In 1978 Berlanga already had ten feature films behind him and was unanimously considered a teacher. But with his previous film, Life Size, he had broken with that critical manners that had given him so much fame, initiating another period, considered by Berlanga himself as the most creative of his life. A new stage was born in his life, much more political.
The first fruit of this change in attitude was La escopeta nacional, which FlixOlé now incorporates into its catalog offering the entire The Misfits movie online National Trilogy. In this film Berlanga applied a change of perspective, and went from looking at the pettiness of the common and popular people to those of the ruling class, that upper class, lazy and snobbish that hoarded as much power as it had money.
Here the ecosystem of power during Francoism is shown, almost with mathematical precision: Falangist ministers, Opus Dei ministers, nobles, priests, South American military … Berlanga and Azcona wanted to show the double standards of a ruling class that took advantage of the holidays to do business and that they did not hide that they had an emotional and business life that did not coincide with their public life.
In this way the film, based on the same black and grotesque humor of his previous films, became a challenge to the ruling class of the Franco regime, which he shows as corrupt, endogamous and dishonest. And all this with the figure of an industrialist who everyone fights but who believes himself capable of fighting anyone. Here, the end is once again typical of Berlanga: the failure of the main character, who fails to thrive, or place his door openers, and who will come out of the hunt poorer economically and more mediocre morally. But here that ending is extendable to all the characters.
In this film Berlanga gave free rein to very long sequence shots, with a camera that moves continuously following characters that seem to move with total freedom, as if the camera had the order to follow them, wherever they went. The film, full of second and third terms where actions and gags also take place, is a work of goldsmithing, with some wonderful actors, born for those roles.
The film was the greatest commercial success of Berlanga’s career, as if suddenly, the country had realized that he could finally laugh at that ridiculous plutocracy that had made him fear so much. For this reason, Berlanga and Azcona decided to extend this fresco of a country that was beginning to wake up with two more installments, National Heritage and National III.
The national shotgun can be seen on FlixOlé within the wide collection of Luis García Berlanga films present in its catalog, always with the best image and sound quality.