Death and the Lumberjack

An episode from “Las cuatro verdades” (The Four Truths).

When he fails to produce some legal documents in order, an organ grinder nicknamed “el Rubio” (the Blond) is deprived of the crank he uses for his organ until he legalizes his situation, according to municipal regulations. From that moment on, he desperately tries to find a piece like the one the police took away in order to resume his work. This relentless search becomes his first priority, and it means he has to travel to different parts of Madrid with his donkey and the boy who works with him. During his journey he even thinks of becoming a thief and lives a series of extreme situations, the most tragic of which is when his donkey breaks one of its legs and he has to sell it to the slaughter house to be sacrificed. After that dramatic event he has to drag the organ round the city himself. The series of misfortunes end up causing him such state of desperation that he even thinks of killing himself, but he is so unfortunate that he is not able to commit suicide.

Production: Madeleine Films (Paris) – Franco London Film (Paris) – Hispamer Film (Madrid) – Ajace Produzione Cinematografica (Rome).

Director: Luis García Berlanga.

Original Idea: Frederic Grendel and Hervé Bromberger, based on fables by Jean de La Fontaine.

Story and Screenplay: Luis García Berlanga and Rafael Azcona.

Director of Photography: Francisco Sempere (B/W).

Music: Miguel Asíns Arbó and Georges Garvarentz (theme song).

Editor: Rosa Salgado.

Set Decorator: Andrés Vallvé and Tony Cortés.

Producer: Gilbert Goldschmidt.

Production Manager: Ángel Rosson.

Production Chief: Enrique Cabeza.

Assistant Director: Arturo González. Continuity: Pascual Cervera. Second Cameraman: Miguel Agudo. Sound Engineer: Felipe Fernández. Special Effects: Manuel Vaquero. Film Studios: C.E.A. (Madrid). Soundtrack: Exa, S.A. Sound System: Westrex. Laboratory: Foto Film S.A.E. (Barcelona).


Hardy Krüger (el Rubio/the Blond), Ana Casares (Juliana), Agustín González (porter), Manuel Alexandre (Casto), Ángel Álvarez (person in charge of roundabout), Xan das Bolas (policeman), Lola Gaos (nun), Pedro Beltrán (lifeguard), Fernando Delgado (frogman), Emilio Laguna (traffic policeman), José Luis Coll (customer at the market), Maribel Martín (young girl), Félix Fernández, José Guardiola, José Cortés, Rafael Cores, Vicente Llosá, José Manuel Martín, Mari Carmen Santonja, José Campo, Luis Marín, Jesús Guzmán.


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Release Date: 3 May 1963.

Official Film Rating: Primera B (First Class B).

Year of production


Year of release in Spain