Spanish Civil War Movies

Thursday, March 17 by Irving Oala

Spanish Civil War movies are a fascinating sub-genre of films as they focus on a time in the violent beginning of the 20th Century when Europe was constantl fighting wars with each other. In Spain in the 1930's General Franco was the predecessor to Hitler, using some of the same tactics would later use against the allies, except here it was on his own people. A number of powerful and brilliant Spanish Civil War movies have come out about that time, to tell stories of those who were immersed in that tragic period, so we will all never forget.

  1. "For Whom The Bell Tolls." Based on the Ernest Hemingway classic of the same name, "For Whom the Bell Tolls" may have been one of the first widely seen films about this period, as it was made in 1943, while the second world war was still going on and the Spanish Civil had just recently ended. The stars included Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman and was directed by Sam Wood for Paramount Pictures.
  2. "The Devil's Backbone." The first film in Spain from visionary director Guillermo Del Toro is "The Devil's Backbone," a tale of an orphanage in a remote location run by loyalists who are against Franco's fascist regime which is slowly but surely taking over the country in the final days of the three year war. This Spanish Civil War movie is brilliant and dark, and the one which truly launched Del Toro into the international filmmaking spotlight.
  3. "Head in the Clouds." This potboiler has one of the prettiest casts of any of the Spanish Civil War movies, as it stars Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend and Penelope Cruz. It centers around refugees who have fled from Spain into Southern France and a love triangle which forms between one woman and a local couple. Sex and intrigue go hand-in-hand in this Spanish Civil War movie.
  4. "Land and Freedom." A Spanish Civil war film starring Ian Hart follows the Englishman to Spain in the 30's to join up with the Republican Loyalists to fight against Franco's forces. A rarely seen war film that actually takes viewers inside the fighting that occurred for three years in Spain in the 30's killing more then half a million people.
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