Search The Archive

Search the film archive

Carlos Saura, young director of this Spanish film, depicts a Spain rarely seen on the screen. Shot entire!y on location, Los Golfos concerns a group of hooligans who live in a Madrid suburb. Hoping to raise themselves into society, they decide to collect enough money to enable one of their members to become a bull fighter. The cumulative impact of the film is that of a tragedy of the young whose roots with the real world have been cut. Its best qualities are an extreme sobriety, a total rejection of sentimentality and a passion held in check by modesty.

The film's method is as rough and ready as its protagonists — but these youngsters, who rob and cheat, are delinquent only in so far that poverty of mind and body forces them to attain their ambitions the simple way. They want food . . . they steal it. They want women , , . they take them. And when one of them wants to become a torero, the gang robs and steals to launch him into the arena.

The film could be faulted for its confuted middle section . . . sequences build up to a climax and never seem resolved. But the final sequence — The first tight — is most successful. The nausea of the kill, the jeers of the crowd and the final insult...the watting police. We know this will be the youth's first and fast fight: like the rest of los golfos, he has no real courage to face physical danger or social responsibility beneath his superficial bravado. The film's feeling for its grim milieu and the sordid, anti-romantic view of the final corrida communicate a real passion, and the boys themselves seem to belong to an unmistakably Spanish world of losl illusions.