- Fraile, Alfredo
- (1912-1994)Cinematographer (and later producer) Alfredo Fraile worked as a photographer and projectionist before contributing cinematography for a series of Civil War documentaries directed by Fernando Delgado. His detailed and contrasted photography for Carlos Arévalo's ¡Harka! (1941) was his first substantial work for a feature film, and his skill and technical expertise dominates black-and-white films of the 1940s and 1950s. Closely associated to key CIFESA productions, he was responsible for the look of a prestigious list of films including ¡A mí la legión! (Follow the Legion! Juan de Orduña, 1942), Huella de luz (A Trace of Light, Rafael Gil, 1943), Eloísa está debajo de un almendro (Eloisa Is Underneath an Almond Tree, Rafael Gil, 1943), El clavo (The Nail, Rafael Gil, 1944), La princesa de los Ursinos (The Princess of the Ursines, Luis Lucia, 1947), De mujer a mujer (Woman to Woman, Luis Lucia, 1950), La leona de Castilla (The Lioness of Castile, Juan de Orduña, 1951), and Alba de América (Dawn of America, Juan de Orduña, 1951). Many of these were historical films or literary adaptations that benefited from the strongly epic look contributed by Fraile. In these years, he established a close collaboration with director Rafael Gil, with whom he went on working during the 1950s on a series of titles including Murió hace quince años (He Died Fifteen Years Ago, 1954), El beso de Judas (Judas' Kiss, 1954), and La otra vida del Capitán Contreras (Captain Contreras' Other Life, 1955). Moving away from the literary look of these films into more modern territory, he was also responsible for the cold, sparse images of Juan Antonio Bardem's Muerte de un ciclista (Death of a Cyclist, 1955) and the bullfighting film A las cinco de la tarde (At Five in the Afternoon, 1961).His images have been faulted for academicism and an empty exquisiteness, but these were exactly the qualities required for that kind of product. He started working in color in 1955, with El difunto es un vivo (The Dead Man Is Very Clever, Juan Lladó), but his work faltered at that point and became less distinctive. From the mid-1960s, he worked mainly as producer of films including the spaghetti Western For a Few Dollars More and Manolo Escobar musicals like El padre Manolo (Father Manolo, Ramón Torrado, 1967), Pero. . . ¿En qué país vivimos? (But. . . What Country Do We Live In? José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, 1967), En un lugar de la Manga (A Place in La Manga, Mariano Ozores, 1970), and Me debes un muerto (You Owe Me a Corpse, José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, 1971).
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.