27 July 2012 | ma-cortes
Classic Spanish film dealing with a merciless critical to a hypocrite society in a little town masterfully directed by the maestro Berlanga
A coral comedy with an excellent plethora of Spanish players and an interesting screenplay full of a high level of ingenious humor but in malevolent intention from the same Berlanga and his usual Rafael Azcona along with Jose Luis Colina. 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 useless charity and social hypocrisy . It takes place in a small Spanish town (Manresa , Barcelona) , it deals upon a bunch of motley people , some old ladies (Amelia De La Torre) decide to celebrate Christmas Eve with an aim : each wealthy household of the little town will have a homeless person dining with them that night. The celebrations also include a cavalcade , and in it we find Plácido (Cassen) , the humble owner of a motorcar , whose family , including wife (Elvira Quintilla) , brother (Manuel Alexandre) , grandfather and children are obligated to live in a public lavatory because of the lack of money to pay the rent. Placido is hired by Gabino Quintanilla (Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez) to participate with his three-wheeler in the parade organized for the campaign ; however , there is a problem , he has to pay the second bill of his vehicle before midnight or else he will lose it .
In the flick there are especially comedy , humor , joy , satire and social critical which tended not to be very well received by the censor . At the beginning the story was titled "Sit a poor man at your table" ; however of ridiculous problems with censors resulted to be changed the title . The main and support actors stand out under perfect direction of Berlanga very far from the tenderness that carried out in previous works , including a bitter , pessimistic mirror on the Spanish society by that time . The movie displays a Spanish star-studded such as : Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez , Manuel Alexandre, Jose Orjas , Erasmo Pascual , Julia Caba Alba , Agustin Gonzalez , Amparo Soler Leal , Felix Fernandez , Xan Das Bolas , Luis Ciges : Berlanga's usual , and Cassen film debut . Berlanga's conceptual and political audacity, so evident in this film that achieved a big success . Plácido¨ (1961) is the film debut for the great producer Alfredo Matas and turns out to be a nice picture plenty of diverting situations as well as black humor , however, his strong portrait of Spanish society didn't please the pro-Franco authorities, although the film was well-received at the International Festival and received an Oscar nomination in 1963.
Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is pretty good , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily and shows the miseries of an amoral society . Fine cinematography in white and black by Francisco Sempere . Atmospheric and lively musical score by Miguel Asins Arbo . Berlanga filmed several polemic movies during the 50s as ¨Bienvenido Mister Marshall¨ (1953) and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the history . His next joint venture was ¨Los Jueves, Milagro¨ (1957), was modified by the censors and was delayed for several years before its eventual release . ¨That same year, Berlanga made one of his best films: ¨El Verdugo¨ (1963), one of the undisputed masterpieces and fundamental in filmography of Luis Garcia Berlanga and shot at the height of his creativity, in a period cultural difficult, where the enormous censorship of the political regime, exacerbated the ingenuity and imagination of the scriptwriters . 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 . He went on filming coral films such as ¨Moros and Cristianos¨, ¨ Todos a Carcel¨, and his final film : ¨Paris Tombuctu¨. Rating ,Placido : 7 , above average . Essential and indispensable watching for Berlanga aficionados . Well worth seeing .