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


It tells the story of a small Spanish town, Villar del Río, which hears of the visit of American diplomats and begins preparations to impress the American visitors in the hopes of benefiting under the Marshall Plan. A central theme of the film is the stereotypes held by both the Spanish and the Americans regarding the culture of the other. Hoping to demonstrate the side of Spanish culture with which the visiting American officials will be most accustomed, the citizens of Villar del Río (Soria) don unfamiliar Andalusian costumes, hire a renowned flamenco performer, and redecorate their town in Andalusian style. The film also 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.)

A flamenco impresario (Manolo Morán) advises the locals to think what they will ask from the Americans. Later in the film, each of the central characters has a dream in which different aspects of stereotypical American culture and history are featured. The mayor's one consists of a Western-like bar brawl, the hidalgo dreams of the arrival of a conquistador on New World shores, in other the Americans are shown as the Three Kings parachuting their gifts over the village, 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. At the end, the American motorcade speeds through the village without stopping, disappointing the locals who will have to remove the decorations and pay for the expenses.


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


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]



  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.

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