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  • It is set in rural Spain , in the sunny summer , after staying imprisoned for ten years for a killing , Juan Diaz (Jorge Mistral , who committed suicide himself) out of prison and he meets his sister Andrea (Carmen Sevilla) , she convinces him to take vengeance against the countryman who tipped off the authorities about the man's whereabouts , which led to his subsequent arrest , both of whom pretend to kill the local Luis El Torcido (Raf Vallone) who they think he is guilty . Meanwhile , the trio is enlisted in a bunch of reapers who go to the Castilian lands to reap under a shimmer sun . Unfortunately , Andrea soon falls in love with the snitch .

    This is nice picture with good production design by Enrique Alarcón , colorful cinematography by Mario Pacheco and decent interpretations . Bardem's conceptual and political audacity as well as the social critique result to be very evident in this film . Including brief social remarks and social criticism about strikes , unemployment , labouring exploitation , among others . Being first movie from Spain to be nominated for an academy award for "Best Foreign Language Film". After national and international hit smashes ¨Muerte De Un Ciclista¨ (55) and ¨Calle Mayor¨ (56) , it lets Bardem to write and direct his most ambitious picture , : ¨La Venganza¨ or ¨Vengeance¨ . However , resulting in a good film but inferior than precedent ones . Bardem's main purport was to develop ¨the national reconciliation¨ issue , supported by the Communist Party , but the Franquist censorship coerces him and Juan Antonio has to change many things , spoiling his aims . As Bardem has to modify the followings : The original title ¨Los Segadores¨ or The harvesters , so that it was similar to Catalan hymn ¨Els Segadors¨ and the first script was set in 1958 , it was changed in 1931 to avoid political intention . This is an Italian/Spanish co-production , though in Italy was delivered on 12-4-1960 . The main cast is formed by a trio of famous actors , giving passable interpretations as Jorge Mistral , Raf Vallone , though mediocre acting by Carmen Sevilla as a sister of an ex con . Support cast is frankly well , including prestigious secondaries such as: Fernando Rey, Manuel Alexandre , Jose Prada , Angel Alvarez , Jose Riesgo , Conchita Bautista , Jose Marco Davo , Xan Das Bolas , Rafael Bardem , among others . Furthermore , some Italian/Franch players as Arnaldo Foa , and Louis Seigner .

    Well produced by Manuel J. Goyanes and powerful producer Cesáreo González from Suevia Films . Being professionally directed by Juan Antonio Bardem , though it has some flaws , dated elements and doctrinaire style . Bardem deservedly considered one of the best filmmakers of the Spanish cinema . Bardem was a good filmmaker and older brother of Pilar Bardem and son of notorious actors as Rafael Bardem and Matilde Muñoz Sampedro . Furthermore , he is uncle of Oscarized Javier Bardem , Carlos Bardem , Mónica Bardem and father of Miguel Bardem . Bardem was an outspoken critic of the Franco regime, his political views prevented him from gaining a diploma from the Spanish cinema institute in 1947 . Thereafter, he worked as a critic and finally broke into films as writer/director , being his film debut ¨Esa Pareja Feliz¨ (1951) co-directed by Luis Garcia Berlanga . He , subsequently , made ¨Comicos¨(1953) about stage world , a feeling comedy : ¨Felices Pascuas¨(54) and the too much acclaimed ¨Death of a cyclist¨ or ¨Muerte De un Ciclista¨ (1955), about an adultery and its fateful consequences , which won the 1956 Cannes International Critics Award . Other classic films he wrote or directed are the followings : ¨Bienvenido Mr. Marshall¨ (co-directed by Luis Garcia Berlanga) , ¨Sonatas¨ (59) based on Ramón Del Valle Inclan , a rural drama : ¨La Venganza¨ (57) , ¨Nunca Pasa Nada¨(63) an ambitious portrayal of provincial life that failed in box office , among others . And , of course , ¨Calle Mayor¨ based on ¨Carlos Arniches's La Señorita Trevelez¨ , it resulted to be the best one , it was voted ninth best Spanish film by professionals and critics in 1996 Spanish cinema centenary and being prized in Festival Of Venice . He had to fight the censorship which didn't admit the some engaging scenes and obligated a determined ending . During the start of filming , student protests in Madrid, led to the arrest of director Juan Antonio Bardem, a communist, in the city of Palencia and carried out by the Brigada Politica Social . He was jailed for a few days and released on the condition that he could not talk about his personal life or beliefs during interviews related to the film . After Bardem's jailing and release, he decided to stop early filming in Palencia, and shot the remaining of the movie in other cities . The big hit ¨Los Pianos Mecanicos¨ with an international cast led him to European co-productions such as the Wartime : ¨Ultimo Dia De Guerra¨(68) with George Maharis , the Jules Verne adventure ¨La Isla Misteriosa¨ (72) with Omar Shariff , the Giallos ¨Corrupción De Chris Miller¨ (72) and ¨El Poder Del Deseo¨ (75) with Marisol , Jean Seberg and the Sara Montiel vehicle ¨Varietes¨(70) . With democracy founding , Bardem made again political cinema , such as ¨Siete Dias Enero¨ (78) about Atocha massacre , ¨La Advertencia¨(82) and his final film was ¨Resultado Final¨(97) with Mar Flores . And especially his successful TV adaptation ¨Lorca , La Muerte De Un poeta¨(1987) . ¨La Venganza¨ , rating : Acceptable and passable , essential and indispensable seeing for Spanish cinema fans . Well worth watching .
  • Oscar nominated 'La venganza' fails IMO because i can see the real origin of the conflict between the two antagonists principal characters. Then, all the discussions that they have seems forced. The movie tries to embrace too many topics, too. 5/10.