Ricardo Franco

Active - 1976 - 2006  |   Born - Jan 1, 1950   |   Died - May 20, 1998   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy Drama, Romance, Thriller

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Biography by Sandra Brennan

The nephew of the king of Spanish B-movies, Jesus Franco, director Ricardo Franco worked in larger features and was a key figure in the foundation of what can be called Madrid independent cinema. Like others in the movement, Franco started out as a very young man in the late '60s, but he did not gain notice until he released his sophomore film, Pascual Duarte (1975), a disturbing drama about an ignorant peasant who protests his lot in life by going on a murder spree that claims the life of his dog, mule, mother, and landlord. Due to one particularly gruesome scene, the film caused some controversy at that year's Cannes Film Festival, but still won a Best Actor award for its star Jose Luis Gomez. Though the film's protagonist was a killer, Franco attempted to portray him sympathetically. A compassionate view of society's roughest, most downtrodden people would become the hallmark of Franco's subsequent works. His next drama, Los Restos del Naufragio (The Remains From the Shipwreck) (1978), was more romantic and focused on the reminiscence of a nursing home-bound senior citizen. Through the '80s, Franco made a broad range of films, including the dark musical drama Berlin Blues (1988). Franco's final film, La Buena Estrella (The Lucky Star) (1997), was a somber, true story of three misfits who come together to form a family. Franco died of heart failure at the age of 48.

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