Welcome Mr. Marshall!

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Welcome Mr. Marshall!
Bienvenido mister marshall.JPG
Theatrical release poster by Francisco Fernández Zarza
Directed by Luis García Berlanga
Produced by Vicente Sempere
Written by Juan Antonio Bardem
Luis García Berlanga
Miguel Mihura
Starring José Isbert
Manolo Morán
Lolita Sevilla
Music by Jesús García Leoz
Cinematography Manuel Berenguer
Edited by Pepita Orduña
Release dates
  • 4 April 1953 (1953-04-04)
Running time
95 minutes
Country Spain
Language Spanish
Commemorative plaque in Guadalix de la Sierra, Spain

Welcome Mr. Marshall! (Spanish: ¡Bienvenido, Mister Marshall!) is a 1953 Spanish comedy film directed by Luis García Berlanga and considered one of the masterpieces of Spanish cinema. The film highlights the stereotypes held by both the Spanish and the Americans regarding the culture of the other, as well as displays social criticism of 1950s Spain (showing a typical Spanish village, with typical inhabitants: a priest, the majority of the population that are peasants, the mayor, and a hidalgo).

The film was entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

Plot[edit]

A small Spanish town, Villar del Río is alerted to an upcoming visit of American diplomats; the town begins preparations to impress the American visitors, in the hopes of benefiting under the Marshall Plan. Hoping to demonstrate the side of Spanish culture with which the visiting American officials will be most accustomed, the citizens don unfamiliar Andalusian costumes, hire a renowned flamenco performer, and redecorate their town in Andalusian style. A flamenco impresario (Manolo Morán) who spent time in Boston advises the locals to think of what they will ask from the Americans.

On the eve of the Americans' visit, three of the central characters dream of stereotypical American culture and history, based uniquely on their lives and experiences. The mayor dreams of a Western-like bar brawl, the hidalgo dreams of the arrival of a conquistador on New World shores, and the priest sees the hoods of a Holy Week procession turn into Klansmen dragging him before the Committee on Un-American Activities accompanied by jazz music. Also, a poorer man dreams that the Americans, shown as the Three Kings, fly over his field and parachute a new mechanical plow into his field.

The day of the Americans' visit arrives - and the whole town is prepared to put on a show. However, the American motorcade speeds through the village without stopping. The locals are left to remove the decorations and pay for the expenses with their personal belongings - including the flamenco impresario, who gives up a gold ring given to him by the Americans in Boston.

Production[edit]

Initially it was intended as a comic vehicle for the flamenco singer Lolita Sevilla, but Berlanga decided to give it a deeper meaning.

Influence[edit]

The title is often mentioned in discussions of American investment in Spain as a caveat against delusion. An example is the 2012-2013 Eurovegas project.[2][3]

Cast[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Welcome Mr. Marshall!". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 24 January 2009. 
  2. ^ Bienvenido, Míster Adelson, Eduardo Muriel, 26 June 2012, Público. The title is changed for Sheldon Adelson.
  3. ^ Eurovegas No protesta contra el complejo proyectando 'Bienvenido Mr. Marshall', El Mundo (Spain), 26 November 2012. A group campaigning against Eurovegas screens "Welcome Mr. Marshall" as a protest.

External links[edit]