Archive of films Black Sky / Cielo negro

1951, 97 min

Section: Treasures from the European Film Archives
Year: 2004

The melodramatic story of a pair of ill-matched lovers set in Madrid at the beginning of the 1950s, strongly influenced by Neo-Realism. The restored copy of one of the best films by the Spanish director Manuel Mur Oti.


One of Manuel Mur Oti’s best films tells the story of the love of a poor employee of a Madrid fashion house (who looks after her sick mother) for her bohemian partner. In expensive, secretly-borrowed dresses she invents another life, but her misappropriation is revealed, she loses her job, and finds herself with still more ill fortune. Her mother is dying and her troubles culminate with the discovery that she is probably going blind. In her despair she thinks of suicide by jumping off a bridge. Melodrama, influenced by neo-realism, records the eternal conflict between reality and wanting, poverty and money, sickness and death. The closing travelling shot is especially uplifting, following the heroine along the Madrid street Bailén, from the viaduct to the church of St Francis.
1951 CEC Awards for Best Film and Best Actress: Susana Canales.

About the director

Manuel Mur Oti (Vigo, 1908–Madrid, 2003), director and scriptwriter. In the 1930s he left for Cuba where he studied law and literature. He was also attracted by film and began to write novels and scripts (e.g., for the four films by Antonio del Amo). He returned to Spain for good in 1949, and in 1953 founded his own production company. To mention a few films from his extensive filmography: Man on the Road(1949, Un hombre va por el camino - CEC Prize for Best Director); Black Sky (Cielo negro, 1951, CEC Prize for Best Actress, Susana Canales); Condenados (1953 - Special Mention for Best Direction at the IFF in Locarnu); Milagro a los cobardes (1961 - Special Prize for Best Film from the Sindicato National del Espectáculo): Dulcinea y el alba (1963), Loca juventud (1964); La encadenada (1972) and others.

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Treasures from the European Film Archives
Director: Manuel Mur Oti
Screenplay: Manuel Mur Orti, Antonio González Álvarez
Dir. of Photography: Manuel Berenguer
Music: Jesús García Leoz
Editor: Antnonio Gimeno, Sara Ontañón
Cast: Susana Canales, Fernando Rey, Luis Prendes, Teresa Casal


Blažena Urgošíková

Film Institution Rep.

Vladimír Opěla

Film Institution Rep.


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