The Siege of the Alcazar

The Siege of the Alcazar or L'Assedio dell'Alcazar is a 1940 Italian war film directed by Augusto Genina about the famous episode Siege of the Alcázar during the Spanish Civil War set in Toledo, Spain. The film won the Mussolini Cup in Venice Film Festival for being the Best Italian Film. The film runs more in the Spanish dubbed version, it was restored by Filmoteca Española and released in DVD in Spain by Divisa Home Video. The film was shot in Cinecittà with Italian, French and Spanish actors. In the Italian version all three non-Italian actors (Mireille Balin, Rafael Calvo and Carlos Muñoz) spoke their lines in Italian. They were dubbed by Italian actors afterwards.

The Siege of the Alcazar
Directed byAugusto Genina
Written byAugusto Genina
Alessandro De Stefani
Pietro Caporilli
StarringFosco Giachetti
Mireille Balin
Maria Denis
Music byAntonio Veretti
CinematographyFrancesco Izzarelli
Vincenzo Seratrice
Jan Stallich
Edited byFernando Tropea
Release date
20 August 1940
Running time
99 (cut) minutes
119 (restored) minutes


The Alcázar of Toledo is a historical fortification where the Spanish Infantry Academy was based and was held by Nationalists supporting the rising against the Spanish Republic of July 18, 1936. The Republicans invested the Alcazar and besiege it for months against determined Nationalist resistance, before the siege was lifted by Franco forces with the Army of Africa under General Varela.



The film won the Mussolini Cup in Venice Film Festival for being the Best Italian Film.


The Italian version was released in Italy in August 1940. The Spanish version of the film, known as Sin novedad en el Alcázar[1] was released in Spain in October 1940. After the war, the film was re-released in Italy under the new title 'Alcazar' with significant cuts. All references to the involvement of Italy in the Spanish Civil War as well as the cruelty of the Republicans were excised to avoid any political debate.

The film was preceded by a prologue in the Italian, Spanish and German versions, all introducing the subject and setting the scenes. While the Italian and Spanish prologues are almost identical and only praised the courage of the besieged, the German prologue is decidedly more sinister in tone and, not surprisingly, openly condemns Bolshevism as the source of all evils


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