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A Cinema of ContradictionSpanish Film in the 1960s$
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Sally Faulkner

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748621606

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748621606.001.0001

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Franco’s Great Family: La gran familia (The Great Family, Palacios 1962)

Franco’s Great Family: La gran familia (The Great Family, Palacios 1962)

(p.27) Chapter 1 Franco’s Great Family: La gran familia (The Great Family, Palacios 1962)
A Cinema of Contradiction

Sally Faulkner

Edinburgh University Press

Fernando Palacios's consensual comedy La gran familia seemed to contain everything that the promoters of the Nuevo Cine Español considered wrong with the Viejo Cine Español. The film's celebration of the conservative ideology that underpinned Francoism, attractively packaged as light, or ‘white’, family comedy, and supported by popular stars, pushed all the right buttons on the classification board, which awarded it the coveted subsidy. La gran familia might be considered a tool of propaganda to support government policy. This chapter examines how the film conceals contradictions to construct a conservative vision of the family that was convincing enough to win over the ‘National Interest’ awards board. The chapter harnesses genre, plot, musical score and performance style to naturalise Franco's 1960s Great Family and show that the current economic boom happily coexists with traditional family structures. It pays particular attention to the role played by the veteran comic actor José Isbert and the discourse of claustrophobia that is emphasised in the film by cinematography and editing.

Keywords:   La gran familia, comedy, family, Francoism, propaganda, contradictions, Great Family, José Isbert, claustrophobia, subsidy

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