Bienvenido Mr. Marshall …(you’re a little late)

The Boyd article helped me understand the Berlanga movie Bienvenido Mr. Marshall in a way that I hadn’t before because I didn’t have it properly placed in history.

Here copy and pasted from Wikipedia is the part of the Marshall Plan that talks about Spain: “Large parts of the world devastated by World War II did not benefit from the Marshall Plan. The only major Western European nation excluded was Francisco Franco‘s Spain, which did not overtly participate in World War II. After the war, it pursued a policy of self-sufficiency, currency controls, and quotas, with little success. With the escalation of the Cold War, the United States reconsidered its position, and in 1951 embraced Spain as an ally, encouraged by Franco’s aggressive anti-communist policies. Over the next decade, a considerable amount of American aid would go to Spain, but less than its neighbors had received under the Marshall Plan.”

This is right about the time that Boyd says “cuando la estrategia geopolítica de los Estados Unidos permitía al régimen franquista salir de su aislamiento diplomático”(105). This is also the time that the article points to an increase in American historians studying Spanish contemporary history.

Perhaps the other side of the glass is how Spaniards are depicting American (obviously with humor). In 1953, Berlanga makes Bienvenido Mr Marshall. The whole movie is basically about what they want to ask the U.S. to give them including a very long dream sequence about this and then here is the last scene:

2 thoughts on “Bienvenido Mr. Marshall …(you’re a little late)

  1. Me sigue fascinando cómo esta película tan política pasó la censura. Sin duda, los de la tijera estaban a cargo de preservar la decencia y el decoro (obsesionados con el sexo, vamos. No recuerdo a qué periodista, ya en los sesenta, le hicieron borrar la palabra “axila” de un artículo. Sin embargo, una de las leyendas sobre la revista satírica La Codorniz, dice que en una portada aparecía una mujer despampanante con la torre de Pisa al fondo, la torre completamente recta. El chiste no lo pillaron los de la censura).

  2. Para mí, lo que la película me enseña es la sempiterna cerrazón española contra la modernidad. Aparte de todo el “flamenquismo”, el cura hace una lista de todos los vicios norteamericanos en donde no hay salvación posible. Es verdad que Berlanga lo humoriza, y lo problematiza al mismo tiempo, con la introducción de penitentes con las marcas KKK, además del juicio contra el cura.

    Con todo, yo no soy tan positivo como Boyd.

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