- Flores, Lola
- (1923-1995)Lola Flores was one of the greatest folkloric singers during the Franco period, and one of the very few who enjoyed a sustained film career. Even as a teenager, she became famous for her fiery, passionate displays on stages everywhere during the Civil War, and she was a featured guest star in several films of the period. Contemporary reviews are filled with hyperbolic epithets, and she has been called everything from an "earthquake" to a "whirlwind," owing to her flamboyant movements. She was a national icon, known as La Lola de España (roughly translated as "Spain's own Lola"), and even in her later years she was very aware of her emblematic qualities, something she boasted about in numerous television appearances.Although Flores' legendary status as a stage and television star never flagged, her film career, although prolific, never took off in a comparable way. For her first substantial film appearance, she shared the screen with her stage partner Manolo Caracol in Embrujo (Enchantment, 1947), Carlos Serrano de Osma's inventive (but critically dismissed) approach to the folkloric genre.The film was not a box-office success, and it took a few years for Flores to attempt a second stab at film stardom. This time, she signed an exclusivity contract with producer Cesáreo González (Suevia Films), who put her in a series of vehicles, including La niña de la venta (The Girl from the Inn, Ramón Torrado, 1951). In 1952, she was sent by González to Mexico, where she continued taking part in vehicles for international consumption, sometimes sharing starring roles with Mexican singers. ¡Ay Pena, penita, pena! (Pain, Miguel Morayta, 1953) was her most popular film of this period. She came back for further Mexico-set films later in the 1950s, where she starred with songwriter Agustín Lara in Lola Torbellino (Lola Whirl-wind, René Cardona, 1956) and with singing star Miguel Aceves Mejía in Échame a mí la culpa (Put the Blame on Me, Fernando Cortés, 1959). But even in expensive productions, something in her film roles did not live up to her stage presence. She seems to be too restrained, contained by vapid plots, and she only comes alive when she starts to dance.An attempt was made during that decade to turn Flores into a character actress, and she was given dramatic parts. She claimed she could become an intense actress in the mold of Irene Papas or Anna Magnani, but the operation failed again: at that time, film stardom seemed reserved for less temperamental, more conventionally pretty Andalusian stars like Carmen Sevilla, with whom she shared billing in Flores's last important film El balcón de la luna (Balcony on the Moon, José Luis Sáenz de Heredia, 1962). Her career as a dancer and stage performer remained strong throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but only rarely did she come back to the movies. She showed her legendary temperament in Truhanes (Rogues, Miguel Hermoso, 1983) and gave a good comic performance as Queen Isabella in Juana la loca . . . de vez en cuando (Queen Juana Is Mad. . . From Time to Time, José Ramón Larraz, 1983), and her last cinema appearance was a memorable number in Carlos Saura's 1992 Sevillanas.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.
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Flores, Lola — (1923 1995) Lola Flores was one of the greatest folkloric singers during the Franco period, and one of the very few who enjoyed a sustained film career. Even as a teenager, she became famous for her fiery, passionate displays on stages… … Guide to cinema
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