3 user 1 critic

Fair of the Dove (1963)

La verbena de la Paloma (original title)
The narrator of the film explains to us that the Madrid of today keeps its old structure. To confirm it, the film begins with a story based on modern characters, but soon jumps 70 years ... See full summary »


Ricardo de la Vega (libretto) (as Ricardo de la Vega), José Luis Sáenz de Heredia (adaptation)
2 wins. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Concha Velasco ... Susana / Mari Loli (as Conchita Velasco)
Vicente Parra ... Julián
Miguel Ligero ... Don Hilarión
Ángel Garasa ... Tabernero
Mercedes Vecino ... Señá Rita
Milagros Leal ... Tía Antonia
Irán Eory ... Casta / Merche
Félix Fernández ... Don Sebastián
Silvia Solar Silvia Solar ... Balbina
Alfredo Landa ... Manolo
Mary Begoña ... Encarna
Antonio Ferrandis ... Vendedor de 'la juerga padre'
Modesto Blanch Modesto Blanch ... Paco - el cochero
Adrián Ortega Adrián Ortega ... Guardia en mercado #1
Miguel Ángel Ferriz ... Don Lucio (as Miguel Angel Ferris)


The narrator of the film explains to us that the Madrid of today keeps its old structure. To confirm it, the film begins with a story based on modern characters, but soon jumps 70 years back into the past and the argument follows the spanish "zarzuela" "La Verbena de la Paloma". Written by Miguel A. Andrade <andrade@gredos.cnb.uam.es>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

19 March 1964 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

A verbena de La Paloma See more »

Filming Locations:

Ciudad Lineal, Madrid, Spain

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Version of Fair of the Dove (1921) See more »


La Verbena de la Paloma
Music by Tomás Bretón
Lyrics by Ricardo de la Vega
See more »

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User Reviews

A Brilliant Adaptation of a Classic Music Theatre Piece
8 April 2009 | by Aulic ExclusivaSee all my reviews

Never mind the semi-literate socio-balderdash posted below, by someone who is obviously not, shall we say, musically minded. This film is merely a screen adaptation of the zarzuela La verbena de la paloma ['The Carnival of the Dove'], composed in 1893 by Tomás Bretón (1850-1923), to a libretto by Ruperto de la Vega. A zarzuela is a Spanish form of operetta, and this piece is one of the most successful and beloved examples of the genre. As the dates above indicate, this very popular piece has nothing to do with whatever "régime" was governing Spain in 1963. Indeed, this was part of a whole series of filmed classic zarzuelas produced by Spanish State television in the 1960s, all selected for their popularity and long success with the public.

The production is lavish and beautifully illustrative of traditional zarzuela stagings, filled with nostalgic charm, except for the brilliant twist ending which is equally endearing 45 years later. Of course some of the colloquial humour sounds definitely "period": this theatre piece is 115 years old, and all the more enchanting for that. It evokes a whole bygone era of life in Madrid, pokes gentle fun a several foibles of that time, and rattles with some of the most wonderful music ever composed by a Spaniard. All the tunes of this zarzuela are known and beloved over the whole Spanish-speaking world, except perhaps by the latest rapper generation.

The cast is superb in its command of the idiom and style of the piece, especially the two veterans in charge of the comic parts, Milagros Leal as battleax 'Aunt Antonia' and the immortal Miguel Ligero in one of his unforgettable rôles, the cowardly 'Don Hilarión', dirty old man extraordinaire. His solo as he primps himself up to go out with the young girl is one of the great moments in filmed musical theatre.

This is a life-enhancing version of this beloved chestnut, recommended to all who love vocal music and sung musical theatre.

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