La Nia de tus ojos (The Girl of Your Dreams) (1998)

 

 

Director:  Fernando Truebo

Starring:  Penlope Cruz (Macarena Granada), Antonio Resines (Blas Fontiveros, the Spanish director), Jorge Sanz (Julin Torralba), Rosa Maria SardB (Rosa Rosales), Santiago Segura (Castillo), Loles Len (Trini Morenos), Jess Bonilla (Marco Bonilla), Neus Asensi (Lucia Gandia), Miroslav Tborsk (Vclav Passer), Johannes Silberschneider (Goebbels), Karel Dobry (Leo), Gtz Otto (Heinrich von Wermelskirch), Hanna Schygulla (Magda Goebbels), Mara Barranco (Embajadora Juan Luis Galiardo (Embajador/ambassador).

Franco's Spain makes movies in Hitler's Germany

 

The year is 1938, during the Spanish Civil War.  As part of the collaboration between General Franco and Adolf Hitler, Germany invites a small theatrical troupe to film two versions of an Andalusian musical drama, one in German and the other in Spanish, of: "The Girl of Your Dreams" at the UFA Studios in Berlin.

Eager to get away from the Spanish Civil War, the small troupe of Spaniards begin filming in Berlin.  They soon realize that they have escaped one war for another and that the German Minister of Propaganda Goebbels  is enamored with one of their troupe: the actress Macarena Granada (Penelope Cruz). To make things worse the only acting extras with the typical look of Andalusia are the Gypsies and Jewish prisoners from a concentration camp provided by Goebbels to keep Macarena from leaving the production.  Macarena soon makes friends with one of the prisoners: a Russian Jew.  Learning of how terribly he is being treated, she plans to help him escape.   Needless to say, this puts the entire Spanish troupe in danger. 

The serious topic of the movie is somewhat lightened by elements of farce.  The various members of the troupe are involved in various comic love relations accompanied with the switching of bedrooms.  The comic vein is heightened with the addition of the attempts to hide the Russian escapee.  Because in a farce, the words come fast and loose, at times it is hard to keep up with the English subtitles in this Spanish film.  Penelope Cruz adds her delicious presence to the film, making the speed reading more bearable.    

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.

 


Historical Background:

 

During the Spanish Civil War, the movie making cities were Madrid and Barcelona, then both in the hands of the Republican forces.  So Fascist Germany invited the Fascist Spain to film their movies in Berlin, Germany at the UFA Studios.  So a number of Spanish movies were made by Spanish crews in two versions: one Spanish and one German.

The director of the film, Fernando Truebo, did considerable research on the Spanish element at UFA but found that there were literally no mentions of the Spaniards and their movies.  It is as if it never happened.

Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganada, and his wife Magda were extremely close to Hitler.  The couple, with their six children, committed suicide in Hitler's bunker in the very last days of the German part of World War II.  He was an extremely powerful man and very important to Hitler, who at one time even brokered the repair of the couple's marriage, damaged by Goebells's threatening to go off with one of the actresses in the German films.  As it says in the movie, Goebbels was always on the hunt for sex with the actresses, and some knew the UFA Studios as "Goebbels's brothel."

 

 

Return To Main Page

Return to Home Page (Vernon Johns Society)