Cinema in Franco’s Spain: Literary Adaptations and Cencorship


A society’s historical periods and its different forms of government give direction to its literary and cinematic production. Spanish cinema is one of the most important examples of the effects of repression and censorship. The bloody Spanish Civil War, which took place between the years 1936 and 1939 and ended with the victory of the Falangists, marked the beginning of hard censorship during Francisco Franco’s regime. Until Franco’s death in 1975, adaptations of Spanish literary classics were the saviors of film directors. Depending on the reputation of respected authors and their works, directors were able to achieve their goals despite the censorship. This article discusses the censorship imposed on Spanish cinema in the Franco era, the mechanisms of control, such as prohibited directors, authors, and novels, and the use of cinema in the regime’s attempt to reconstruct society.