Berlanga commenced his studies in Valencia in1928, although in 1929 his family sent him and his brother Fernando (due to a lung disease) to the Beau-soleil hospital school in Switzerland. In 1930, he returned to the San José School in Valencia where he stayed until 1931, the year in which the Jesuits were expelled from Spain. In 1936, while he was studying at the Academia Cabanilles, the Spanish Civil War began, and he saw active service in the riflemen’s 40th Division. After the war Franco’s dictatorship imprisoned his father, then a member of the Spanish Parliament for the ‘Frente Popular’ (Popular Front). In an attempt to improve his father’s situation in jail, he joined the División Azul (Blue Division) in 1941, and fought in Russia at the Novgorod front, returning to Spain in 1942.
Towards 1943 he began to take an interest in poetry and cinema, and started to write a screenplay entitled ‘Cajón de perro’, together with his first cinematographic reviews. In 1947 he entered… read more
Almodovar (whom I personally don't like much) said something immensely true at the time of Berlanga's death: "We always talk about Billy Wilder, but if Berlanga would've done filmmaking in another language, today the whole world would be mourning his coffin. With Berlanga you learn the difference between a true master and oneself."