Skip to main content

EL LAZARILLO DE TORMES

Spain, 1960 (MIFF 1961, Programme 9)

Director: Cesar Ardavin

Based on a classic by an anonymous author, Lazarc de Tormes' adventurer and misfortunes on the roads of 16th century Castille make up a lively and human story in the mainstream of this Spanish picaresque production. Lazaro was born on the banks of the River Tormes, from which he took his name, and grew up in a busy Salamanca boarding house, run for muleteers who pass through the town. A wandering blind man, practised in the tricks of the roads, offers to teach him his art. After much maltreatment he abandons the blind man to work for a humble sacristan, and later for a poor but arrogant squire. He then joins a travelling theatre company taking part in both performances, and thefts. Shrewdness and tunning are necessary to keep alive — yet these adventures have their counterparts. Justice eventually interferes, and Laiaro finds himself alone between heaven and earth with the opportunity for meditating upon things he had never before considered.

El Lazarillo de Tormes received the firsr prize — The Golden Bear — at the 1960 Berlin Film Festival. Director Cesar Ardavin, a relative newcomer, makes splendid background use of the landscapes and monuments of rbe Castillian plateau, the old streets of Salamanca and Toledo, and the villages which still retain something of their mediaeval atmosphere and which provide a genuine netting for Lazaro's wanderings. Marco Paoleth is engaging, if somewhat mannered, in the leading role, but the adults all contribute stylised performances

See also...

JAN HUS

This colourful film deals with the life of Jan Hus, reformer and preacher, who lived in Bohemia at the beginning of the 15th Century. It starts with the period when Hus preached his fiery sermons ... More »

Carousel of Lowicz

The area around Lowicz is famous for its beautiful regional costumes and this film is about the annual folklore festival held in that city. A Polish documentary which won distinction at the ... More »

La Balade d'Emile

A brief fantasy on the theme that a little walk can really take a man out of himself. ... More »

CUBA

Richard Lester made his name directing The Beatles in their two good fiSms, consolidated his reputation with a series of out and thrust comedies and, for several years now, has proved himself adept ... More »

METELLO

Born to an anarchist father, Metello follows in his footsteps as a champion of liberty and social justice. When he is imprisoned after a strike action, he repeats the hollow promise his father made ... More »

A MATTER OF DIGNITY

A Matter of Dignity tells of a bourgeois family on the verge of bankruptcy, pinning all their hopes on their daughter's catching a rich husband. ... The Pellas mansion is gripped in an atmosphere of ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director