On Thursday, Miracle
When the old spa in Fontecilla, which had earlier been a very popular place because of its medicinal waters, begins to decline and sink into oblivion, the local powers that be get together to find a solution and draw a plan to promote it again and increase the number of tourists coming to visit the village. To do that they invent a fake miracle which consists of the apparition of San Dimas (Saint Dismas), also known as “the good thief”, who will appear every Thursday in the old train station. Despite his original reticence, Don José interprets the saint for Mauro, the village fool, who receives instructions and is told to spread the news among the population, walking through the streets and crying out the news.
The farce begins to bring in the first results, congregating a great number of believers every Thursday and giving the village new fame. But, one day, a thief, who hides his true identity, arrives in Fontecilla and insinuates that he knows about the behaviour and intentions of the impostors. This fact, together with a series of unexpected events and the ever increasing number of recoveries brought about by the fake miracle, creates big confusion among the group of impostors, who finally lose control and confess their lies, although nobody believes them. Worried, they look for the mysterious thief, but he has disappeared from the village and has only left a picture of himself with a dedication and the signature of San Dimas.
Production: Ariel, S.A. (Madrid) – Continental Produzione Domiziana Internazionale Cinematografica (Rome).
Director: Luis García Berlanga.
Story: Luis García Berlanga.
Screenplay: Luis García Berlanga and José Luis Colina.
Director of Photography: Francisco Sempere (B/W).
Music: Franco Ferrara.
Editor: Pepita Orduña.
Set Decorator: Enrique Alarcón.
Production Managers: Enrique Balader and Paolo Moffa.
Assistant Director: José Puyol. Continuity: Vicente Llosá. Second Cameraman: Miguel Agudo. Camera Assistant: Juan Jurado. Still photographer: José Calvo. Production Assistants: Jesús García Gargoles and Jesús Rodríguez Folgar. Make-up Artist: Adolfo Ponte. Assistant Make-up Artist: Manolita García. Set Dresser: Bernardo Ballester. Sound Engineer: Fernando Bernáldez. Assistant Editor: Alicia Castillo. Second Production Assistants: Joaquín Palomares and Fernando Lacruz. Furniture and Props: Mateo, Luna and Menjibar. Costume Design: Peris Hermanos. Set Constructor: Tomás Fernández. Film Studios: Chamartín, S.A. (Madrid). Music Edition: Maxima. Sound System: RCA. Laboratory: Madrid Film (Madrid).
Richard Basehart (Martino / Saint Dismas), José Isbert (don José), Paolo Stoppa (don Salvador), Juan Calvo (don Antonio), Alberto Romea (don Ramón), Félix Fernández (don Evaristo), Manuel de Juan (don Manuel), Guadalupe Muñoz Sampedro (doña Paquita), Manuel Alexandre (Mauro), José Luis López Vázquez (priest, don Fidel), Luigi Tosi (man), Nicolás Perchicot (don Eugenio), Mariano Ozores (don Arturo), María Gámez (doña Rosaura), Julia Delgado Caro (doña Eva), Félix Briones (bailiff), Josefina Bejarano (doña Margarita), Concha López Silva (Carmela), Paz Robles (doña Concha), José Montero Ríos (bishop), Pedro Beltrán (sacristan), Paquito Amor (boy on crutches), Luis Varela (Luisito), Jesús Rodríguez (schoolboy).
Award for best original story the from Cinematographic Writers Guild, Spain.
Special Mention for best film during the III Valladolid Film Festival.
Alhama de Aragón (Zaragoza).
Release Date: 2 February 1959.
Official Film Rating: Primera A (First Class A).