Senior was as much a script-writer as he was a fiction writer, and having as his best friend Ladislao Vajda, of course, helped steer his books and interest towards the silver screen. Senior has three movies to his name: My Uncle Jacinto, that became a blockbuster and in today's Spanish film festivals often competes for "Best Spanish/Hispanic film ever". Paco Never Fails, that has never been shown outside Spain because of contractual disagreements. Dom Juam (or Don Juan), that is Marcel Marceau's mime-interpretation of Doña Juana. Sin Uniforme, that was produced by Warner Brothers but that I have never managed to see.
MY UNCLE JACINTO
My father wrote the book Mi Tio Jacinto/My Uncle Jacinto and then also the script for the movie together with Ladislao Vajda. The movie became a blockbuster and still is popular, often shown as a contender for Spain's best movies ever. It starred Pablito Calvo and Antonio Sica and is a movie for children of all ages, depicting a special day in the lives of down-and-nearly-out ex-bullfighter Jacinto and his streetwise nephew, Pepote. Honour is one antagonist, crime is another, booze a third, and separation the fourth (and the common denominator). For a long time, things look pretty bleak: Jacinto is down and out, he is broke, he has been ridiculed in front of what we feel is the half of Madrid, and he has lost his main reason to live, his honor, in front of the boy who is the only important person in his life, and who is about to be taken from him. Don’t be daft, of course, it has a happy ending, sort of, maybe, if you choose to read it that way. Info IMDB. Buy the movie. VIDEO
PACO NEVER FAILS
Andres Laszlo Sr. wrote Paco el Seguro/Paco Never Fails, and co-wrote the script with Dedier Haudepin who also directed. The book/script was turned into a good movie, but because of contractual complications it never got shown outside Spain.
Paco Never Fails is set in Madrid – a place Andres Laszlo Sr. knows and paints well – in the early 1940s (i.e., during World War II just after the end of the Spanish Civil War). Here we meet Paco Garcia who makes his living by mating with young girls from the countryside: girls who have come to Madrid after unwanted pregnancies to make a better life for themselves as wet-nurses and eventually need a new pregnancy to restart the milk flow. This was at the time a real profession and the “impregnator” most likely to succeed (i.e. "never" fails became the one highest in demand. Paco sees himself as a serious and professional man, and he is determined to justify the income he is earning from his trade in this 100% decent period drama on a subject matter that would have allowed for a wide variety of alternative approaches. However, "never fails" isn't totally true because Paco has failed once – he has failed to grant his own wife her greatest wish, which is to become a mother – so when Maria, his wife, unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Paco’s world descends into chaos. Wikipedia. Info IMDb. VIDEO VIDEO ON NEW MOVIE
I do not know whether Senior wrote this from scratch or from some text that now has been lost but he is accredited as script-writer (minus dialogue). My guess is that there was an underlying work written by my father because he was a devoted pacifist that had spent time in jail for refusing to wear uniform Ladislao Vajda directed, and Warner Brothers produced. I have never seen the film. Info IMDb
Marcel Marceau performed his interpretation of Senior's Don Juan, Doña Juana, Juanita, and Juan, that I have renamed Doña Juana. The performance received good reviews and Marcel Marceau enjoyed the script (or choreography). I do not know the extent of Senior's involvement in the production of this play. View
Doña Juana must once have been a theater script, but the original score has been lost. What instead got published in Spanish was "a script dressed up as a novella" (Senior's Spanish publishers didn't publish theatre scripts). Senior worked as a stage manager and as a theater director in his youth, but I do not know whether Doña Juana was ever staged, but if so, it must have been back in the 1930s. However, as a mime, it has influenced the script that Marcel Marceau in the 1960s as Don Juan/Dom Juan. This text has now been turned back into a readable script but hasn't yet been given the attention it deserves.