- Founded by Cesáreo González in 1941, Suevia Films was the most prolific production company during the Franco period after the demise of CIFESA in the early 1950s. Born to a very poor Galician family, González's rags-to-riches story is the stuff film legends are made of: he emigrated to Cuba in the mid-1920s, traveled to Mexico, and returned after the Civil War to his native Vigo in 1931, with a solid knowledge of the film industry. One of the early films produced by Suevia Films, Polizón a bordo (Stowaway on Board, Florián Rey, 1941), was actually based on his experiences abroad.Even in the 1940s, Suevia was one of the most important companies of the country, producing an unusual two to three films a year in the critical mid-decade years. Although never interested in buying property to build his own soundstages (Hollywood style), González used some aspects of the studio system, such as a more or less permanent team of directors (including José Luis Sáenz de Heredia and Florián Rey) and technicians, and, most importantly, a group of stars under exclusive contracts who were discovered and molded by the producer. Among them, the most important were Lola Flores, Carmen Sevilla, José Suárez, Paquita Rico, Joselito, Sara Montiel, and Marisol.The 1960s were the golden period for Suevia Films, which produced a number of artistically unambitious but very commercial films with the potential to be exhibited abroad. Musicals, especially the colorful folkloric variety, were a strength of the company, as well as light comedies with theatrical sources. González worked hard at co-productions (particularly with Mexico, but also with Italy, France, and Great Britain) and internationalization. In that decade, he set up the most successful Spanish distribution network abroad, which gave visibility to his projects. When González died unexpectedly in 1968, the company was still doing very good business, although without its leader it soon entered a phase of decadence.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.
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