El verdugo

After years of idle duty, the official executioner decides to retire, but first he must appoint a successor who will collect his state salary and, if luck has it, marry his desirable daughter. A squeamish undertaker, José Luis (played to the hilt by Nino Manfredi) finds his head in this double-knotted noose, succumbing, after much compromise, to this grim profession and its husbandly benefits. José Luis lives a life of domestic denial-hoping the death penalty won't be employed-until the noose tightens. Berlanga's masterpiece is a dark comedy backlit by the knowledge that in Franco's regime execution was the penalty of choice. This is gallows humor until the bottom falls out, then it's tragedy. 

This page may by only partially complete.