  • Amando de Ossorio – La endemoniada AKA The Possessed AKA Demon Witch Child (1975)

    Amando de Ossorio1971-1980CultHorrorSpainSpanish cinema under Franco
    La endemoniada (1975)
    La endemoniada (1975)

    An old witch seeks vengeance through the daughter of the politician who had her thrown in jail. Soon the little girl’s head is spinning around, and an old priest is called in to perform an exorcism.Read More »

  • José Luis Borau – Furtivos aka Poachers (1975)

    José Luis Borau1971-1980DramaSpainSpanish cinema under Franco

    In 1975 Borau made the film for which he is best remembered Furtivos (Poachers) (1975). The plot, set in the woodlands of Segovia, is a stark story of violence incest and matricide. Co-scripted with Gutierrez Aragon, Borau took the role of the regional governor in the film. He fought the Francoist censorship to have his film released the way he intended. Furtivos was a great commercial and critical success, it won best film, Golden Shell, at the San Sebastián International Film Festival becoming one of the key film of the political transition in Spain.Read More »

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