Dawn of America

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Dawn of America
Directed by Juan de Orduña
Written by José Rodulfo Boeta
Luis Carrero Blanco
Juan de Orduña
Starring Antonio Vilar
María Martín
José Suárez
Virgilio Teixeira
Music by Juan Quintero
Cinematography Alfredo Fraile
Edited by Petra de Nieva
Distributed by CIFESA
Release dates
20 December 1951
Running time
112 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish

Dawn of America (Spanish:Alba de América) is a 1951 Spanish historical adventure film directed by Juan de Orduña and starring Antonio Vilar, María Martín and José Suárez. The film depicts the discovery of the Americas by Christopher Columbus in the fifteenth century.


The film was made by the largest Spanish studio CIFESA. The production was conceived as a response to the 1949 British film Christopher Columbus. The British film had attempted a realist depiction of Columbus (portraying him as only partly successful, and his achievements being in spite of the Spanish monarchy). The Spanish response portrayed Columbus as a single-minded adventurer whose discovery led to the greater glory of the Spanish monarchy and the Catholic Church.[1]

It was also designed as part of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Catholic Monarchs. The film's patriotic theme was strongly backed by the regime of Spain's dictator Francisco Franco. The film was made on a comparatively large budget of ten million pesetas, part of which was supplied by the government. The film did not make a profit, partly due to its large budget and because the plot was not melodramatic enough for audience tastes.[2] The film originally lost out on the prestigious National Interest prize to Furrows but José María García Escudero, who had made the decision, was removed and the prize was awarded to Dawn of America.[3]



  1. ^ Bentley p.117
  2. ^ Bentley p.117
  3. ^ Bentley p.117


  • Bentley, Bernard. A Companion to Spanish Cinema. Boydell & Brewer 2008.

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