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I have to give this movie a thumbs up. Interesting subject matter. Solid acting with established characters. For a morbid subject matter, I found myself laughing in many instances. Somebody has to do it!
This is repeatedly considered to be one of the greatest Spanish films for reasons which escape me completely. The strong points evade me and seem severely strained. Of course, there are the obvious interesting juxtapositions; an executioner's daughter giving birth - to the child of an undertaker being forced unwillingly into giving and taking lives. But aside from this, the direction is merely adequate with only a couple of shots standing out, the acting mediocre and it fails as both screwball and dark comedy. Interesting topics on paper but the film isn't worth the 87 minutes.
Rapid-like dialogues makes it hard to follow at moments, good film nonetheless.
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In 6 official lists
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This movie ranks #1 in Nickel Odeón's Best Spanish Films
This movie ranks #3 in Caimán's Top Spanish Films
This movie ranks #265 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
This movie ranks #374 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
This movie ranks #793 in UNESCO's Memory of the World
This movie ranks #982 in The Criterion Collection