- Lucia, Luis
- (1914-1984)Luis Lucia was one of the great craftsmen in the Francoist film industry, turning out efficiently a variety of projects with a decidedly populist streak. His strong points are precisely in those areas that made film a popular art in the 1940s and 1950s: spectacular sets and costume dramas, stars, songs, dances, and optimism.Lucia started as a contract scriptwriter, developing a particular sensitivity for issues of classical structure and character construction. His first credit as writer and director dates back to 1943, when he wrote one of the most popular comedies of early Francoism, El hombre que se quiso matar (The Man Who Wanted to Kill Himself, Rafael Gil, 1942). That same year he directed El 13-13, another hit comedy, which established him at CIFESA. His efficiency soon became recognized and, in the 1940s, he became one of the most prolific directors in the company and trusted with high budgets. He acquitted himself successfully in costume dramas like La duquesa de Benamejí (The Duchess of Benamejí, 1949). Also at CIFESA, he directed Currito de la Cruz (1949), considered by critics to be among the best of bullfighting movies. In the late 1940s, he became production manager at the studio, and used his legendary skill to keep budgets low in efficient spectaculars.Although he was basically a versatile industry man, by the end of the 1940s, Lucia had become something of a specialist in the Spanish folkloric musical. He directed Juanita Reina in Lola la piconera (Lola the Coalgirl, 1951) and two of the biggest stars of the genre in remakes of old Imperio Argentina hits such as La hermana San Sulpicio (Sister Saint Sulpicio, 1952), starring Carmen Sevilla and Morena Clara (1954), with Lola Flores as the loquacious gypsy. His gift in discovering talent also became legendary. He took a chance on a blonde Andalusian girl whom he would go on to transform into Marisol in a film called Un rayo de luz (Ray of Light, 1960). He also discovered teenage stars Rocío Dúrcal and Ana Belén. He continued to direct musicals through the 1960s, with titles including Tómbola (Prize Draw, 1962), Rocío de la Mancha (1963), Pepa Doncel (1969), and La novicia rebelde (The Rebellious Novice, 1971). He retired from filmmaking in 1972.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.