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Genres: Drama , Crime , Comedy
Actors: Berta Ojea , Gracia Olayo , Eduardo Antuña , Cesáreo Estébanez , Ramón Barea , Terele Pávez , Eduardo Gómez , Luciano Federico , Enrique Martínez , Manuel Tallafé , Luis Castro , Eusebio Poncela , Carmen Maura , Ángel de Andrés López , Sancho Gracia
Director: Álex de la Iglesia
Country: Spain
Year: 2002
IMDB Rating: 6.3/10 (2454 votes)

Julián Torralba is a former movie stuntman in Almeria, Spain. He and several of his colleagues, who once made a living in American Westerns shot in Spain, now are reduced to doing stunt shows for minuscule audiences on the decaying set built for those old Westerns. Julián wrestles with dark memories of the death of his son, also a stuntman, and with estrangement from his daughter-in-law Laura and her son Carlos. Carlos, a young boy, becomes intrigued with his late father’s life and runs away to join Julián and his band of has-beens. There Carlos is initiated into the rambunctious life of these hard-drinking faux cowboys. But when Laura, a powerful executive looking for a new site for a tourist resort, learns that Carlos has joined the hated Julián, she moves to destroy even this remnant of Julián’s once-proud career. Julián and the cowboys decide to fight back the only way they know how.

Film Review

After COMUNIDAD, I was prepared to watch anything this lot did. Well ten minutes in, it was being brought home to me that this one was even better.First surprise, the always watchable Carmen Maura’s part is quite minor and while I must have seen Sancho Gracia half a dozen times, including some of my favorite movies like MARTIN H and COMUNIDAD, I’d never realized what a great screen presence he could be.Big surprise however is how completely the film sucks you in. The Euro-Cowboy movie imagery – complete with the half animated drawings of the titles, backed by THE GODD THE BAD AND THE UGLY music – carries the spectator away in the opening, with the bogus Yak Canutt transfer to the speeding horse team and particularly the bender where the stunt show regulars with tomato picker Indians go on a horse back rampage, financed by Maura’s 12 year old’s Visa card.We love these people and wish we knew them when we were twelve, despite the fact that they keep on telling us that what they do is a …

This homage to Spaghetti Westerns (those films made mostly in the 60s in Spain under Italian directors and actors using English names) could have been a bit better. Directed by Spanish director (and infant terrible) Alex de la Iglesia, it starts as the story of a boy who leaves his home in order to search his paternal grandfather, Julian (Spanish veteran actor Sancho Gracia), a former movie stuntman who worked in those westerns and whose main claim to fame is to having been Clint Eastwood's double in some of those movies (he even had speaking parts in some of those, he claims). Spaghetti westerns are long gone, but the grandfather still ekes out a living working as a stuntman in a decrepit theme park in southern Spain dedicated to the American West. However, as the park attracts few visitors, developers (including the boy's mother, played by Almodovar regular Carmen Maura) are planning to bulldoze the place and build a new park. Julian, who originally received his grandson rel…

800 Bullets (or 800 Balas) is the story of a young boy about 12 years old named Carlos Torralba (Luis Castro). Carlos thinks his life is boring and has become quite a handful for both his mother and everyone else he comes in contact with. Eventually, he discovers he has a grandfather named Julián Torralba (Sancho Gracia), who was a movie star in the 60’s.Now Julián no longer acts in movies but he works in a daily, western type live show for tourists, kind of like something you would see at Universal Studios or something of that nature. Carlos is infatuated with the fact his grandfather was an actor and decides to sneak off to meet him while he is supposed to be on a ski trip. He uses his mother’s emergency credit card and he’s off.At first, Carlos has the time of his life and even has his first experience with a hooker! It must have been fun filming that one for young Luis. Anyhow, he eventually sees his grandfather as the has-been he really is.This movie was a hard one …

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