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  • More or less based on the `picaresque' novel `Lazarillo de Tormes', which, despite being obligatory reading in most high school literature classes, is anonymous, appearing in 1554 in Alcalá de Henares, Burgos and Antwerp, but in differing versions. Thus the tale predates Miguel Cervantes de Saavedra.

    Although Rafael Álvarez is only cast as the lead actor, it was he who in effect nurtured the making of this film, convincing producers and distributors and a couple of very well known directors. Curiously Fernando Fernán Gómez had already made a version for live theatre, and it is more on this reading that the film is constructed.

    Good playing, here, especially by Álvarez as Lázaro, and Agustín González as the drunkard Machuca is splendid indeed. Francisco (Paco) Rabal is a welcome sight as `El Ciego'. A dozen years earlier this grand old actor - now departed - starred with Álvarez in the wonderful TV series `Juncal', in which Fernando Fernán Gómez also took part.

    Nicely filmed in the old Jewish quarters of Toledo and around the sparsely populated areas of Guadalajara, there are many excellent scenes inside dark taverns full of troubadors and `juglares', and fine wenches serving out wine by the jugful, though some of the clientele prefer drinking straight from the barrel! Good 16th Century stuff, but I personally would have preferred a little more of the good 16th Century Castilian - not 21st Century Spanish.

    How much of the music is originally by Roque Baños is difficult to decide. I heard some very authentic-sounding pieces based on `Conde Claros' as well as some lute pieces which could have been by Luis de Narváez or even Alonso de Mudarra, as well as something which sounded like one of the innumerable forms of `La Folia Española'.

    For students of Spanish Literature the film will not be of much help; try `Lazarillo de Tormes' published by Ediciones Cátedra and edited by Joseph V. Ricapito (Indiana University).
  • The movie is an adaptation of the well-known novel "Lazarillo de Tormes", which tells us the story of a kid in the streets of Toledo ad the end of XVI century. The adaptation, based on a text from Fernando Fernán Gómez (for theatre), is hard, good and moving. The quality of the actors is indubitable good (except Beatriz Rico, but her character is by far the worst of the film). The story, although quite confusing, with continuous flashbacks (a very great difference between the movie and the book), results interesting an entertaining. The problem, probably is that, compared with the original theatre play, the movie is not so strong, so powerful as the play. Despite the fact that there are the same actors, the result is not so depth and touching, actually, is a little disappointing, I expected enjoying it as much as the theatre play, but, despite is not bad, the movie is not as good as the original play. If you have not seen it, and you have read the book, maybe you'll like it, because the film is not bad, but I expected something better remembering the play.
  • Passable adaptation about a vintage novel that is credited with founding a literary genre , the Picaresque novel , from the Spanish world ¨Picaro¨ , meaning rogue or rascal . The classic Spanish picaro is lovingly transferred to the screen in this decent but free adaptation of one of its first prototypes preceding the immortal Don Quixote . Starring is an adult Lazaro (Rafael Alvarez El Brujo) Lázaro , who has to prove to a court that his unlawful ways are not his choice but the only option to avoid starvation . Lazaro suffers extreme famine because of the lack of food and designs a lot of strategies to get aliments and to escape hunger . He is a poor person of humble origins from Salamanca . Long time ago , his mother asked a wily blind beggar , to take him as his apprentice . Lázaro uses his cunning while serving the blind person as well as several other masters , and also learning to practice all kinds of tricks and traps . His travails afford opportunities for much biting social and political satire sharply observed along the way .There are some flashbacks when Lazarillo (Manuel Lozano) sold into bondage by his mother to the first of a succession of masters . And , subsequently the travels of Lazarillo as he learns to live by his wits, first with a greedy blind beggar (Francisco Rabal) who beats and starves him. He soon learns to outwit his mean-spirited captor in some dealing with delightfully realized sequences and eventually becomes an accomplished street-wise thief who survives quite handily through petty crime. As Lazaro gets various differen jobs as a water-boy , as a town-crier , buth then being detained for robbing , accused and judged . Only one of his succession of masters is kind to him, the impoverished threadbare Lazaro advised by his Arcipreste (Karra Elejalde) takes an allegedly advantageous marriage with one beautiful local girl (Beatriz Rico) , but things go wrong and his pretensions are cruelly mocked.

    An enjoyable brooding quality rendition based on an anonymous book that created the picaresque novel , this extensive genre includes ¨Cervantes's Rinconete and Cortadillo¨ , ¨Henry Fielding's Tom Jones¨ and ¨Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn¨ . The identity of the author of ¨Lazarillo¨ has been a puzzle for nearly four hundred years , it is likely that the writer chose to remain anonymous out of fear of religious prosecution . Its influence extends to twentieth century , dramas , and movies featuring the ¨anti-hero¨ . ¨Lazaro De Tormes¨ gives a vivid and jolly description of the world of the pauper and the petty thief , including various popular sayings and a great number of of villagers stories . It describes the adventures of a grown Lazaro , amusingly played by Rafael Alvarez El Brujo , exposing injustices who usually suffers while amusing the viewer .Cruel necessity causes the canny Lazaro to leave this most favorite master and move on to yet other unscrupulous patrons and more petty crime in the shadow of the always threatening Inquisition. Lazaro De Tormes comes from river Tormes , this is a river runs through his home town : Salamanca . There is a free fitting to background on the events described on the popular novel , that's why here we find us an adult Lazarillo . This 2oo1 ¨Lazarillo De Tormes¨ was professionally directed by Fernando Fernández Gómez , José Luis García Sánchez with fine actors such as as : Rafael Alvarez el Brujo , Karra Elejalde , Manuel Alexandre , Beatriz Rico , Francisco Algora , Álvaro de Luna , Agustín González , Manuel Lozano , José Lifante , Emilio Laguna , Juan Luis Galiardo, among others . This movie displays an appropriate photography by the great cameraman Javier Salmones . Being masterfully shot on atmospheric location in Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha, Talamanca del Jarama, Madrid , and other Castilian towns and villages . As well as evocative and appropriate musical score by Roque Baños.

    This classic novel has been adapted several times : a silent rendition , 1925 , by Florian Rey with Jose Nieto , Conchita Montenegro and Pitusin . The classic version : Lazarillo de Tormes 1959 by Cesar Fernández Ardavin and it won the Golden Bear in Berlin Festival , played by Juanjo Menendez , Paeoletti , Carlos Casaravilla , Antonio Molino , Margarita Lozano , here Lazarillo deals with a blind , a selfish verger , a starving squire , finally seems to find a good place among a roving roguish company of puppeteers, but just as their wagon merrily rolls away with him as their newly acquired apprentice we are informed that before reaching the age of fourteen, Lazarillo will undoubtedly be hanged for his life of crime . Given the subversive nature of Lazarillo , and its open criticism of the Catholic Church , this film was strongly censored by the Francoist authorities . Furthermore , 1997 retelling titled ¨The Rogues¨ by Mario Monicelli with Giancarlo Giannini , Vittorio Gassman , Giuliana De Sio , Bernand Blier . And a recently made episode 2016 from the successful series ¨El Ministerio Del Tiempo¨ was starred by El Lazarillo De Tormes along with Rodolfo Sancho and Aura Garrido .
  • jotix1006 October 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    Lazaro, a man from poor origins, is made to go with a blind man by his impoverished mother. Since she could not keep him, the next best thing was to made him go into the world to try to learn something about life and eventually land a position that would allow him to live with the minimum of comfort. The time was the early sixteenth century in Toledo, Spain. The story follows Lazaro's adventures from childhood to early manhood.

    The boy grows up but has not been able to get anything decent. After the blind man, he is taken by a priest that is such a miser, he locks the food in a trunk, keeping the key around his neck to prevent anyone from stealing from him. After a fiasco with this holy man, Lazaro is discovered by an influential friar who sees in the young man as ripe for his sexual desires, something that Lazaro repels.

    Finding a good master takes Lazaro to try a few positions until his good fortune brings him to the Arch Priest's attention. First, Lazaro becomes the salesman for the cleric, but he asks his boss to recommend him for the position of town crier, that will guarantee him a steady job and a chance to work for the crown. The Arch Priest has another reason in mind, he wants Lazaro to marry his lover, Teresa, as the poor man will serve as the perfect way for him to keep on seeing the beautiful woman, now a married woman.

    "Lazaro de Tormes" is a picaresque anonymous novel that has survived the passing of the centuries. Brought to the screen by one of Spain's most beloved actors, Fernando Fernan Gomez, who directed with the help of Jose Luis Garcia Sanchez. The film was filmed right where the original takes place. The elaborate production relied on Luis Ramirez's art direction, with an excellent cinematography from veteran cameraman Javier Salmones who captures those dark interiors in all its glory. The musical score is credited to Roque Banos.

    Rafael Alvarez plays the adult Lazaro with panache. He gives the character what was needed. Karra Elejalde, another busy actor in the Spanish cinema portrays the Arch Priest. Lovely Beatriz Rico is seen as Teresa. Francisco Rabal, completely disfigured after his horrible accident made a good blind man. The large cast blends well and followed the instructions of Mr. Fernan Gomez, who knew well what he wanted to show his audience.