21 March 2020 | ma-cortes
Enjoyable, well-set and finely played drama based on Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Felix Lope de Vega plays
Good adaptation based on plays by playwrights Pedro Calderón de la Barca and Felix Lope De Vega and interesting script by Antonio Drove and Mario Camus himself. It is a known and very played play written during the Spanish Gold Century, a masterpiece of the Barroque Literature style and set for conflict between Spain and Portugal that results in proclaming Felipe II, both, king of Spain and Portugal. It concerns the Spanish Tercios, commanded by Don Lope : Fernando Fernan Gómez, in their way to Portugal, as they stop at Zalamea village in Extremadura region . There lives the really honorable Don Crespo : Francisco Rabal and his 3 daughters : Teresa Rabal , Sonsoles Benedicto, Charo López and a son : Mario Pardo who wants to enlist himself to Army Tercios. Then Isabel: Teresa Rabal is kidnapped and raped and other daughters are deceived by three villain captains . The family suffers an extreme trauma due to the ominous deeds, then Don Pedro is elected Mayor of Zalamea and he asks them for marry the daughters, but captain Don Alvaro renounces this engagement and Crespo seeks justice.
This is a nice and well set drama with enjoyable elements, terrific interpretations, and thoughtful events. The well known play is finely paced and wonderfully interpreted by a great plethora of main actors and secondary players .There's two greatest Spanish actors, Francisco Rabal and Fernando Fernan Gómez, both of whom are magnificent. Francisco Rabal is the best as the proud and stiff-upper-lip Mayor and he tells the famous sentence : "El honor es patrimonio del alma y el alma solo es Dios" . Support cast is pretty good, delivering top-notch acting, such as the rapist and liar captains played by Julio Nuñez, Antonio Medina and Ramiro Oliveros, as well as other notorious secundaries as Antonio Iranzo as the traitor sergeant, Mario Pardo as Mayor's son, Fernando Nogueras as King Felipe II, Alberto Fernandez, Fernando Sanchez Polack, Luis Marin, Ricardo Rodriguez, Ramon Centenero, Josele Román and the three deceived daughters : Teresa Rabal, Sonsoles Benedicto and Charo López.
It contains an atmospheric cinematography by prestigious Hans Burmann, being shot on location in Garrovillas. As well as adequate and brilliant settings by Sigfrido Burmann. And evocative musical score by Antón Garcia Abril, including coplas de ciego or blind man of Romance del Ciego performed by Gregorio Paniagua. The motion picture was well made by the great craftsman Mario Camus who has directed a lot of prestigious films through a long career from his first ones :Los farsantes, Young Sanchez , Muere una mujer, and continuing : Con el viento solano, Cuando tu no estes, Volver a vivir, Al ponerse el sol , Digan lo que digan, Esa mujer, La cólera del viento, Los dias del pasado. Until his last ones : La rusa, Despues del sueño, La casa de Bernarda Alba, Sombras de una batalla, Adosados, El color de las nubes, El coyote , La ciudad de los prodigios, Playa de los galgos, El prado de las estrellas and his biggest hit : Los Santos inocentes.
This Alcalde de Zalamea has been adapted as well, in silent cinema in 1914 with Joaquin Carrasco, Enrique Jimenez. And 1954 El Alcalde de Zalamea by Jose G. Maesso with Manuel Luna as the Mayor Pedro Crespo, José Marco Davo as Don Lope and Alfredo Mayo as Don Alvaro.