11 June 2004 | ma-cortes
Sublime film but with censorship realized by the great maestro Luis Garcia Berlanga
Good film that was beset by difficulties with the censors caused by a relentless critical to Catholic religion and miracles . The movie deals upon a bunch of motley people , the Mayor , the teacher , the pharmaceutic , the doctor who set up a caper about a miracle for profits the village where a spa doesn't work. They persuade to Jose Isbert feigning to have seen a Saint : ¨Dimas¨. Dimas will appear in the person of Richard Basehart who will find the village's dumb played by Manuel Alexandre .
In the flick there are especially comedy , humor , joy , satire and social critical which tended not to be very well received by the censor . The movie displays a Spanish star-studded such as : Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez ,Juan Calvo , Manuel Alexandre, Jose Isbert , Alberto Romea ; Italians : Paolo Stoppa and one American , Richard Basehart , married to Italian Valentina Cortese who starred ¨Calabuch¨ along with Edmund Gwenn and equally directed by Berlanga .
Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is pretty good , assistant direction is Jesus Franco . Franco Ferrara's music is excellent . Fine cinematography in white and black by Francisco Sempere . Berlanga's conceptual and political audacity, so evident in this film , ¨Los Jueves, Milagro¨ (1957), was modified by the censors and was delayed for several years before its eventual release . He filmed other polemic movies during the 50s as ¨Bienvenido Mister Marshall¨ (1953) and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the history . Their next joint venture was ¨Plácido¨ (1961), which received an Oscar nomination in 1963. That same year, Berlanga made one of his best films: ¨El Verdugo¨ (1963); however, his strong portrait of Spanish society didn't please the pro-Franco authorities, although the film was well-received at the Venice Festival. He continued filming other interesting pictures as in 1973 he went to Paris to begin filming ¨Grandeur nature¨ , another problematic film , focusing this time on the fetishism of a man who falls in love with a doll . Several years later, after Franco's death, he filmed a trilogy comprising ¨La Escopeta Nacional¨ (1978), ¨Patrimonio Nacional¨ (1981) and ¨Nacional III¨ (1982), where he clarified the disorders evident in the Spanish upper middle-class upon being confronted with a new political status quo . Following the same theme he filmed a peculiar comedy titled La Vaquilla (1985), set in the Spanish Civil War .
Rating : 6,5 above average . Well worth watching .