Spanish Cinema and Pedro Almodóvar

Carol Murphy, Pace University

Document Type Article

This document was received by the Digital Commons on May 9, 2008 and posted on May 12,2008. Original document was submitted as an honors thesis requirement. Copyright is held by the author.


This paper examines how Spanish film evolved since the years of Franco’s dictatorship to the present. By examining the influence of Franco’s censorship on the film industry, this paper will analyze how his censorship affected the changes that took place in cinema after his death by analyzing the films of Pedro Almodóvar. The first part of this paper focuses on the censorship measures that were put into place by Franco’s regime. The paper also examines what genres were popular during Franco’s era and how the regime attempted to manipulate the film industry in order to promote its fascist ideology. The paper goes on to discuss several directors who challenged Franco’s censorship and how these directors subverted the censorship of their films. The second part of the paper focuses on the transition period (1975-1982) that took place in the Spanish government after Franco’s death and how its policies affected the film industry. With the abolishment of censorship, directors were able to make films that were unheard of during Franco’s regime. The cultural movement (la movida madrileña) that took place in Spain as a result of new found freedoms of expression translated into film, which was pioneered by the Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar. The last part of the paper analyzes the films made by Pedro Almodóvar from the time of la movida madrileña (late 1970s to the 1980s) to the present. This part of the paper focuses on how the cultural movement influenced the style, genres, and themes of Almodóvar’s films and how the style, genres, and themes of his films changed throughout his career. The paper discusses and compares how his films have evolved into well-developed, thought out, and conventional films with universal themes during the 1990s versus the punk rock, exaggerated, unconventional films of the 1980s.