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Cria Cuervos (The Criterion Collection) (1976)

Geraldine Chaplin , Mónica Randall , Carlos Saura  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Geraldine Chaplin, Mónica Randall, Florinda Chico, Ana Torrent, Héctor Alterio
  • Directors: Carlos Saura
  • Writers: Carlos Saura
  • Producers: Elías Querejeta, Pedro El Samu
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2007
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000QXDFR6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,165 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Cria Cuervos (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Carlos Saura’s exquisite Cría cuervos… heralded a turning point in Spain: Shot while General Franco was on his deathbed, the film melds the personal and the political in a portrait of the legacy of fascism and its effects on a middle-class family (the title derives from the Spanish proverb: "Raise ravens and they’ll peck out your eyes"). Ana Torrent (the dark-eyed beauty from The Spirit of the Beehive) portrays the disturbed eight-year-old Ana, living in Madrid with her two sisters and mourning the death of her mother, whom she conjures as a ghost (played by an ethereal Geraldine Chaplin). Seamlessly shifting between fantasy and reality, the film subtly evokes both the complex feelings of childhood and the struggles of a nation emerging from the shadows.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CRIA CUERVOS... Y TE SACARÁN LOS OJOS August 9, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Finally, it appears, Criterion is getting around to releasing some of the many great Spanish films of the past decades. High time they noticed there have been some astounding Spanish films and directors beyond Luis Buñuel, undoubtedly the great master. But Saura, Berlanga, Bardem, Borau, Erice, Bigas Luna, and quite a few more I could name, have directed some masterpieces that also deserve the special Criterion teatment. After the recent and excellent release of El Espíritu de la Colmena (Spirit of the Beehive), now comes Cría Cuervos, a fascinating parable, somewhere between fantasy and reality, that beyond the too obvious symbolism of a country finally liberating itself from a long dictatorship, it is an intelligent exploration of the scary world of troubled childhood. And Ana Torrent (the same girl of Spirit of the Beehive) speaks volumes just with those incredible dark eyes. My copy is in its way, but I don't doubt Criterion transfer and worthy extras will deserve a 5-star rating.

UPDATING: Having just received my copy, I can say I am very pleased with the excellent transfer of the movie. It looks great. But I am even more impressed by the extras on the second disc:. Mainly, a wonderfully insightful portrait of Carlos Saura (more than one hour long), produced by TVE (state-run Spanish tv) in 2004 -unfortunately in a non-anamorphic widescreen transfer-, which I found as interesting as the film itself. Also a 20-minute incredibly candid and perceptive interview in English with Geraldine Chaplin (done for Criterion in 2007 susprisingly not in widescreen). I had the pleasure of interviewing the actress some years back for a Spanish publication and I knew how good and revealing she was in conversation with the press, unlike most film actors.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saura's Masterpiece May 2, 2002
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
Once upon a time, there was a dictator who ruled Spain whose name was Franco. While the most famous Spanish director, Luis Buñuel, left the country to work uninhibited in France and Mexico, and the next generation's most famous director, Almodóvar, was just an infant, Carlos Saura was the director who remained in Spain making films that were critical of the dictatorial regime but escaped the vigilant eyes of the censors because of their subtlety and his use of metaphor and symbolism. Cría is the product of this masterful director who dared to challenge the authoritarian government.
On the surface, it is the story of a young girl, Ana, who is obsessed with death because she witnesses the slow death of her mother from a painful disease; but she also witnesses the infidelities and hypocrisy of the adults that surround her: her father who dies while having intimate relations with a close family friend, an aunt who is left as her guardian who is incapable of affection, and a bawdy maid who doesn't know how to appropriately deal with this young girl.
When one views the film for a second or third time, he/she realizes that it is a scathing indictment of the treatment of women in traditional Spain, the Spain that Franco was intent on re-creating. There is the invalid grandmother, unable to speak, who symbolizes the forced silence of women or, at least, the failure to take them seriously during the Franco era. There is the mother (exquisitely portrayed by Geraldine Chaplin) who sacrifices her career as a budding concert pianist to become a mother and wife (again, the traditional role of the repressed Spanish woman).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reality and imagination merge for orphaned Ana July 4, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
"Cria!" tells the story of a little girl named Ana (Ana Torrent), who has lost both of her parents. However, they are still in her thoughts, so this captivating work from writer-director Carlos Saura merges her thoughts with reality. Ana continues to talk with her parents, especially her mother, also named Ana and wonderfully played by Geraldine Chaplin (yes, I was surprised to realize it was her in this film as well). Throughout this film you will be wondering what is real and what is imagination, although it is clear as to which is more important to Ana. It is nice to see that this film appears letterboxed and digitally re-mastered with new subtitles. However, if you can watch this film with somebody who knows Spanish you should get them to tell you the words of the song little Ana keeps singing, because it is that song which is her "cry" in this film. One of the strengths of this film is how Saura using camera angles to reflect the little girl's perspective on the world. This is an intelligent as well as an affective portrayal of a young child dealing with the loss of her parents. Originally released in Spain as "Cria Cuervos," this film won the Cannes Festival Special Jury Prize.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film September 19, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

Cría cuervos known in Ebglish as "Raise Crows" is about three sisters focusing on the middle one (Ana Torrent) and her childhood after the death of her parents. The film drifts through time and reality as she has visions of her dead mother (Geraldine Chaplin).

I found the film to be very well made and an excellent inclusion of the Spanish pop song "Porque te vas" by Jeanette. I had never heard of the song before watching this and really like the style of the song.

The film is said to be based on the end of an era in Spain. The film was made while Franco was dying and is based on what was to come afer he died.

The special features are as follows. Disc one contains the film with the theatrical trailer. Disc two contains "Portrait of Carlos Saura" a documentary on Saura's films. There are also interviews with Ana Torrent and Geraldine Chaplin.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful child actor
The little girl is a treat to watch and I liked the song she plays on her audio device. Most enjoyable movie
Published 12 months ago by Lynn
4.0 out of 5 stars A somewhat heavy-handed, but still interesting allegory
As a very thinly veiled allegory about the Franco regime, this film works quite well. Showing the military uniforms at the funeral and then the song "Porque te vas," which was... Read more
Published on April 28, 2011 by Energeticus
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent film- bad quality product for technical reasons
This review may contain spoilers ***

I agree with some other reviewers: I think this might just be my favorite film of all time. Read more
Published on January 10, 2011 by lyceemoliere
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice movie! / Buena película!
Me parecen acertados los comentarios que subrayan los elementos de grisura y aislamiento presentes en el ambiente de una casona, y en la severa impenetrabilidad del mundo adulto... Read more
Published on August 16, 2010 by GeraldBostock1972
5.0 out of 5 stars Saura the only director to survive Franco's Spain
Ana Torrent(the dark-eyed beauty from The Spirit if the Beehive) portrays the disturbed 8 year old Ana,living in Madrid with her two sisters,mourning the death of her mother whom... Read more
Published on July 17, 2010 by technoguy
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret of Ana
It is hard to be a child no matter what country or times you live in. It is unbearably painful for a child to lose their most beloved and close person in the world, to miss them... Read more
Published on May 8, 2009 by Galina
4.0 out of 5 stars "Cría cuervos y te arrancarán los ojos" -- "Raise...
Ana (played by 9-year-old Ana Torrent) is one of three daughters in a wealthy Madrid family. The plot of "Cria Cuervos" is nonlinear and somewhat difficult to describe without... Read more
Published on April 30, 2009 by Westley
4.0 out of 5 stars What I look for in movies.
The movie drags excessively in a couple of parts, but most of the pace is appropriate. The confused depictions of reality authentically mirror a child's perspective. Read more
Published on January 21, 2009 by From Elder
5.0 out of 5 stars Very intense
Very intense and well made film set in 1970s Spain under the Franco regime. I haven't watched the extras yet, but the transfer is excellent, and the actors are fantastic,... Read more
Published on June 21, 2008 by MarkusG
5.0 out of 5 stars deeply moving film
I watched this movie a couple of times, for the first time back in mid 1970s while in high school. I was moved already then but probably did not understood everything "properly". Read more
Published on December 24, 2007 by colonel Misiak
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