Favourite Spanish films from the 1950s to the 1970s

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The Hunt (La Caza, 1966). A suffocating, violent psychological thriller directed by Carlos Saura about three veterans who meet to go rabbit hunting – it works brilliantly as a metaphor of the pointless carnage that was the Spanish Civil War.

Death of a Cyclist (Muerte de un Ciclista, 1955). By Juan Antonio Bardem. A beautifully made drama/thriller that deals with the topics of morality and responsability, throwing a critical view to the Spanish upper classes during Franco’s regime.

Main Street (Calle Mayor, 1956). Also directed by Juan Antonio Bardem, starring the American actress Betsy Blair. A beautifully filmed drama, highly recommended to fans of the Italian neorealist cinema.

Furrows (Surcos, 1951). It can be considered as another example of Spanish neorealism, Surcos is an impressive, accurate portrait of post-Civil War Spain during the darkest years of Franco’s dictatorship. The film surprisingly escaped censorship.

Who Can Kill a Child? (¿Quien Puede Matar a un Niño?, 1976). On a completely different note, this superb horror film tells the story of an English couple on holiday who find an island inhabited by rather strange children…

And even though this is already the 80s, I want to mention Mamasunción (1984) In my opinion this is the best film that came out of the region of Spain I come from, Galicia. It’s a brilliant short film that shows the uniqueness of rural Galicia and its fascinating culture, as well as a view on immigration. This film is available to watch online here.

Also worth mentioning, Welcome Mr. Marshall (1953), El Cochecito (1970), Peppermint Frappé (1967).

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