movie poster

Rating: 7.5 stars


Spain Criterion child movie about movies rural Frankenstein children 1940s spanish civil war Spanish beehives

Seen 1 time

Seen on: 09/01/2020

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The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

Directed by Víctor Erice


Most recently watched by sleestakk, sensoria


In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Ana, a sensitive seven-year-old girl in a rural Spanish hamlet is traumatized after a traveling projectionist screens a print of James Whale’s 1931 “Frankenstein” for the village. The youngster is profoundly disturbed by the scenes in which the monster murders the little girl and is later killed himself by the villagers. She questions her sister about the profundities of life and death and believes her older sibling when she tells her that the monster is not dead, but exists as a spirit inhabiting a nearby barn. When a Loyalist soldier, a fugitive from Franco’s victorious army, hides out in the barn, Ana crosses from reality into a fantasy world of her own.

Length 97 minutes


Fernando Fernán Gómez | Ana Torrent | Teresa Gimpera | Isabel Tellería | Laly Soldevila | Miguel Picazo | José Villasante | Juan Margallo

Viewing Notes

Post-Spanish Civil War film set in 1940 rural Spain that gets a new movie to screen at the town hall: Frankenstein. A young girl becomes obsessed with what she saw believes it to be real. Nice story and wonderfully acted particularly by the children (Ana Torrent is great).

Didn’t plan it bc I didn’t know this was about Frankenstein but kinda cool to view this on the birthday of Mary Shelley. Okay, the day after but ppl are still celebrating it today. There’s a neat Spanish poster for the movie that hangs outside the town hall; it would a lovely to own a reproduction.

This is the kind of film I’d expect to see at a sidebar at Fantastic Fest for a “films that influenced Guillermo del Toro” spotlight. I’m just guessing but this feels like a film that inspired him from the period (Pan’s Labyrinth) small rural village (Devil’s Backbone) to the fascination with Frankenstein to the act of viewing a movie in a communal setting. I’d love to see this on the big screen regardless.


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