This masterpiece of black humor, beloved in Spain but too little seen elsewhere, threads a scathing critique of Franco-era values through a macabre farce about an undertaker who marries an executioner’s daughter and reluctantly takes over her father’s job so the family can keep their government-allotted apartment. As caustic today as it was in 1963, this early collaboration between Luis Garci´a Berlanga and his longtime screenwriter Rafael Azcona is an unerring depiction of what Berlanga called “the invisible traps that society sets up for us.” A furiously funny personal attack on capital punishment, The Executioner evaded the state censors who sought to suppress it, and today is regarded as one of the greatest Spanish films of all time.
New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
New interview with filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar
New program on director Luis García Berlanga, featuring interviews with his son José Luis Berlanga; film critic Carlos F. Heredero; writers Fernando R. Lafuente and Bernardo Sánchez Salas; and director of the Berlanga Film Museum Rafael Maluenda
Spanish television program from 2012 on The Executioner, featuring archival interviews with Berlanga
New English subtitle translation
PLUS: An essay by film critic David Cairns