Directed by Luis García Berlanga • 1956 • Spain
Starring Edmund Gwenn, Valentina Cortese, Juan Calvo
In one of Luis García Berlanga’s gentlest comedies, an aging American scientist (Oscar winner Edmund Gwenn) goes incognito, trading in his career as a prominent atomic-bomb expert for a tranquil retirement on the Mediterranean coast. While in hiding, he cultivates the persona of a friendly wanderer, finding companions among his neighbors and using his pyrotechnical expertise to create a dazzling fireworks display for the local fiesta. Where Berlanga’s most acclaimed films skewer the blinkered provincialism of village life, this heartfelt valentine to small-town Spain celebrates the friendships that hold such tight-knit communities together.