EARLY YEARS: EL DESTINO SE DISCULPA
By Elena Anele (*)
EL DESTINO SE DISCULPA is a movie directed by José Luis Sáenz de Heredia and co-written by Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, a journalist and author whose short-story inspired this film.
Sáenz de Heredia started working with Buñuel during the II Republic and after the Spanish Civil War he became one of the most prolific filmmakers during Franco times. We cannot forget that it was him the one who directed Raza based on the screenplay written by Francisco Franco and that he even made a documentary about the dictator. He never hid he was a supporter of this political regime.
This film premiered in 1945 tells the story of Ramiro (Rafael Durán) and Teófilo (Fernando Fernán Gómez), two friends who are always together for the good and the bad. They try to become well-known writers and actors but they are not successful. One night Ramiro has an idea: the first one dying will guide the other in life. Just after the promise Teófilo has an accident and dies. And as promised his spirit will help Ramiro improve in his love life and career possessing different objects and adopting different shapes.
Apart from the moral message, implicit in every Sáenz de Heredia movie, it is a very interesting and innovative experiment for those years. A work totally different from the kind of cinema audience was expecting to see and which FX were amazingly done. especially when Teófilo possesses a little Don Quixote sculpture. A clear example of that Spanish cinema in the 40s and 50s was not only copla singers and bullfighters’ romantic stories.
Elena Anele is the woman in charge of SPANISHFEAR.COM, Horror Rises from Spain and Un Fan de Paul Naschy . A literature and cinema researcher, finishing her postgraduate studies with a thesis about the mystic filmmaker José Val del Omar. She has published in different media and books as Fangoria or Hidden Horror. She has also been in charge of several translations including Javier Trujillo’s complete works, La Mano Film Fest, The Man who Saw Frankenstein Cry and many more.