Archive for April 29th, 2009


by Allan Fish

(Spain 1963 90m) DVD2 (Spain only, no English subs)

Aka. Not on Your Life; The Executioner

The future executioner

d  Luis Garcia Berlanga  w  Luis Garcia Berlanga, Rafael Azcona, Ennio Flaiano  ph  Tonino delli Colli  ed  Alfonso Santacana  m  Miguel Asins Arbo  art  José Antonio de la Guerra

Nino Manfredi (José Luis Rodriguez), Emma Penella (Carmen), José Isbert (Amadeo), José Luis López Vásquez (Antonio Rodriguez), Angel Alvarez (Alvarez), Guido Alberti (prison director), Maria Luisa Ponte (Estefania), Maria Isbert (Ignacia),

It’s one of the forgotten great films of the sixties.  I myself have only been able to view it very recently, and its reputation more than preceded it.  Despite the sixties alone offering such Spanish masterworks as Buñuel’s Viridiana and Saura’s The Hunt, native critics consistently named El Verdugo not only the greatest film of its director, but the best Spanish film of its decade and even of all time.  Take in what that means.  Better than anything made by Buñuel on Spanish soil (admittedly most of his best stuff was made in France or Mexico), better than anything by Edgar Neville, by Erice, by Almodóvar, by Medem, by anybody.  There was a danger of over-inflated expectations when I finally put the sought after DVD into my player.  It was quickly dispelled.  (more…)

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