The Spanish Earth
A hard-hitting, poignant documentary on the innocent lives ruined by the Spanish Civil War – narrated by Ernest Hemingway and directed by Joris Ivens!
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- Run Time: 1 hours, 2 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: February 13, 2018
- Originally Released: 1937
- Label: Alpha Video
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
Description by OLDIES.com:
In late 1936, during the height of the Spanish Civil War, a consortium of American artists and intellectuals – including Ernest Hemingway, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, and Archibald MacLeish – banded together to produce a motion picture to support the democratically-elected Spanish Republic government. After raising three thousand dollars, the group (now calling themselves Contemporary Historians, Inc.) sent Dutch documentarian Joris Ivens to Spain, with instructions to capture on film common people affected by the war. Ivens chose to focus on the small village of Fuentedueña, where 1,500 townspeople were attempting to irrigate the dry, cracked earth. This was in hopes of providing nourishment for the soldiers fighting against the right-wing forces led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco (and backed by Adolf Hitler and his Nazi war machine.) Using a brutally realist style, Ivens' camera captures the heartbreaking futility of the villagers' efforts, and punctuates it with scenes of the horrific warfare happening nearby. Once the footage had been assembled in America, a voice-over was recorded for the film by young radio and stage actor, Orson Welles, who had recently starred in Archibald MacLeish's play Panic . However, Ernest Hemingway felt that Welles's voice was too soft and cultured for the subject at hand. He subsequently re-wrote and re-recorded the narration in his own brusque, red-blooded manner. (Despite this, Orson's name remains in the credits of the film.) The Spanish Earth had its premiere at the White House on July 7, 1937. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called it "a film...the world should see."
BONUS: Moorish Spain (1931): The Arabic influence on Spain is explained in this installment of RKO's Vagabond Adventure Series. Narrated by Alois Havrilla, host of CBS's popular Strange as It Seems radio show (1935-1940).
A documentary written and narrated by Ernest Hemingway about the Spanish Civil War and attendant land reform. Hemingway stepped in to narrate when the voice of a young Orson Welles, still listed in the credits, was considered to be not strong enough for this powerful documentary.
- Sales Rank: 1,838
- UPC: 089218803894
- Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
- International Shipping: 1 item
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