Photo of José Isbert José Isbert

José Isbert in The Executioner

The Executioner

1963 NR

This masterpiece of black humor, beloved in Spain but too little seen elsewhere, threads a scathing critique of Franco-era values through a macabre farce about an undertaker who marries an executioner's daughter and reluctantly takes over her father's job so the family can keep their government-allotted apartment. As caustic today as it was in 1963, this early collaboration between Luis García Berlanga (Welcome, Mr. Marshall!; Plácido) and his longtime screenwriter Rafael Azcona (El pisito, Belle Époque) is an unerring depiction of what Berlanga called "the invisible traps that society sets up for us."