National Heritage (1981)

  |  Comedy

National Heritage (1981) Poster

Second installment of the saga of the Leguineche's preceded by "The National Shotgun" and completed by "National III". After the death of Franco (1975) and the restoration of the monarchy, ... See full summary »


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7 December 2016 | ma-cortes
| Second installment to Leguineche saga , full of humor , sourness and deep critical
Second part of the Leguineche preceded by "The National Shotgun" and completed by "National III" . Spanish coral film with a merciless denounce to hypocrite society located at a luxury mansion , being professionally directed by the veteran Berlanga and full of a high level of ingenious humor , including relentless critical in malevolent intention . A bustling comedy with a big plethora of players and an interesting script . After the death of Franco (1975) and the restoration of the monarchy , the Marquis of Leguineche (Luis Escobar) along with his misfit family return to this palace in Madrid , at Cibeles Square . After thirty years of voluntary exile in his farm-mansion in Los Tejadillos , Guadalajara , the marquis intends to approach the King to resume the court life of yesteryear . However , it is not so easy to access to the Royal Family . In Madrid palace he meets his invalidated old wife (Mary Santpere) . Then , arguments and disputes emerge among the left-wing marquis , the Francoist marchioness and her ex-lover Nacho (Alfredo Mayo) . The marquis and his son Luis José (José Luis López Vázquez) , helped by his nephew Alvaro (José Luis De Villalonga) -married to beautiful French woman Solange (in real-life Villalonga spouse Syliane Stella)- attempt to incapacitate the marchioness . Meantime , they try to reform the ruined palace to give aristocratic parties . But then problems emerge when there appears two Finance Inspectors , and the resourceful marquis has to do everything to get his aims , as becoming the palace into a museum .

After getting success with the first part and a great popularity by Luis Escobar playing the offbeat marquis , it led to filmmaker Berlanga , writer Azcona and producer Alfredo Matas to make this second outing "National Heritage" , dealing with the national policy and monarchy restoration by Juan Carlos I . In the flick there are especially busy comedy , ironical humor , frantic pace , amusing gags , rowdy satire , strange roles , noisy hustle and social critical . Furthermore , it contains certain confusion and relies heavily in exaggerated mayhem ; being in anyway clearly inferior to former film . One time finished the Franquist dictatorship , Berlanga along with his regular screenwriter Azcona carry out the realization a known trilogy about the political and social Spanish situation , concerning on the peculiar aristocratic family of the Marquis of Leguineche . Shot in long , complex shots : ¨Planos Secuencia¨, with a lot of rare roles talking , shouting and walking . 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 and of the egoistic aristocracy , especially . We can find very fun roles , all of them caricatures and mirrors of the Spanish society . The movie displays a Spanish star-studded , such as : the sex-hungry Jose Luis López Vázquez , the loud-mouthed priest Agustin González (Berlanga's also regular), Amparo Soler Leal (married to producer) , Chus Lampreave (Almodovar's ordinary), and , of course , Luis Ciges . And brief roles and cameos by the graphic humorist Mingote , writer Joaquin Calvo Sótelo , stage director José Luis Alonso and filmmaker Francisco Regueiro . Its big success originated ¨Nacional III¨(82) about the power rising of Socialists with Felipe Gonzalez . Berlanga's conceptual and political audacity, so evident in this film that achieved a considerable hit . It turned out to be a nice picture plenty of diverting situations as well as black humor and social hypocrisy .

Direction by Luis Garcia Berlanga is acceptable but inferior to precedent film , he shows his skill for edition , realizing long shots with crowd who moves easily and shows the miseries of an amoral society. Berlanga filmed several polemic movies during the 50s , all of them were beset by difficulties with the censors caused by real critical to social stratum such as ¨Bienvenido Mister Marshall¨ (1953) , a very good film which tended not to be very well received by the censor for its acidity and considered to be one of the best Spanish films of the history , including a strong portrait of Spanish society . His next joint venture was ¨Los Jueves, Milagro¨ (1957), it was modified by the censors and delayed for several years before its eventual release . Subsequently , Berlanga made ¨Placido¨ (1961) , this is the film debut for the great producer Alfredo Matas and received an Oscar nomination in 1963 , being well-received at the International Festivals , reviewing the useless charity , it's a sublime film but with censorship . Later on , 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¨ focusing on the fetishism of a man who falls in love with a doll . After Franco's death, he filmed the ¨Leguineche Trilogy¨ where he clarified the evident disorders in the Spanish upper , middle-class upon being confronted with a new political status quo , realizing a sour denounce of the Spanish society . Soon after , he made ¨La Vaquilla¨ (1985) set in the Spanish Civil War , resulting to be the first time dealing with this convulsive period in comedy style . Following the same themes, he went on filming coral films such as ¨Moros and Cristianos¨ and ¨Todos a Carcel¨ (1993) that won Goya Awards ; being his final film : ¨Paris Tombuctu¨.

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