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The Executioner (1963)

El verdugo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Comedy | 13 March 1964 (Italy)
An undertaker marries an old executioner's daughter and, although he doesn't like it, must continue the profession of his father-in-law after his retirement.

Director:

Luis García Berlanga (as Luis Gª. Berlanga)

Writers:

Luis García Berlanga (story) (as Luis Gª Berlanga), Rafael Azcona (story) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nino Manfredi ... José Luis Rodríguez, el enterrador
Emma Penella ... Carmen, la hija de Amadeo
José Isbert ... Amadeo, el verdugo (as Jose Isbert)
José Luis López Vázquez ... Antonio Rodríguez, el hermano mayor de José Luis (as Jose Luis Lopez Vazquez)
Ángel Álvarez ... Álvarez, el enterrador (as Angel Alvarez)
Guido Alberti Guido Alberti ... Director de la prisión
Julia Caba Alba ... Mujer visitante de la obra nº 2
María Luisa Ponte ... Estefanía, esposa de Antonio (as Maria Luisa Ponte)
María Isbert ... Ignacia, esposa de Álvarez (as Maria Isbert)
Erasmo Pascual ... San Martín
Xan das Bolas ... Guarda de la obra
José Orjas ... Marqués (as Jose Orjas)
José María Prada ... Vigilante con botella de champán (as Jose Maria Prada)
Félix Fernández ... Organista (as Felix Fernandez)
Antonio Ferrandis ... Funcionario de prisiones
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Storyline

The history starts with the main character (an old executioner in the Spain of early 60's) approaching retirement age. As his profession is not exactly what you could call "popular", he (a very gentle and nice man, caring, and proud of traditions) begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual "spinsterhood": as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad's "trade", he runs away from her, scared. A sad life... However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a handsome and young man who has exactly the same problem... No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other. But here the old executioner has something to say: He does not object to her daughter marrying the young undertaker; he seems a decent man, and all that... But there is a condition: ... Written by Jose Beltran <pepe@prince.pe.u-tokyo.ac.jp>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Spain | Italy

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

13 March 1964 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

The Executioner See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Naga Films, Zebra Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian censorship visa # 42151 delivered on 24-1-1964. See more »

Quotes

Amadeo, el verdugo: [subtitled version]
[while at a picnic in the country]
Amadeo, el verdugo: Young people today want to be free!
Álvarez, el enterrador: Of course.
José Luis Rodríguez, el enterrador: Yeah, free to put up with my sister-in-law, the old bag!
Amadeo, el verdugo: Careful! A fellow poisoned his sister-in-law three years ago...
Álvarez, el enterrador: And you finished him off.
Amadeo, el verdugo: Of course.
Álvarez, el enterrador: Tell me about it.
Amadeo, el verdugo: But your wife...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in El rey del mambo (1989) See more »

Soundtracks

El verdugo
(twist)
Composed by Adolfo Waitzman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Masterpiece
4 May 2007 | by rainking_esSee all my reviews

Another lesson of Berlanga about how to criticize the society avoiding censorship. "El Verdugo" looks like a comedy, sounds like a comedy, tastes like a comedy... But it is actually a fierce critic of the death penalty. The final sequence of this movie is one of the most brilliant ever (you cannot tell who's the criminal and who's the executioner!!!).

And what to say about the great José Isbert?? He was a character himself, with that voice, and that physique. I don't know if he was a genius, I just can say that there will never be another actor like him.

Berlanga + Azcona: an unbeatable team.

*My rate: 10/10


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