La comedia áurea en el lienzo de plata: análisis de la recepción de la comedia nueva a partir de sus reescrituras fílmicas

Student thesis: Doctoral thesis


The cinematic qualities of the comedia are well-known as they have been highlighted many times. However, the very few plays that have been adapted to cinema have not raised interest among scholars. This thesis aims at reversing this trend by: creating a corpus of plays that have been adapted to cinema; detecting geographical, chronological and subject-matter trends in the selection of titles transferred to cinema; specifying which images of the comedia have been promoted by cinema; and finally, checking whether cinema has played a relevant role in the diffusion of this theatrical legacy. To pursue these aims I have studied ten films, which are analysed in the five main chapters of the thesis. I have prioritized the scrutiny of films adapting plays by Lope de Vega, as he is the most adapted playwriter of the Spanish Golden Age. I have also included two biopics of Lope in order to appraise how the playwright has been pictured in cinema. The results evidence the lack of a tradition in adapting the comedia to cinema and the poor role of cinema in disseminating such literary legacy. Despite the reflourishing of the interest for the comedia during the Second Spanish Republic, the short course of the latter rendered inviable the development of a project aimed at consolidating the Golden Age heritage. Under Franco there were many attempts at adapting the comedia, but the intransigence of the censorship turned these efforts unsuccesful in many cases. The adaptations that throve during the first stages of the dictatorship did a conservative interpretation of the comedia and idealised the period of the Spanish Empire. During late Francoism, however, some films of progressive orientation drew on that legacy to speak about corruption in the justice system and the debassment of those submitted under opressive regimes. In any case, the comedia was not used as clearly as a political tool beyond Spain. The Golden Age drama was adapted to cinema aiming at transferring light-hearted stories to the public and promoting, through music and dancing, a cheerful and jovial atmosphere. At a later time, Pilar Miró took the soviet adaptation of El Perro del Hortelano, Sobaka na sene (Y. Frid, 1978), as her main inspiration for her version of Lope’s play, and followed the same path in order to entertain the public. After the success earned by her film, Pilar Miró aimed at developing a cinematographic tradition of the Spanish Golden Age theatre, but death truncated her aspirations. Nowadays, after the adaptation of La dama boba by Manuel Iborra (2006), the comedia is in a stand-by waiting for new adaptations that contribute, jointly with other media like television and theatre, to disseminate our still poorly known classical theatrical heritage.
Date of Award16 Mar 2018
Original languageCatalan
SupervisorGonzalo Ponton Gijon (Director)


  • Film adaptation
  • Contemporary reception of the Golde Age drama heritage
  • Literary reception

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