22 August 2020 | ma-cortes
Adequate and attractive retelling based on Azorin play , including atmospheric settings , brilliant cinematography and good acting
A charming film set during French invasion that took place in 1808 in which Napoleon sets in Spain as a king to his brother José , alias Pepe Botella , after Bayona abdication ; overthrowing the Spanish king ¨Fernando VII El Deseado¨ -the wished- who previously had executed a coup'etat against his father Carlos -Charles IV- . And to be finished years later with the defeat the Napoleonic troops and restoration of the Spanish monarchy with Fernando VII , after the victory by Spanish people in Zaragoza , Gerona, Vitoria and the army commanded by general Wellington . It deals with eclectic citizens during a convulsed era from Spain history , as the events take place at a Castilian village where lives the usual villagers as a womanizer Mayor : Fernando Sancho , the coward Secretary : Rafael Alonso , an innkeeper : José Nieto , his beautiful daughter : Julia Saly , among others . There comes a French Sergeant : Jacques Destoop , who is actually an undercover Colonel who is investigating the strange deaths of soldiers happening when stand at the village . Later on , there occurs a moving drama between a guerrilla chief , Francisco Rabal , and the French Officer of whom the girl starring : Julia Saly , falls in love.
Pretty good Spanish movie with thrills , battles , romance and historical events during French encroachment by Napoleon troops . Furthermore , there takes place the classic triangular romance , this time among a trío formed by a guerrilla leader well starred by Francisco Rabal , a French invader Colonel : Jacques Destoop and the beautiful Julia Saly , La Pocha . The former actors are very well accompanied by a great support cast , with plenty of familiar faces , such as : José Nieto , Fernando Sancho , Rafael Alonso , Eulalia Del Pino , Lola Gaos , Charo Lopez , Fernando Sanchez Polack , Simon Arriaga , Frank Braña , José Maria Seoane , Eduardo Calvo , Luis Induni , José Orjas and Jesús Tordesillas , among others . This is a nice rendition based on the homonymous play of the famous Spanish writer José Martinez Ruiz , Azorin , in his only cinematic adaptation . It contains a sensitive and moving musical score by Manuel Parada , based on variations of Ludwing Van Bethoven music . And including appropriate and evocative production design and settings from the prolific Eduardo de la Torre Fuente . As well as colorful and glimmer cinematography by José Aguayo , shot on location in La Alberca (Salamanca) , Mora (Toledo) and Buitrago (Madrid) .
The motion picture was well directed by the classic Spanish filmmaker Rafael Gil . He was the most known director during Francoist period , that often made those false but breathtaking historical spectacles , such as : La Reina Santa , El beso de Judas , La Señora de Fátima . This movie was well realized by the expert filmmaker Rafael Gil , shooting a hastily assembled attractive flick . Director Gil took advantage of the marvelous actors from this budget enough production . Being filmed in his usual style and in stylistic scholarship , without leaving a trace the tragic and historical issues , in terms of dramatic and narrative excitement . Rafael was one of the best filmmakers from Spanish cinema , directing several classic and interesting movies , such as : ¨Don Quijote De La Mancha¨ , ¨El Clavo¨ , ¨Eloisa está debajo de un almendro¨, ¨Murió hace 15 años¨ ¨La Fe¨ , ¨La Señora De Fatima¨, ¨La Reina Santa¨ , ¨La pródiga¨, ¨La Guerra De Dios¨ , ¨El Beso De Judas¨ , ¨Sor Intrepida¨, ¨El gran galeoto¨, ¨El Litri¨, ¨Currito de la Cruz¨, ¨La otra vida del capitan Contreras¨, ¨La Casa de Troya¨, ¨Rogelia¨, ¨La gran mentira¨ , as well as Sara Montiel vehicles as : ¨Samba¨ , ¨La reina del Chantecler¨ and several others. Rating : 7/10 , above average . Well worth watching .