Mariscal, Ana


Mariscal, Ana
(1923-1995)
   Ana Mariscal was born in Madrid. She debuted on film in 1940, with El último húsar (The Last Husar, Luis Marquina, 1940), but it was the huge success of her second film, José Luis Sáenz de Heredia's Raza (Race, 1941), in which she played the life companion to the Franco-like protagonist, that turned her into a star. She was one of the most popular performers of the 1940s. Her glamorous image played well in bland historical epics like La princesa de los Ursinos (The Princess of the Ursines, Luis Lucia, 1947), but she was particularly good when called on to project steely determination and inner strength. This image contrasted with stereotypes of femininity, something she exploited playing Don Juan onstage. She was in El tambor del Bruch (The Drummer of Bruch, Ignacio F. Iquino, 1948), De mujer a mujer (Woman to Woman, Luis Lucia, 1950), and Un hombre va por el camino (A Man Walks Along the Road, Manuel Mur Oti, 1949), in which she gave a characteristically charismatic performance as a hard-working widow who lives in the mountains and takes in a wandering man against all social convention.
   At this time, Mariscal had already a substantial career as a theater director, and in 1952, she set up her own production company, Bosco Films, and made her film directing debut with the neorealist-influenced comedy Segundo López, aventurero urbano (Segundo López, Urban Adventurer, 1953). This was followed by the melodrama Con la vida hicieron fuego (They Made Fire with Life, 1957). After these two unusual films, her output became more conventional, although she continued to produce, and also had writing credits in many of her films. She continued acting and directing through the 1950s and into the 1960s, which she alternated with teaching at the Instituto de Investigaciones y Experiencias Cinematográficas. Her adaptation of Miguel Delibes novel, El camino (The Road, 1964) has been regarded as her best film. From 1963, she went back onstage and started a career as an acting teacher at the film school. Her last film as director was El paseíllo (The Walk, 1968). From that time on, she made very few film appearances, the last being in an iconic supporting role in El polizón del Ulises (Stowaway aboard the Ulysses, Javier Aguirre, 1987), which also featured 1940s stars Imperio Argentina and Aurora Bautista.

Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. . 2010.

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