JL
José Luis Sáenz de Heredia

José Luis Sáenz de Heredia

Unlike many artists of his generation, Saenz de Heredia fought on the Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War, eventually achieving the rank of lieutenant. Closely linked to the Franco cause throughout his life, Saenz de Heredia made two admiring films about the dictator. "Raza" (Race), shot in 1942 at the height of Spanish fascism, was inspired by Franco's life and on which the dictator himself reportedly had a hand in the story. He followed up in 1964 with "Franco, Ese Hombre" (That Man Franco), an unabashed homage. Nevertheless, by the end of his career, even Saenz de Heredia's political foes lauded him as a cinema great. As the head of Madrid's National Department of Cinematography after the Civil War, Saenza de Heredia oversaw production of propagandist documentaries and newsreels. Under the auspices of his own Chapalo Films, he made an ambitious version of "Don Juan," "Todos Es Posible En Granada." This prolific Spanish filmmaker also helmed many popular comedies and dramas from the 1940s to the early 60s including "El Escandalo," "Mariona Rebull," "La Mies Es Mucha," "La Verbena de la Paloma," and what many critics view as his masterpiece, "Historias de la Radio."
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