Film Notes: Distrito quinto (English Trans: Fifth District) (1957) directed by Julio Coll

ES  / 94 minutes / BW /Julio Coll Claramunt / Juro Films, P.C. Dir: Julio Coll Scr: Julio Coll, Lluís Josep Comerón, Jorge Illa (Based in a play by Josep Maria Espinàs) Pro: Julio Coll Cine: Salvador Torres Garriga Mus: Xavier Montsalvatge Cast: Alberto Closas, Arturo Fernández, Jesús Colomer, Carlos Mendy, Linda Chacón, Montserrat Salvador, Pedro de Córdoba, Carlos Otero, Josefina Güell, José María Caffarel. Synopsis: Five men commit a robbery. Each one flee by his own. Later on they meet at a dance studio to divide the money among themselves. While they are waiting for Juan, who’s been the one who has fled with the booty, each of them begins to imagine what they will do with their part. But the waiting prolongs in excess, and the robbers start to think their colleague might not return. And they begin to remember how they first meet him and how the events unfolded to this day. Release Date: 6 April 1958 (Barcelona); 16 June 1958 (Rest of Spain) Spanish title: Distrito quinto IMDb rate: 7.0.

Distrito_quinto1An extremely interesting film that Begoña and I had the opportunity to watch last night on TV2. A small hidden gem of Spanish cinema that is worth to recover. Another excellent example of a Spanish film industry which could have developed but whose efforts were thwarted. The screenplay is based on a play by Josep Maria Espinàs that was premiered a year after the release of the film. The film was directed, produced and partly written by Julio Coll, whom we already meet as the scriptwriter of Apartado de correos 1001 (1950) directed by Julio Salvador. Distrito quinto is aesthetically in debt with American film noir and Italian neorealism. The performance of the two main characters, Alberto Closas and Arturo Fernández is superb. And the film has an excellent structure in all aspects. I can imagine that, by imposition of the censorship of the time, the script had to incorporate a moralising discourse at the beginning and at the end. The film title reflects the name by which El Raval was known administratively.

Read more in Spanish here.

See my previous posts Forgotten Films: Spanish Detective Fiction and Spanish Film Noir from 1950 to 1965 and Spanish Detective and Mystery Films (Film Noir) Between 1950 to 1965.

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