Spain's role in the Spaghetti Western


(Frank Talby) #1

Not sure if this has been discussed before and if it has please point me to the correct thread.

I am currently watching Killer Kid which while set in Revolutionary Mexico could certainly pass for the Civil War era Spain. El Santo could be one of many of leaders of the Spanish Republic while the Mexican troops obviously resemble the forces of Fascism and Franco. The Killer Kid represents any one of numerous international groups who fought and died for the Republic. Now the question I want to ask is how did the government of Spain (Franco) think of the western being made in his country? I honestly have very little respect for the man and was he blind to any and all veiled criticism of his regime? Dictators aren’t the smartest men and I guessing the criticism went unnoticed.


(Silence) #2

That is quite an interesting question. I’m not sure Franco watched the films.


(Stanton) #3

How can an integer director (like Damiani ?) shoot a film like Quien sabe? in a then fascist country like Spain? Another tricky question.

It seems Franco didn’t cared about it and preferred to take the money, otherwise he would at least after Quien sabe? took care that not more films of this type were shot in Spain. But they were.


(scherpschutter) #4

This is probably a question for Julio Alberto

I was never aware of this problem, actually I know little of Spain and its culture
I’m studying a little Spanish these days, so maybe a better knowledge of the language opens the possibility to study these (and similar) aspects a bit better.
I guess Franco never saw the movies and knew nothing about their contents; left-wing, or at least critical artists like Buñuel and Picasso were forced to leave the country (they worked in France mainly); on the other hand, there was a Picasso museum in Spain when Franco was still in power, if I am right.


(Silence) #5

It’s not for sure some of these films where made with everybody’s premission. I don’t think they asked the goverment “Hey, could we make a revolutionary Western?”. Don’t think they wheren’t filmed legally but they did not ask Franco first.


(Frank Talby) #6

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:4, topic:2076”]This is probably a question for Julio Alberto

I was never aware of this problem, actually I know little of Spain and its culture
I’m studying a little Spanish these days, so maybe a better knowledge of the language opens the possibility to study these (and similar) aspects a bit better.
I guess Franco never saw the movies and knew nothing about their contents; left-wing, or at least critical artists like Buñuel and Picasso were forced to leave the country (they worked in France mainly); on the other hand, there was a Picasso museum in Spain when Franco was still in power, if I am right.[/quote]

Correct the Picasso museum opened in Barcelona in 1963.


(Frank Talby) #7

Watching more of Killer Kidd and the revolutionary group mirrors most of the revolutionary groups in Spain esp. the CNT which was heavily influenced by the FAI (Federation of Iberian Anarchists). That being said Killer Kid is an excellent movie.


(Silvanito) #8

Maybe because these films were primarily anti-USA and anti-capitalist, not necessarily anti-‘fascist’, they were seen as OK in Spain at the time?


(Frank Talby) #9

Franco was certainly Pro-USA after the 1950’s. He got a ton of American money and he allowed for the US naval base in Roda. He was the anti-communist that America was looking for after WW2… yes politics is confusing.


(Dillinger) #10

I think not many people visiting Spain back then cared about the fascist background. Thousands of Europeans went to Spain during their holidays and were not worried about visiting Hitler’s old buddy’s realm.


(Paco Roman) #11

Simple answer: MONEY

Franco’s Spain wasn’t like Hitlers Germany. Don’t believe that Spain was such a fanatic facist country. Spain was somehow isolated after WW2 but they never were offical Allies of Germany. Those films made by western Europeans and US citizens (don’t forget all the Charlton Heston Movies made in Spain) were a possibitly to import foreign currency into Spain. :slight_smile:
More or less the same question why all these Eurowesterns have been shot in a communist country like Yugoslavia? :slight_smile:


(p.pereira) #12

[quote=“Paco Roman, post:11, topic:2076”]Simple answer: MONEY
but they never were offical Allies of Germany.[/quote]

Same here in Portugal. But our dictator (Salazar) was very focused in the culture scenes, so he banned everything. “Deus, pátria e família” (god, country, family) they said.
He had to wait to 1974 to get rid of fascism governments.


(Frank Talby) #13

[quote=“Paco Roman, post:11, topic:2076”]Simple answer: MONEY

Franco’s Spain wasn’t like Hitlers Germany. Don’t believe that Spain was such a fanatic facist country. Spain was somehow isolated after WW2 but they never were offical Allies of Germany. Those films made by western Europeans and US citizens (don’t forget all the Charlton Heston Movies made in Spain) were a possibitly to import foreign currency into Spain. :slight_smile:
More or less the same question why all these Eurowesterns have been shot in a communist country like Yugoslavia? :)[/quote]

Yes my thoughts exactly. thanks guys.


(Dillinger) #14

I didn’t say that Franco’s Spain was exactly the same as the Third Reich. I said:

And that’s the truth. Hitler supported Franco during the Spanish civil war.

Legion Condor, Guernica, does there ring a bell?


(scherpschutter) #15

http://img21.imageshack.us/i/guernicapicasso1.jpg/


(Stanton) #16

I’ve read in a book about Carlos Saura that the mass tourism, which started in the 60s, also lead to a looser censorship in Spain. Currency was more important.


(Frank Talby) #17

I had planned on seeing this painting the Monday we were in Madrid but alas it was Madrid’s feast day for their patron saint and nothing was open…


(Julio_Alberto) #18

Franco was not really Fascist.
It was just a dictator, beyond the political.
The main reason was money, no doubt.
That if, at that time had many sensors in the shootings of cinema in Spain, but it was usually bureaucrats who could not read between the lines …


(Frank Talby) #19

[quote=“Julio_Alberto, post:18, topic:2076”]Franco was not really Fascist.
It was just a dictator, beyond the political.
The main reason was money, no doubt.
That if, at that time had many sensors in the shootings of cinema in Spain, but it was usually bureaucrats who could not read between the lines …[/quote]

I would disagree on his stance of fascism. He wanted a super Catholic Spanish State and suppressed all those who would want to be free: Basque, Catalan, etc. He wasn’t a NAZI but was closer to what Il Duce. The good thing is that he is gone. Though there are remnants of his regime in Spain (the town of Belchite remains as a reminder to the destruction of the war).


(Phil H) #20

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway Frank. Pretty much all museums and galleries in europe are shut mondays.