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Operación Ogro

Spanish DVD cover
Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Produced by Franco Cristaldi
José Sámano
Written by Giorgio Arlorio
Ugo Pirro
Gillo Pontecorvo
Starring Gian Maria Volontè
José Sacristán
Ángela Molina
Eusebio Poncela
Ana Torrent
Music by Ennio Morricone
Cinematography Marcello Gatti
Editing by Mario Morra
Release date(s) ItalySeptember 28, 1979
Spain April 5, 1980
Running time 100 minutes
Country  Spain  Italy
Language Spanish

Operación Ogro is a 1979 Spanish and Italian drama film written and directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.

The film is based on true events, following the eponymous book by Julen Aguirre (pseudonym of Eva Forest).

The film won David di Donatello as Best Film.

All the actors, a mix of Spaniards and Italians, spoke Spanish in the dubbed version released in Spain, and in Italian in the dubbed Italian version.


Real Facts / Plot Summary

Operación Ogro (Operation Ogre) was the name given by ETA to the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco the then Prime Minister of Spain in 1973 and the succesor of Francisco Franco the then Spanish dictator. This attack was carried out on 20 December 1973.

An ETA commando group using the code name Txikia (after the nom de guerre of ETA activist Eustakio Mendizabal killed by Guardia Civil in April 1973) rented a basement flat at Calle Claudio Coello 104, Madrid on the route over which Luis Carrero Blanco used to go to mass at San Francisco de Borja church.

Over 5 months, this group dug a tunnel under the street - telling the landlord that they were student sculptors to disguise their real purpose. The tunnel was packed with 80 kg of explosives that had been stolen from a Government depot.

On 20 December 1973, a 3-man ETA commando group disguised as electricians detonated the explosives by command wire as Blanco's Dodge Dart passed. The explosion sent Luis Carrero Blanco and his car 20 metres into the air and over a five storey building. The car crashed down to the ground on the opposite side of a Jesuit college, landing on the second-floor balcony [1]. Luis Carrero Blanco survived the blast but died shortly afterwards. His bodyguard and driver were killed instantly. The "electricians" shouted to stunned passers-by that there had been a gas explosion, and subsequently escaped in the confusion.



José María Uriarte: Today, I'm not talking about the kingdom of God, but of a country that is this land. A country that doesn't exist, but nevertheless is ours. A country oppressed for centuries, and now crushed by the brutality of fascism. Now they ban us even from the right to pronounce our name in our native tongue: Euskadi. Country of the Basques. A word as sweet as any. Mother, land, soul. Does this mean that Euskadi is dead? Finished? No, it's not true. There are many who haven't given up fighting oppression and today still fight on in the shadows. I shall meet them tomorrow. I shouldn't tell anyone, but I trust you all. Not only because I know each and every on of you, but because, above all, you are Basques. I've tried for a long time to think only of God, but they keep on torturing and killing, and I cannot live the quiet life of a priest. So I must bid you farewell. Tomorrow I will have neither this class nor this cassock. I've asked God to forgive me. I ask you to pray for us. For this land, for freedom.

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