Luis Garcia Berlanga
Along with Juan Antonio Bardem, Luis Garcia Berlanga emerged as the only significant figure in domestic Spanish film production of the 1950s. He first achieved international acclaim as the director of "Welcome Mr. Marshall" (1952), a comedy about the reaction of a small Spanish village to the Marshall Plan, which lifted Spanish cinema out of a fifteen-year doldrum. He earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film for 1961's "Placido," about an impoverished truck driver, and received the International Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival for "Not On Your Life" (1963), which dealt with a former undertaker's assistant who has second thoughts when he succeeds his father-in-law as the town's executioner. Berlanga's biggest commercial success came with "The National Shotgun" (1978), the first in a trilogy of films about the farcical effects of the post-Franco democracy on an aristocratic family. He also won attention with "Open Day in Jail/Todos a la Carcel" (1993), wherein an ambitious promoter proposes a tribute to political prisoners.