Antonio Martínez del Castillo known professionally as Florián Rey was a Spanish director, actor, and screenwriter. He directed The Cursed Village, widely recognized as a seminal work in silent Spanish cinema, and helped launch the career of famed Argentinian–Spanish actress Imperio Argentina.
Antonio Martínez del Castillo
25 January 1894
|Died||11 April 1962 (aged 68)|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Imperio Argentina (1934–1939)|
While in his teens, Rey began work as a journalist for multiple newspapers in his home province of Zaragoza and nearby Madrid. It was during this time that he assumed the name Florián Rey. He took work as an actor, first in the theater in Madrid and then film. His first film role was in La inaccessible in 1920.
Rey's directorial debut was with the film The Troublemaker in 1924. As with many of his early films, The Troublemaker was an adaptation of a zarzuela, a Spanish musical theater that was highly popular with the middle and lower classes of the late nineteenth century.
In 1926, Rey, with Spanish director Juan de Orduña, created the production company Goya Films. Rey continued directing zarzuela adaptations and other forms of melodramas through the 1920s for Goya Films as well as other production companies.
In 1927, Rey cast Argentinian–Spanish actress Imperio Argentina in Sister San Sulpicio. This marked her debut as an actress in Spain. The two would later collaborate on other films and eventually marry.
La aldea malditaEdit
Rey directed The Cursed Village in 1929. This would be his most successful film and is regarded by many critics as a masterpiece of silent Spanish cinema. Rey intended for La aldea maldita to be a silent film, but, after completing production, decided to include sound. This necessitated additional shooting and synchronization in Paris. The decision to move sound production to France stemmed from Rey's dissatisfaction with the quality of the sound in his first talkie, Football, Love, and Bullfighting, in 1929. No copy of the sound version of La aldea maldita exists today.
Many film historians[who?] claim Rey was inspired by Russian Expressionist films during the making of La aldea maldita, particularly The Village of Sin by Olga Prebajenskaia, although the influence of this specific film on Rey is not universally agreed. Rey incorporated such aspects of Russian Expressionism into his film as attention to shadow, camera "walk-throughs" (actors walk towards a camera followed by a shot of them moving away, as if they moved through it), and closeups on peasant faces.
After the success of La aldea maldita, Rey was retained as a director for CIFESA, though he traveled and filmed in other countries during the 1930s. While touring Mexico to promote and show Morena Clara, Rey and his wife Imperio Argentina were courted by German officials intending to hire him to direct movies for Hispano-Film Produktion. Upon their visit to Germany, Rey and Argentina were met by both Adolf Hitler and Joseph Goebbels to discuss film projects. Goebbels requested that Rey remake one of his earlier films based on a rewritten script that would be provided to him. Instead, Rey decided on an adaptation of Carmen. The resulting film, Carmen la de Triana, starred Argentina as the titular Carmen.
Rey remained in Germany and made additional films for Hispano-Film Produktion. His last film with Argentina was La cancion de Aixa (Aixa's Song) in 1939. Amidst rumors that Argentina had an affair with Hitler, the couple divorced and Rey returned to Spain. Rey and Argentina's relationship in Germany was the inspiration for the film The Girl of Your Dreams, directed by Fernando Trueba in 1998.
Upon his return to Spain, Rey continued working for CIFESA studios. He received success with several films, including a remake of La aldea maldita, but was never able to match the success of his films with Argentina.
|Year||Spanish Title||English Title||Notes|
|1921||La verbena de la paloma||The Fair of the Dove||Actor|
|1925||Los chicos de la escuela|
|1925||El Lazarillo de Tormes|
|1926||El cura de aldea|
|1926||El pilluelo de Madrid|
|1927||The Mysteries of Tangier|
|1927||Sister San Sulpicio||The debut of Imperio Argentina|
|1928||Agustina of Aragon|
|1928||Los claveles de la virgen|
|1929||Fútbol, amor y toros||Soccer, Love, and Bullfighting||Rey's first talkie|
|1929||La aldea maldita||The Cursed Village||Originally released in sound, but sound version presumed lost. Silent version survived.|
|1931||The Pure Truth|
|1931||Los buenos dias|
|1932||El cliente seductor|
|1933||Melodia de arrabal||Song of the Shantytown|
|1934||Sister San Sulpicio||Remake in sound of an earlier Rey film|
|1934||El novio de mamá||Mama's Suitor|
|1934||Sierra de Ronda|
|1934||Soy un senorito|
|1935||Nobleza baturra||Aragonese Virtue or Rustic Chivalry|
|1936||Morena Clara||Clara, the Brunette or Dark and Bright|
|1938||Carmen, la de Triana|
|1939||The Song of Aixa||Rey's last film with Argentina|
|1941||Polizón a bordo||Stowaway on Board|
|1942||La aldea maldita||The Cursed Village||Remake of an earlier Rey film|
|1942||Eramos siete a la mesa|
|1945||La luna vale un millon|
|1947||La nao capitana|
|1948||Brindis a Manolete|
|1950||Cuentos de La Alhambra|
|1953||La moza de cántaro|
|1954||La cruz de mayo|
|1954||La danza de los deseos|
|1954||Maleficio/Tres citas con el destino||Witchcraft/Three Dates with Destiny|
- Mira Nouselles (2010), p. 261
- D'Lugo (1997), p. 194
- Pavlovic et al. (2009), p. 19
- Goble (1991), p. 1456
- Triana-Toribio (2003), p. 20
- Stone (2002), p. 28
- Stone (2002), p. 31
- Faulkner (2013), p. 35
- Faulkner (2013), p. 30
- Mira Nouselles (2010), pp. 11–12
- Faulkner (2013), p. 40
- Pavlovic et al. (2009), p. 16
- Kinder (1993), pp. 460–61
- Stone (2002), pp. 33–34
- Mira Nouselles (2010), p. 262
- Stone (2002), p. 36
- Stone (2002), p. 21
- Stone (2002), p. 31
- D'Lugo (1997), p. 5
- D'Lugo (1997), p. 6
- Kinder (1993), p. 70
- Mira Nouselles (2010), p. 287
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