The Executioner

1963 [SPANISH]

Action / Comedy / Drama

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 89%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 89% · 500 ratings
IMDb Rating 7.9/10 10 7478 7.5K

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
845.27 MB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
Seeds 3
1.53 GB
Spanish 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 32 min
Seeds 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by dalton2 9 / 10

An original and brilliant movie

Here we have a tragicomedy about executions released in 1963, when executions and censorship did still exist in Spain. How did they do it...? I only can say... using their imagination. It has a really brilliant story, and a screenplay that combines in a so wise way the comic and dramatic/tragic aspects of the story. Also, the actors know at every moment what to do. As a result we find a really funny film, a really sad film... and a perfect recreation of the reaction of common people to a hard and dangerous epoque. A masterpiece in my opinion.

Reviewed by Oslo_Jargo 7 / 10

The Executioner

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Plot and ending analyzed*

I remember when I first saw the Executioner, it was in Spain in 1965. I was working as a stuntman in Spaghetti Westerns. It's a peculiar film, I don't think of it as so much a straight out Comedy, but more of a Comedy of social interaction. Remember, the brutal dictator Francisco Franco was in power at the time, thus they had to be quite subtle. There are hilarious scenes throughout; I kept thinking to myself there's plenty of grumpy people about in it, which makes it quite commendable and hilarious because you find them in the real world. The type of people who tell you to move or get away from a desk in some store or office, or people who make rude comments for no reason.

The Executioner starts out with two guys who work at the morgue, picking up a stiff at the local prison who's just been executed. They see the prison executioner, who is an old man and the young morgue guy wants to avoid him because of the stigma involved. The old man executioner forgets his workbag. Well, the young morgue guy turns in his workbag to his apartment home and meets up with his daughter. They eventually get together and have a baby and get married. In order for them to have a residential apartment, the young morgue guy has to sign up as a executioner to get state benefits, but he's reluctant since it creeps him out so much.

Eventually the prison calls him up to perform, and there's the crux of the matter. At that time, prisoners were executed by means of a garrote. It's like a metal harness and used to strangle a person.

I thought the ending deviated a bit from my own expectations, but still, it wasn't terribly off. The Executioner might put off some audience expectations because it is a garrulous film. It gets tedious at times, but still pulls in above average. I liked the little jokes and comments made by rude people in the film. I don't think it was really a critique of the death penalty in my estimation, but one may be able to look at it in that manner.

If you like foreign films, it's definitely worth a watch. One note, the synchronicity of the audio and the actors' mouths doesn't match, I don't know if it was just made that way or dubbed later with inept equipment. The film was an Iberian and Italian co-production, so maybe they were speaking Italian.

There's not many extras, just a few and a booklet.

Also recommended: La caza (1966) Surcos (1951) Plácido (1961) Viridiana (1961) Calle Mayor (1956) Welcome Mr. Marshall! (1953) Ensayo de un Crimen (1955)

Reviewed by samxxxul 9 / 10

A real play on human emotions - a film that won't be easily forgotten

The Executioner is a macabre comedy which is considered to be one of the best Spanish films and to call this simply a movie is not enough. Yes, it's a fairly basic plot which could never be described as "feel-good" but that isn't (and it never was) a priority. No, its priority is the heart and soul that was put into it.

What we got here is a satirical view on the middle class situation with anti-death penalty as it's theme throughout the runtime. The guy in the film is literally out of luck and after having to marry the executioner's daughter things begin to change for him for no good. Nino Manfredi's performance as Jose Luis is superb, Jose Ibert is just as splendid.

The screenplay is crammed in Kafka-esque tone to expose the bureaucratic horror with one of the grotesquely funny and Powerful final scene. The ending is easily one of the most memorable ever, it's just so heartwrenching and profound.

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