Public Domain Movies

Land Without Bread (1933)
Running Time: 30 mins Black & White
Starring: Abel Jacquin
Las Hurdes is one of the most disturbing, and most hilarious, films ever, and was so far ahead of its time that modern flirtations with the absurd and with black comedy pale in comparison. Ostensibly a documentary, it gradually betrays its subversiveness and we understand that it is a manufactured reality. In a memorably cruel moment, a goat tumbles off the side of a steep slope it is climbing after the narrator describes the precariousness of its climb. The puff of smoke that appears in frame just before the goat falls tells us that the goat had some help from the film crew in falling off the cliff. This film is brilliant and depraved and will either have you laughing hysterically or feeling rather upset, or possibly both.

Land Without Bread (1932)
Running Time: 28 mins Black & White

Documentary about the poorist region of Northern Spain in Las Hurdes Altas; a mountainous region with flinty soil which is impossible to grow on. Focuses on the trials of the people who call this area their home. With English commentary.

Spain in Revolt Part III (1938)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

The majority of this film, c. 1938, concerns the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), made up primarily of battle footage. While there is some good pictures of war and war devistation, the sound track is a bit odd, filled with "Charge Of The Light Brigade" and Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony." Due to film breaks, the sound of gun fire and music occasionally sputters, stops and starts abruptly. Occasionally, an awkward sounding narrator entones piously about the devistation of war. The film is definately anti-Franco, though he is never named, simply called "the rebels." The film closes with shots of the Pope in Rome, waving during Mass.

The Spanish Earth 1 (1937)
Running Time: 52 mins Black & White
Starring: Narrated by Orson Welles
The film opens in the village of Fuentidueña de Tajo (called "Fuentedueña" in the movie), showing the villagers trying to scratch a living from the dry soil and explaining the importance of bringing water to irrigate the fields so more crops can be produced and embattled Madrid can be fed. A map shows the position of the village on the Madrid-Valencia road, which must be kept open at all costs so the capital can be defended. The scene moves to Madrid, with another map showing the front line running west of the city, with a rebel salient in the Ciudad Universitaria, which the loyalists are shown attacking.

The Spanish Earth 2 (1937)
Running Time: 52 mins Black & White
Starring: Manuel Azaña, José Díaz, Dolores Ibárruri
A documentary showing the struggle of the Spanish Republican government against a rebellion by ultra-right-wing forces led by Gen. Francisco Franco and backed by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

The Spanish Earth 3 (1937)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White

1937 film of the Internationalle's high-point featuring Earnest Hemingway and Orson Welles. Camus might have been the truck driver.

The Spanish Earth 4 (1937)
Running Time: 9 mins Black & White

The Spanish Earth 5 (1937)
Running Time: 8 mins Black & White

The Spanish Earth 6 (1937)
Running Time: 10 mins Black & White