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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Perhaps the idea of "La noche y el alba" -"Night and Dawn"- started with a conversation between playwright Alfonso Sastre and director José María Forqué. It is difficult to know. What is clear is that the poor photographer who accidentally killed his girlfriend had been a Republican during the Spanish Civil War. A miserable man when the action begins, he has to face a well off couple belonging to the status quo. The husband was on the verge of becoming the dead girl's lover and the wife is a frustrated woman who knows that her prime has been lost somewhere along the line. These two worlds -the defeated and the winners- are very well translated into images by director José María Forqué, even when the film is sometimes cold, just like the weather. It was said that the Spanish communist party tried to pact an alliance with Franco's regime and that his movie must be watched as a document. But no matter what, it is an interesting experience to see the four central characters in hell. The well off wife tells to the audience: "To be born again it would be necessary to destroy all this that surround us". Four fine actors -the excellent Francisco Rabal as the photographer, Antonio Vilar as the industrialist, Zully Moreno as his wife and Rosita Arenas as the dead girl- make a strong effort to keep the movie going. Sometimes they can get it and some others, the film remains stuck. The Argentiean Zully Moreno shows that at the end of her career she had become, finally, an actress and not so much a star. A serious fiasco at the box office, it was a drawback for José María Forqué who didn't insist in this topics again. Pity, really. Abel Posadas
  • An unfortunate wedding photographer and ex-convict named Pedro : Francisco Rabal has a troublesome relationship with his girlfriend Amparo : Rosita Arenas . The latter meets the prestigious and wealthy engineer , recently promoted , named Carlos Saenz : Antonio Vilar and get together go to her apartment , while Pedro is watching them . Then a tragic accident results and Pedro is deemed the prime suspect and being chased by the Justice . While Carlos' wife , Marta : Zully Moreno , attempts to help his husband , but then things go wrong .

    This is is a Crime movie that eventually becomes into a sentimental melodrama with no much interest . It is a phsychological drama with brief character studio , a short intrigue , emotion and sentimentality . The mediocre and wooden performances don't help enough to have the necessary success . As actors give stagy acting similar to the historical films from CIFESA in the 40s and 50s . However , the film attempts to deliver a progressist message , trying to join an ex-Republican soldier : Francisco Rabal and an ex-nationalist fighter : Antonio Vilar , but it falls apart . Last of the three movies written by prolific playwright Alfonso Sastre and directed by Jose Maria Forque along with "Amanecer de la Puerta Oscura" 1957 and "Un Hecho Violento" 1958. The notorious trio of protagonists : Francisco Rabal, Antonio Vilar and Zully Moreno are finely accompanied by a good support cast , such as : Rosita Arennas , Rafael Bardem, Miguel Angel Gil , Felix Dafauce , Francisco Bernal and brief appearance by the great Jose Luis López Vázquez as another photographer who competes with Francisco Rabal to take photos at the wedding ceremonies. Here stands out the atmospheric and evocative cinematography filmed in Madrid with plenty of lights and shades by Cecilio Paniagua, considered to be one of the best Spanish cameramen that developed a long career as national as international.

    The motion picture titled "Night and Dawn" or " La Noche y el Alba" was regularly directed by Jose Maria Forque and it failed at the Spanish box office . He was an important filmmaker during the Francoist and democracy periods . And father of the known actress Veronica Forque and director Álvaro Forque . José Maria Forque's first films were "Niebla y sol" 1951 , "Maria Morena" , "El Diablo toca la Flauta" . Getting his first successes with "La Legion del Silencio" and especilally "Embajadores en el Infierno" 1956 about the odyssey of the Division Azul prisoners in Russia . His film "Amanecer en Puerta Oscura" 1957 , dealing with Andalucian Bandits , won Silver Bear in Berlín Festival. Later on , Forque shot thrillers and Noir Films as " De Espaldas a la Puerta" 1959, "O91 Policía al Habla" 1960, "El Secreto de Mónica" 1961 , "Accident 703" . But he also made enjoyable comedies as "Maribel y la extraña familia" 1960 and the successful "Atraco a las tres" 1963 . In 1967 creates his own production company Orfeo Films directing more and more comedies as "Un Millón en la Basura" , "La Vil Seduccion" , "Pecados Conyugales" , "El Monumento" , "La Cera Virgen" , "Madrid Costa Fleming" . Following to make international coproductions , thrillers, erotic films and other kinds of genres including big and known stars as "Tarots" with Gloria Grahame, Fernando Rey , "No es nada mamá es solo un juego" with David Hemmings , "El Ojo del Huracán" with Jean Sorel , "El Segundo Poder" with John Finch , "La Mujer de la Tierra Caliente" with Stuart Whitman , Laura Gemser , among others . Rating : 5.5/10 . This "La Noche y el Alba" is an average film , only for Spanish cinema aficionados .