Directed by Luis García Berlanga • 1963 • Italy, Spain
Starring Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, José Isbert
This masterpiece of black humor, beloved in Spain but too little seen elsewhere, threads a scathing critique of Franco-era values through a macabre farce about an undertaker who marries an executioner's daughter and reluctantly takes over her father's job so the family can keep their government-allotted apartment. As caustic today as it was in 1963, this early collaboration between Luis Garcia Berlanga and his longtime screenwriter Rafael Azcona is an unerring depiction of what Berlanga called "the invisible traps that society sets up for us." A furiously funny personal attack on capital punishment, THE EXECUTIONER evaded the state censors who sought to suppress it, and today is regarded as one of the greatest Spanish films of all time.
Up Next in Comedies
Directed by Charles Chaplin • 1952 • United States
Starring Charles Chaplin, Claire Bloom
Charlie Chaplin’s masterful drama about the twilight of a former vaudeville star is among the writer-director’s most touching films. Chaplin plays Calvero, a once beloved musical-comedy performer, now a was...
My Lucky Stars
Directed by Sammo Hung • 1985 • Hong Kong
Starring Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Yuen Biao
Hong Kong martial-arts greats Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan, and Yuen Biao join forces in this goofball kung fu lark, the second film in Hung’s popular LUCKY STARS series. Chan is an undercover cop who enlists his bu...
Big Deal on Madonna Street
Directed by Mario Monicelli • 1958 • Italy
Starring Vittorio Gassman, Renato Salvatori, Memmo Carotenuto
An all-star cast and jazzy score highlight this charming comedy, a deft satire of classic caper films like RIFIFI. BIG DEAL ON MADONNA STREET hilariously details the plight of a sad-sack grou...