First film by J.A. Bardem for his production company UNINCI , it is a Mexican/Spanish co-production , being the Mexican producer Manuel Barbachano Ponce . It is a frustrated attempt to bring to life the particular world of the prestigious writer Ramón Maria Del Valle Inclán , being heavily cut by Francoist censorship . Based on his ¨Sonata De Otoño¨ and ¨Sonata De Estio¨. Starred by Marqués De Bradomín , a fictitious personage inspired by general Carlista Carlos Calderón and also deemed to be «alter ego» of the Galician writer , taking the known myth Don Juan . Sonatas by Valle-Inclán was publicized in 1902 (Sonata De Otoño), 1903 (Sonata De Verano), 1904 (Sonata De Primavera) y 1905 (Sonata De Invierno) and considered to be of the best 100 Spanish novels . The first episode in set in Galicia , 1824 (though Valle Inclán set many years later , during Carlistas wars) , as Marquis Bradomin (Francisco Rabal) becomes involved into a political conspiracy , as he meets Capitán Casares (Fernando Rey) pursued by ¨100.000 Hijos De San Luis¨ led by Conde De Brandeso (Carlos Casaravilla) , both of whom are doublé-crossed and chased . Later on , Bradomin along with his sick lover Concha (Aurora Bautista) attempt to flee to Mexico , but she dies . Second part is set 6 years later , in Mexico , 1830 , under tyrannical government of Bustamante , and tells the troublesome love story between Bradomin and La Niña Chole . There Bradomin attempts to retrieve his inherited lands and the Mayorazgo of his ancestors . Then , he is imprisoned at a rigid prison , there some inmates try to getaway but they are betrayed and massacred . Shortly after , Bradomin meets the mysterious Niña Chole (Maria Felix) and falls for her , and both of whom help escape a revolutionary (Carlos Rivas) . After that , Bradomin joins the brave Guerrileros against the ruthless general Bermúdez .
An intense drama in which there are extreme cuts with deficient shooting , and large intervention by censorship as well as production problems resulted in a regular flick . An attractive but uneven film that suffered several cuts and with miscasting , as an inappropriate Aurora Bautista who replaced at last minute to Lucia Bosé . A failed and regular work by the great filmmaker Juan Antonio Bardem . Written by two known anti-Franco writers and J.A. Bardem himself , Bardem wants to adapt ¨Tirano Banderas¨ by Valle Inclan but the Mexican producer advised him to film this ¨Sonatas¨ due to Bardem's former problems that had shooting ¨La Venganza¨¨ starred by Carmen Sevilla , Raf Vallone and Francisco Rabal . ¨Sonatas¨ first was shot in Mexico participating exiled people and the second part in Spain , it was a flop at box office , both , Spain and Mexico ; in fact , producers were bankrupt . Grat main cast as Francisco Rabal , Maria Felix , Fernando Rey ; all of them give good interpretations . Support cast is frankly magnificent , plenty of nice actors , as Spanish as Mexican , such as : Manuel Alexandre , Carlos Casaravilla , Matilde Muñoz Sampedro , Rafael Bardem , José María Prada , Xan Das Bolas , Mario Berriatúa , Manuel Arbó , Carlos Rivas , Enrique Lucero and Ignacio López Tarso .
Glimmer and brilliant cinematography by two greatest cameramen : the Mexican Gabriel Figueroa , and the Spanish Cecilio Paniagua . Evocative original musical score , including popular songs , by Luis Hernández Bretón and Isidro B. Maiztegui . Pretty good production design by the fine designer Francisco Canet , shot on location in Galicia, and Mexico : Atotonilco, Guanajuato, El Tajin , Poza Rica, Veracruz , San Miguel De Allende , Guanajuato , and Tepotzotlán , Mexico City , Distrito Federal , as well as Studios : Churibusco studios , Mexico and Cea studios , Madrid . The motion picture was regularly directed by J.A. Bardem . It won 1959 Prize of the National Syndicate of Spectacle Best Cinematography Cecilio Paniagua and Venice Film Festival 1959 Nominated Golden Lion Juan Antonio Bardem .
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