Proceso a Mariana Pineda (1984) 





Starring:     Marisol (Mariana Pineda). Germn Cobos (Juez Pedrosa), Juanjo Puigcorb (Teniente Alba), Carlos Larraaga (Capitn lvarez de Sotomayor), Ral Fraire (Oficial), Enrique San Francisco (Federico), Marina Saura, Rafael Alonso (Funcionario), Mari Paz Ballesteros, Manuel Galiana (Ilustrado), Tony Isbert (Ferrer).

TV mini-series about a woman who fought for a republic in Spain and against Ferdinand VII and who pays a high price for her activities


Spoiler Warning:  below is a summary of the entire film. 


Chapter 1.

Mariana in confession reads from her letter.  "After being cruelly persecuted, I have had to leave Spain.  My ideas are Republican and in our land that means you are anti-Spanish.  Today, in forced exile, we have paid homage to Goya. . . . I met the exiled general, a great patriot.  He believes the future depends on young people, only they can save Spain.  . . . Revolutions need funding . . . and with the Francophiles gone, the liberals in exile and the universities shut, public life in Spain will be a desert."

The priest refers to her as my niece.  His advise is that Mariana immediately destroy that letter, because, if it is found, she will be hanged.  The priest goes to see political official Pedrosa who complains to the priest:  "The clamp-down is not going as planned."  They have only caught the little fish, not the big ones.  He adds that there is currently a conspiracy against the government.   He wants the priest to use the known methods.  The priest says:  "Yes, confession."  If they are successful, the priest will become a bishop.  The politician says he will be content to be a minister in the government.  He goes on to say that when they discover the full extent of the conspiracy, all those involved in it will hang.  The priest adds:  "Even those who associate with them must die.  Liberals are like diseases, they infect everyone they touch."

A little red-headed girl is in the class room reciting. She keeps looking behind her at the man all dressed in dark colors.  When class is over she notices that the man is following them.  Her name is Urusla and her smaller brother is Jose.  They are walked home by their mother.  At home mother looks at the window and sees the mysterious man.  Ursula says that the man was at school and he followed them from school. 

Mother goes over to an inside the house well.  She pulls up a bucket with two books in it.  One of the books is by the French philosopher Voltaire.

Ferrer, a leader of the Spanish liberals, declares that the Spanish cultural and intellectual life is backwards.  Pino objects that he is asking for a separation from the main culture and he can't support that.  Another man, Lt. Alba, supports Pino's position.  The leader says about the second man that he can't trust a man, who fights for a revolution only because he has fallen in love (with Mariana Pineda). 

Mariana Pina arrives at the get together  She says hello to a Lt. Gonzalez and a woman known as Maria.  Maria wants to make sure that Mariana marries some man.  After talking awhile with the women, Mariana moves over to be with the men.  She hands the host a note.  He reads it and then gives it back to Mariana. The note says:  "The constitutionalist Manzanares has been executed.  Gen. Torrijos managed to escape to Gibraltar. . . . Long live the constitution." 

Captain Oller is arrested by the Spanish political police.  He was going to through his papers, but was grabbed before he could burn them.  The head of the police, Pedrosa, says:  "The attempt in various provinces for a revolution in Andalusia in order to establish a Republic has failed."  Manzanares has been executed and fifty leader have also been executed on the beaches of Malaga.  In addition , they have found a document containing the names of 25 accomplices from Granada, but the names are in code.  He goes on to ask what is the name of the woman who will hand over the subversive flag?  While Pedrosa talks, Captain Oller man grabs his pistol off the desk and shoots himself. 

Mariana goes into Captain Oller's house.  She searches the house for him until she finds him dead from a head wound laying on his bed where the political police put him.  Mariana is shocked at what she sees.  She runs out of the house.  Lt. Alba and other constitutionalists come to see the body.  The groups wants Lt. Alba, Oller's assistant, to tell the authorities about the suicide.  Pedrosa will not blame Alba, because he has only been the assistant for about a week.  

Alba reports the death to Pedrosa. After Alba leaves, Pedrosa tells his assistant to make sure Alba is followed day and night because the man lied to them. 

The police are executing a clamp-down.  They have searched the home of Mariana Pineda and arrested her cousin Captain Alvarez de Sotomayor for murder.  Mariana sees his arrest from her window.  Many other suspected constitutionalist are also arrested.  Mariana is told abut the clamp-down.  She tells the others in her house who are constitutionalists to hide quickly.  Her house is searched. 

More associates are rounded up and thrown in jail.  The political police have a little book burning of the books objectionable to them.  

The Grand Master of the Granada Lodge proposes to help Sotomayor escape from prison.  Among those present are Illustrado, Alba, Borja, . . ..

The subdelegate Pedrosa comes into a meeting to great applause.  There are reports that liberals in Granada and other cities are planning a revolt.  Pedrosa says the liberals are planning some type of subversion, but they don't really know what it is. 

The liberals want to know who will be in charge of the escape?  A man is sent to to get Mariana Pineda.  He takes her into the meeting with the male liberals. 

Pedrosa focuses in on Mariana Pineda.  He wants her followed.  He then says a number of liberals will be rounded up and deported. Pino, the revolutionary and anarchist; Broja, member of the Liberal party engaged in disloyal causes; and Castillo, activist associated with the insurrection in Malaga.  Also to be arrested are those associated with the first trial of Mariana Pinedea and her servant Antonio Burel.  The associates are suspected of planning an uprising. 

Mariana meets one of the liberal leaders at a dress rehearsal of an opera.  He tells her that she is drawing too much attention to herself.  If Pedrosa wants to, he can have Mariana deported.  The leader tells her to get the flag back from the seamstresses.  The discovery of the flag could get Mariana hanged. 

Mariana goes straight to see Pedrosa to protest that his men arrested two of her relatives: the Cathedral priest, Pedro de la Serrana, and Captain Alvarez de Sotomayor.  Pedrosa says Sotomayor has been arrested on grounds of treason.  Furthermore, her relative is accused of murder.  Mariana says she wants a permit to visit her relatives in prison.  Pedrosa says he's afraid that this will lead to the ruin of her reputation as both men are involved in high treason.  She tells Pedrosa that everyone knows that women cannot be involved in Spanish politics.  She adds:  "I 've no knowledge of the subversive activities or ideas of my relatives."  So, Pedrosa gives her a visit permit.  And she can bring food to her relatives.  She starts to leave, but Pedrosa asks her to read  a letter addressed to her.  The letter is actually written by Pedrosa to Mariana.  She reads through it and is stunned.  She says if this is the price she has to pay for those visit permits, then he can just destroy them right now!  To soothe her he burns the letter that offended her.  He then says:  ". . . I wanted you to know how I feel. . . . I want you with all my soul."  She tells him:  "I cannot help you."  He tells Mariana that she is going to need his help for her name is on the list of suspects.  She leaves.

Mariana goes to see Captain Sotomayor.  The captain asks her to make sure his wife gets to Madrid where he has good friends that will help him in his trial.  If his friends cannot help him, Pedrosa is going to offer up fake evidence in his trial that will convict him. 

Mariana pawns a watch in order to get the money for the trip to Madrid.  Sotomayor's wife is upset with him.  He mortgaged their house and now she finds he has tremendous debts and no money.  He has left her homeless.  Mariana tells her that when they get her husband out of prison, he will explain everything to her.  Meanwhile, she must go to Madrid and contact her husband's friends. 

Mariana is being followed closely by the man in black.  She goes into her house and then goes through a hidden passageway that brings her to a different part of her house.  Alba is there waiting for her.  He gives her a note with information on it.  He tells her to memorize it and then burn it.  He also tells her not to be the one responsible for getting her cousin out of prison.  Mariana sets Alba down and asks what is he so worried about?  He tells her that General Mina is leading a revolution in Bayonne that he doesn't even believe in.  And Mina knows the revolution will fail.  Alba says that Spaniards are always divided among themselves.  Generals Mina and Torrijo will lead them to defeat.  Mariana tells him:  "No.  I'm sure both generals act in good faith."   Alba objects that their movement is not united. 

From behind her, Alba grabs Mariana around the waist and says sometimes he feels like giving up on the cause.  He tells her that he loves her very much.  They kiss.  Meanwhile, the man in black gets impatient and goes into the house, but he can't find her.

Pedrosa is watching a female dancer perform.  The man in black has to tell Pedrosa that he lost Mariana.  Pedrosa says that's strange because the man in black told him that Mariana visits Carmen del Pino twice a week.  He thinks that maybe Mariana is meeting a man at Carmen del Pino's place.  Pedrosa adds that the man is probably a constitutionalist and is her lover.  He says:  " . . . liberal plots are often hatched in bed."

Alba and Mariana show up at the home of a woman named Lucia.  She has a group of people there and they are currently playing parlor games.  After that they consume coffee and cakes.  One of the liberals, Ferrer, wants to talk to Mariana alone.  He says he fears that the political police are coming for him next.  The man asks her if she had an affair with her cousin?  She says no.  Then how about Captain Casimiro Brodett?  She says that's the one.  Mariana adds that they talked about marrying, but circumstances led to her need to renounce Casimiro.  Ferrer says he is relieved that her affair was with a freedom fighter, saying:  "I didn't want this linking to love, but to the revolution." 

Lt. Alba plays blind-man's bluff.  He catches Mariana and virtually fondles her face. 


Chapter 2. 

Pedrosa receives some good news.  Minister Calomar has congratulated him on the suppression of the uprising in Granada.  Pedrosa calls out his favorite dancer, Lola, to dance for him. 

Lt. Alba and Mariana are together in bed.  He wants to know more about her.  She tells the lieutenant that he is prejudiced a bit against her for having a child when she was a widow.  And, most definitely, she is not going to tell him the name of her daughter's father.  Alba says that the father of Luisa is Casimiro Brodett.  She tells him that is wrong.  So who was it?  She says she refused to marry the man who was put under great pressure to renounce his liberal ideals before he married Mariana.  She chose to be his lover instead.  Mariana returned to Granada in spring 1828.  She adds there have been other men in her life since then.  He pulls her blouse down (brief nudity). 

After sex (not shown) Mariana says that they should stop seeing each other for awhile, because she is being followed again.  Outside Pedrosa and the man in black watch the house.  They see Mariana come out of the house first.  Then Lt. Alba comes out. 

A woman dances for a group of people, both men and women.  Pedrosa keeps staring at Mariana.  All of a sudden, she leaves and is followed.  She attends an opera.  Mariana stops back stage and gets some disguises she might be able to use.  One of them is a fake beard.  Luisa comes out coughing.  

Mariana goes to the prison again for another visit.  She hears women crying over the fate of their husbands.  She sees her uncle the priest come out.  She says she now has his disguise complete.  And she gives him a special tobacco. 

Sotomayor goes through the packets of tobacco.  In one of the packets he finds the fake beard. 

Mariana gives her children a bath (some nudity).  She has a visitor, namely Lt. Alba.  He tells her that he is leaving Granada because they are going to arrest him.  He is going into self-imposed exile and he asks Mariana to come with him along with her two children.  Mariana doesn't respond.  He tells her:  "You don't understand.  They're using you."  He also tells her that she doesn't have to be a heroine.  She just says that she is staying.  Alba leaves.  She bathes her children some more, taking over from servant Maria.  She starts crying so hard that she has to stop bathing the children. 

Mariana is going to take the kids to school, but the political police arrive to take her to the chancery.  She gives Ursula a big hug and then leaves with the police. 

Mariana is in a room into which the police throw a lot of prisoners.  The police come back in and take out four men.  Later Mariana is taken through the halls.  She sees one of the prisoners who has been beaten and tortured.   She is taken to a room where Pedrosa's assistant awaits her.  Pedrosa comes into the room next to the one with Mariana and peeps at her through a hole in the wall.  Now two women and two men are brought in.  The assistant asks the witnesses if any of them saw this woman come out of number 30 Darro Street? 

Pedrosa tells an assistant to release the woman in the next room.  The assistant is told what to do.  He dismisses the witnesses and tells Mariana that it all has been a terrible mistake based on false information.

The priest confessor comes in to hear Pedrosa's confession, but the policeman tells him that he has no time for that.  He has learned that another revolt is to occur in Granada.  He has also received still another anonymous death threat. He finally has to push the priest out of his room to be rid of him. 

A jailor gives a tool to pick locks to Sotomayor. 

Mariana tells her liberal conspirators that on the day of execution there are lots of clergy around who are free to come and go as they please.  There are also a lot of witnesses and others that are around making the prison pretty crowded with people.  They have a look out and he sees two officers of the chancery coming their way.  The co-conspirators jump into action so that it looks like they are all having a little garden party.  Mariana plays the guitar for them.  Instead of the officers coming to arrest anyone, they have brought a basket of fruit to Mariana.  And she also has received an invitation to dinner from the Governor.  She will attend.  Matias tells her not to go to see the Governor.  Mariana says she is doing this for their plans, not for personal enjoyment. 

At the dinner party, Mariana demonstrates that she's a quick wit with answers at the ready.  She even makes the dinners laugh.  After dinner the guests watch Spanish dancing.  After the end of the dinner party, Mariana goes to the printer to make passports for her escapee Sotomayor.

Pedrosa roughs up a priest and another man suspected of being liberals.  The third prisoner, after seeing how the other two were hit and slapped around, says immediately when it's his time to talk that he will tell the police anything he knows.  His compatriot calls the man a coward and spits on him.  Pedrosa says to take the other two men out.  He will talk with the third prisoner alone. 

Sotomayor is able to open his cell door.  Mariana attends an opera at the theater.  In the prison Sotomayor is in his monk costume and ready to escape.  His prison mates start a big fight with each other to serve as a distraction.  Sotomayor is allowed to pass through one door and then another and still another.  The fourth gate is a little harder to get passed, but Sotomayor gets through.  He leaves the prison on foot and a conspirator greets him. 

The prison guards must have realized that one of their prisoners got away because they are all wound up banging on doors and blowing whistles. 

At the opera, Mariana suddenly gets up and leaves the theater.  She takes a carriage ride home.  She runs into the secret room behind a huge cabinet and hugs Sotomayor.  She tells him that it's safer for him to sleep at a friend's house. 

At the opera, Pedrosa is informed of the escape.  He immediately leaves the theater.  He goes to his office and starts barking out orders.  He wants a full report of the escape, he wants the houses of suspected liberals not in prison searched and he wants a report on Marian Pineda's movements. 

Sotomayor is taken to the church where he will spend the night. 

Pedrosa says he is surrounded by traitors.  He wants to know who brought in the monk disguise.  And he is personally going to go with the team to search the house of "that liberal bitch" Mariana Pineda.  At this moment, Mariana is saying goodbye to her dinner guests.  She feels happy that everything went so well. 

Pedrosa arrives by carriage at Mariana's house.  He enters the house along with the judge who gives Mariana a copy of the search warrant.  The police search and search but find nothing but some forbidden works of literature.  Pedrosa seems to be calmer now.  He and the police leave, except that two guards are left behind for "security".  


Chapter 3. 

A priest tells Mariana that she has got a lot of books that are on the List.  How did she get these books?  She says she hid the book around the time that her Uncle Garcia de la Serrana  was arrested.  And some belonged to her late husband.  Pedrosa comes in and asks that certain of Mariana's sentences not be taken down or be eliminated from the record.  The priest says that since the books were not hers and she did not write the anti-religious comments on the margins of the books, she is absolved. 

As Mariana walks home, a man stops her to tell her a friend of the cause wants to see her.  She follows the man.  He takes her to Sotomayor, who tells her he needs some money and a passport because he's leaving Granada.  He then takes her up to a council meeting of the liberals.  Everyone claps for her.  A lot of her old friends are still with the cause. 

Back in her home she looks out her window and sees the man in black again.  Her adopted mother tells her that she is working too hard.  She thinks the liberals are asking too much of Mariana.  Mariana leaves the table when one of her maids tells her that the doctor is here.  The doctyor tells her that there are two men watching her house.  And he advises her to get out of Granada.  Surprisingly, she says this time she is going to leave.  Almost all the liberals have already left and there's not much she can do her.  Besides, she fears what might happen to her children. 

She says she will go to Alba's family home in Montril.  Lt. Alba himself is not there.  The danger to her in Montril is Tempranillo.  She asks the doctor to write her a letter saying that her daughter needs sea air to improve her health.   The doctor sits at a table to write out the medical letter for Mariana. 

Ferrer asks Mariana to take an urgent letter to a contact who will be in a hotel in Motril.  She is given a password that is really a pass-sentence:  "In Italy they told me there was a wonderful seaview from here."  She will be leaving tomorrow.  Ferrer tels her he's going to tell her something that even his wife Lucia doesn't know.  He too has to leave Granada because now Pedrosa has the proof he needs on Ferrer.  He says he will cross the border into Portugal and then cross into France.  They embrace.

Mariana and her family are riding in a carriage on a beautiful day.  They travel through fields of yellow flowers.  They come to a T-intersection and the family transfers to a different coach.  The coach reaches its destination, the hotel where contact is to be made.  A man sits in room number 3 and stares out the window at the water.  Mariana comes in and says the password sentence.  It's Alba who is sitting there.  He is thrilled to find that his contact is none other than Mariana Pineda.  They are soon in the hotel bed.  Alba tells her tonight he has to be in Gibraltar.  From there he takes a ship to England.  He begs her to come to England, but Mariana says she can't right now.  They kiss passionately. 

The couple get dressed.  Alba burns the message and tells Mariana that he will recite the whole message to Gen. Torrijos.  He then says he has a bad feeling about the two of them.  She changes the subject by telling him not to fall in love with an English girl.  Alba says that's impossible. They have a last embrace and Mariana leaves.

Ursula asks her mother why can't they stay here forever?  She says the children will have a long vacation here, but she must leave them.  She has to go back to Granada. 

The whole family and servants take a coach ride on the beach.  There Mariana writes letters to her friends.  Her adopted mother tells her that it's dangerous to write letters to Granada.  Later Mariana takes three letters (none going to Granada) to mail.  There hiding in the post office is the man in black.  He grabs the letters from the postmaster.  

Priest Federico comes to see a pretty seamstress named Juanita.  He asks her where was she last night?  He waited for her.  She tells him that's it over between them.  The priest says actually they are just starting.  They must, however, leave Granada.  She tells him that she knows a gypsy from Sacromonte who can cure the possessed like him.  He grabs Juanita again and she pushes him.  He hits a table and knocks over some materials.  Then he sees what looks like the revolutionary flag.  Yes it is, the women are embroidering it.  Juanita tells him to never tell anyone that he has even seen this flag. 

The priest walks across a plaza.  When he sees Pedrosa coming his way he turns around, but there's another five of Pedrosa's men.  They arrest the priest and take him to police headquarters.  Pedrosa wants to know who are the priest's comrades and what does he know about this new flag being embroidered for the revolutionaries?  The priest keeps saying he doesn't know anything.  To refresh the priest's memory Pedrosa brings in a man, who is actually the priest's father.  Dad says he turned his son in, in order to save him.  Pedrosa says his father is loyal to the king.  The priest doesn't want to be saved and again he refuses to cooperate.  He is taken away. 

Pedrosa has the fabric shop searched in the hopes of finding the revolutionary flag.  The men go through all the material, looking for the flag.

Juanita and her sister are brought down to police headquarters.  The priest is brought in and Pedrosa asks what relationship did Juanita have with the priest?  She says they were boyfriend/girlfriend.  Juanita starts crying.  The priest is now removed from the room.  Who ordered Juanita to make the flag?  Mariana Pineda.  Pedrosa now goes to his office.  An officer comes in and Pedrosa tells the officer that he finally has the propf against Mariana Pineda.  And now she really will be his.  Moreover, "The threat of the scaffold will make her confess the names of the conspirators."

Now he goes to question the two sisters some more.  Juanita's sister says that Maria Pineda never came to their shop.  They were just given an order from her by a messenger.  And they were paid in advance.  Pedrosa dreams of speaking with Mariana and telling her to leave with her children for England because now he has proof of her guilt.  He then tells the sisters that he is going to have them return the flag to Mariana surreptitiously.  The sisters will do it. 

Pedrosa searches Mariana's house again.  Her mother tries to burn the flag pieces, but is stopped before she can light them.  When the flag is shown to Mariana she says that was not in her house. 

Pedrosa and his assistant now question Mariana.  We learn that she is only 26 years of age.  She tells Pedrosa that she has no idea how the flag got into her house.  She had never see the flag before the police showed it to her.  Pedrosa tells her she has to stay in her home because she is under house-arrest. 

The liberals have gathered together again.  Another liberal comes to tell them that Mariana is now under house-arrest.  Moreover, she will be prosecuted.  Illustrado tells the man that he knows more than he is telling.  The messenger says that Pedrosa paid the two seamstresses to put the flag and letter patterns in Mariana's house.  He also comments that if Mariana talks, they all will go to the scaffold.  Illustrado says that if the messenger is scared, he should pack up his things and go.  The messenger doesn't like this and the two men almost come to blows.  They are separated by the priest. 

Mariana is taken to police headquarters.  She is placed in an empty room.  Pedrosa comes in with a scribe.  He starts asking her questions about when she got involved with the liberal movement?  She refuses to answer that question and then she refuses to answer the question of who were the liberals she met?  Pedrosa goes out of the room and tells his assistant to grill Mariana mercilessly and later he (Pedrosa) will come into the room.   The assistant tries to get names from Mariana, but she won't talk.  She asks if anyone has said anything about her in his many interrogations of liberals?  Yes.  He grabs a statement made by a liberal saying that Mariana Pineda was a messenger carrying mail for prisoners and the exiles in Gibraltar.  He says the letter of proof he has was intercepted in the Motril post-office. 

A messenger tells liberal Matias that they have arrested Mariana Pineda.  He tells the messenger to call a meeting of the command group. 

Pedrosa comes in playing good cop.  He says the only way she can be saved is if she fully cooperates with the police.  Mariana denies she had a hand in the escape of Sotomayor.  She starts crying when Pedrosa accuses her of being Sotomayor's lover. 

Matias and other liberals figure that it was the father of priest Frederico who turned in Mariana Pineda.  They wear masks and rush into the man's house.  They take his clothes off except for his underwear, they pour honey all over him and then they pour feathers on


Pedrosa rounds up Mariana's adopted mother, Burel and some of her female servants. 

Mariana is back in her home, but she is still under house-arrest.  She asks her servant Maria to help her.  She wants Maria to take her mother and her children and go with them to Gibraltar.  She is then to make contact with Alba.  Maria says this is not the first time the police have tried to scare them, but Mariana says that it's different this time.  If she is arrested, she wants Maria to sell everything she owns and head to Gibraltar.  From there send a letter to Lt. Alba who is now in England.   His address is in her bureau.     


Chapter 4. 

Pedrosa tells his assistant:  "I suspect all the judges in Granada sympathize with the conspiracy."  He goes on to say that Mariana just has to be found guilty for she's the only one who can tell him the names of the liberal conspirators.  Moreover, he wants to give Calomarde a win.  Then Pedrosa figures he will get a new and higher post. He now asks his assistant who is the new judge?  It's Gregorio Cedruelo Velasco.  Pedrosa says the two of them will go visit the new judge. 

The judge tells Pedrosa that he knows Mariana very well and also that she is very beautiful.  Cedruelo asks Pedrosa when can he question the officer who found the liberal flag?  Pedrosa says there's no need of that.  The judge should question Mariana first.  The judge says he has noticed that Pedrosa is very anxious to convict these liberals.  Pedrosa says that's because this is a serious matter.  And the prime minister wants this case quickly resolved. 

The judge has questioned Mariana and he thanks her.  She leaves the room.  And now her servant Maria will be questioned.  Finally, the judge hears an expert on the textiles talk about the liberal flag.

Mariana tells Maria that she is going to escape.  The guard knocks on the door and tells Maria that the door must stay open at all times.  Once he's gone, Mariana tells Maria to go get some of her adopted mother's clothes.  Wearing a black outfit, Mariana starts to leave.  She sees the guard at the front door, so she takes a different exit.  But as she opens the last door, the bell on the door starts ringing.  Mariana goes up the streets, but runs into the guard.  He takes her back. 

Pedrosa's assistant tells the subdelegate that Mariana tried to escape but Officer Diaz caught her.  Pedrosa is happy because an attempted escape will make Mariana look guilty.  And, yes, the new judge puts Mariana in a prison cell.  When they go to get Mariana two doctors tell Poseda that she can't be moved to a prison cell just yet because she is suffering from apoplexy (that is, cerebral hemorrhage; stroke).  Pedrosa is angry, but he says for now he will agree not to transfer Mariana to a prison cell. 

Pedrosa says to his assistant that he doesn't care about evidence.  He cares about results.  Mariana helping her cousin Sotomayor to escape cost Pedrosa his promotion.  And he says he's convinced that Mariana will once again try to escape.  He strengthens the guard around her house. 

At a command group meeting, Matias asks if there is any news about Mariana?  She is to be taken to the Santa Maria de Egipciaca sanctuary.  Matias says they must free Mariana and get her to Gibraltar, but the others don't say anything.  So Matias says he will do it himself with the help of his men.  He starts to march outside and many others are going to go with him, but Ilustrado tries to stop them saying:  "You act on impulse, leaving reason aside."  He adds that he has an alternative plan.  Matias comes over to Ilustrado and calls him a coward.  Ilustrado, however, says that the only reason they are running to Mariana's house in order to safe her is the fear that she will not be strong enough against Pedrosa and will give up the names of all the liberal conspirators.  Pedrosa is using Mariana as bait to draw the liberals into a trap.  So, the liberals will wait and let Pedrosa play out more of his game. 

March 27, 1831.  The charges against Mariana are read to Mariana and her family.  And now she will go to the Santa Maria de Egipciaca convent. 

Mariana is placed in a very simple room with simple accommodations.  She looks at the bars on the windows.  Now she is locked in the room.  Poseda tells the mother superior to have a nun always watching her. 

At night, Mariana has an unpleasant dream about her children.  She wakes up with a huge gasp.  She tells the nun:  "I only care about the fate of my children. What will become of them?" 

London March 1831.  Lt. Alba comes to see Sotomayor to tell him that they have arrested Mariana.  Alba is upset because this time they may execute her.  Sotomayor says they will not do that to a woman.  "I don't think they are so mad."  Alba says he fears the worst for Mariana and has decided to go back to Granada.  Sotomayor urges Alba not to do this.  He reminds him of the great danger he will put himself in.  Alba says he has to go.  He leaves tonight and will arrive in Gibraltar in ten days.  Alba tells Sotomayor that Mariana will be condemned to death.  And that cruel Pedrosa will be happy about it because he will see it as a grand fulfillment of his duty.  Sotomayor says:  "I know I owe my life to Mariana Pineda.  But I cannot return."

Pedrosa comes in Mariana's room to tell her that she has a right to a lawyer.  If she doesn't chose a lawyer, one will be chosen for her.  Bitterly, Mariana asks Pedrosa:  "Have you invented the proof to garrote me?"  She says she is condemned on false evident and her lawyers will prove it.  One day it will be known what Pedrosa did.  Pedrosa says:  "I want it all to finish."  And yet, he still asks for the names of the conspirators.  She throws him out. 

The Minister's Royal Envoy Mr. Vasallo arrives in Granada and Pedrosa is there to meet him.  He takes the Royal Envoy to his own house.  Vasallo reads a document:  "Due to the advanced age of Judge Andres Soller, he is here to retire on a pension of half salary and to name his successor, present in this room."  He then presents some type of medal to Pedrosa. 

Vasallo talks about those who cause internal commotion in the realm.  These people believe that Carlos should be heir to the throne and not the daughter of Ferdinand VII.  Then there's the Constitutionalists who want to set up a government according to the 1812 Constitution.  He says the King is worried about the problem of succession.  Therefore, he wants to make some concessions to the liberals so they will support the succession of his daughter Isabel.  It's even possible that exiled liberals will receive amnesty.  Pedrosa says that one cannot trust the liberals.  Vasallo says Pedrosa is on the list of politicians who will be elected members for a chamber made of Spanish grandees, Castillian nobility, archbishops, bishops and very wealthy land owners.  Pedrosa will be from a southern province.  Is Pedrosa interested?  Pedrosa says he definitely is.  Once that is over, Pedrosa offers the Spanish dancer to him for sex. 

Mariana sees her lawyer.  He tells her that her children are very well, but that he could not get a permit for her to see her children.  He also tells her that Pedrosa has been named Mayor of House and Court.  The lawyer recognizes almost immediately that Mariana is too optimistic about her chances.  She tells him that her comrades won't let this matter even come to trial and this will all be over soon.  He tells her frankly that there is no way she can win her case.  She can only escape serious punishment if she names names.  He also says that he wants to use the rumor that Pedrosa was one of her suitors.  Mariana answers:  "I won't use that."  She says she won't stoop to the level of  that despicable Pedrosa.  She also says she rejected his advances.  The lawyer says they can use the fact that Mariana scorned Pedrosa and he is doing all this to get vengeance upon her.  The answer is still no. 

Alba gets a note to Mariana through an inmate called Spark that lets Mariana know that he is back in Granada.  A nun and a fruit picker both keep an eye on Spark and Mariana.  Spark says everyone knows Mariana is an important person and many are planning an escape along with Mariana's escape.  Another inmate comes over to Mariana to find out just exactly who is this important inmate.  A nun tries to shoo the woman away from talking with Mariana.  The woman takes the club away from the nun and then the inmates throw the nun into the laundry water.  They then start using soap on her nun's habit. 

Alba comes to see the servant Maria.  He tells her that he is going to get Mariana's children out of Granada.  The arrangements have all been made.  When the adopted mother gets out of jail, Maria and the kids are to go to Motril to be with Alba's parents.  From there she and the children will be put on a boat to Gibraltar.  Alba says he and Mariana will meet them in Gibraltar. 

Pedrosa visits the meeting place of the liberals after the police killed two men found there.  But it turns out that the two men were arms smugglers and not liberals.  Pedrosa looks over the rifles brought by the smugglers.  Now Pedrosa goes with his police to talk to Mariana's two children.  He tells Maria to leave so they can talk in private.  Pedrosa shows the children two baby ducks.  He says he will give the two ducks to the boy if he will just tell him whether or not Captain Sotomayor has visited him.  The boy says no, he has not visited them.  What about Lt. Alba?  The boy says he's in England.  He gets his two ducks, but as he leaves the room, he turns around and says that if Pedrosa wants to say anything to Alba, Pedrosa can tell him and he will tell Alba because he is here to take mother to England.  He has spilled the beans. 

Alba comes into the barn and he hears someone behind him call out his name.  He slowly takes a pistol from his coat, whirls around and is going to shoot, but he sees in time that it is Ilustrado who called out his name.  Ilustrado says he came here expecting to find Sotomayor or another of the exiles.  He didn't expect Alba to show up.  So, Ilustrado demands that Alba tell him the truth:  "Why are you back?"  Alba says he won't tell.  Ilustrado then says he knows already.  Alba came back for Mariana.  But Ilustrado can't really accept that as a reason for coming back. And now comes a shock.  Ilustrado says that Mariana must die on the scaffold.  "Her death is necessary for the cause."   The cause needs heroes and martyrs to inspire others.  He says he will make a legend out of the tragic life and death of Mariana Pineda.  Ilustrado adds:  "I can't allow your money to get her out of jail."  Alba asks him how could Ilustrado stop him from freeing Mariana?  Ilustrado says he can kill Alba.  So, Alba gives him his pistol.  Then Alba says that Mariana is indeed the reason why he returned to Granada.  Ilustrado decides not to kill Alba and gives him back his pistol.

Ilustrado starts to walk out, but now Alba holds the pistol on him.  He says he can't just let Ilustrado go because he knows Alba's plan.  Ilustrado is a danger to him and Mariana.  Ilustrado says Alba will have to kill him because that's the only thing that will stop him from going to Pedrosa.  So Alba shoots him. 


Chapter 5.

Matias has just come from the funeral of Ilustrado.  He hugs Alba and says:  "It worked.  Pedrosa's men swallowed the bait."  They got a friendly doctor to write a false death certificate, so when the police came to the funeral and demanded to know who died and how, Matias handed over the death certificate to them.  Alba feels guilty now about Ilustrado.  He says:  "I couldn't help it.  I'm not a murderer.  It was his plan or ours, understand?"  Of course, Matias understands.  He says this is war and they must do anything and everything to survive. 

Now Matias wants to talk about the escape plan for Mariana.  He says the prisoners are ready to revolt.  The escape will take place tomorrow at lunchtime.  His men will create a diversion for the police before the escape is tried.  In addition, some women will go to church, say they are going on a hunger strike and refuse to leave the church.  Alba asks him when will Matias pick him up tomorrow?  Matias tells him that it would be better if he didn't come tomorrow, because if he is recognized on the street, the whole plan will be spoiled.  Alba will, however, get to see Mariana because Matias will pick Alba up at midnight tomorrow and take him to see Mariana. 

Matias sadly says that he had to postpone the escape of Mariana's children.  Pedrosa has had the house closely watched ever since the interrogation of the children.  The two men hug and Matias leaves the barn. 

News comes to Pedrosa that 20 women have occupied the Santa Ana church.  Pedrosa gives the order to get the military to handle this situation.  The messengers says that the women in the church are threatening to go on a hunger strike and not even the bishop can talk them out of it.  Pedrosa now says to tell the military to use force to get the women out within one hour.  More bad news for Pedrosa.  Some men have barricaded themselves into a building, but they were unarmed and went peacefully when the police started arresting them.  Pedrosa says that the returned rebels are planning an uprising and he just hopes they are not coming to kill him. 

Outside the prison, Matias and his men help one of their men go up and over the prison wall.  Soldiers on horseback ride along the prison wall and two men jump on two of the soldiers from the top of the wall.

Mariana is sitting with the prisoners waiting to be fed.  The nuns are looking very fierce.  They have their batons in their right hands and they slap the top of the batons into their left hands and keep repeating this movement.  The prisoner known as the Colonel tells Mariana as soon as the riot starts, she is to run over to the door.  All of a sudden the sounds of rifle fire are heard in the eating room.  The Colonel says that their men are shooting the soldiers so their escape will be successful. 

But outside we see Matias and two of his men running away from the prison as fast as they can with the soldiers on horseback chasing them. 

The women start the riot and run out of the eating room, but somehow two nuns have grabbed Mariana and keep her in the room.  Quite a few of the women get out of the prison, but they just run right into the soldiers ready to shoot them down.  When the cavalry starts moving forward the women run back into the prison. 

Pedrosa comes into a prison room where the bloodied Colonel has thrown her body over a chair.  He tells her that if she signs the document he has in his hand, he will show some mercy to her.  The document says that the idea for the escape was all because of Mariana Pineda.  The Colonel says that Pineda had nothing to do with it.  It was her husband who wanted to get the Colonel out of prison.  Pedrosa demands she sign, but the Colonel spits blood in his face. 

A liberal priest comes to tell Alba that four people were killed in the escape attempt.  Matias was only injured.  They have already moved the man out of Granada and over to a doctor.  Alba is crushed to hear the news.  He holds his head in his hands and says:  "And now what?"  The priest tells him to have patience.  While the priest leaves the barn, he hears Alba crying and sees him rolled up in a fetal position. 

Mariana in a nice dress walks past the women who root for her and shout:  "Freedom for Andalusia!"  She goes to see Pedrosa.  He tells Mariana that the Minister of Justices has told him to try Mariana in court.  Pedrosa adds that he still wants to save her.  All she has to do is confess, give the names of the liberal conspirators and ask for forgiveness.  Mariana says she won't do it.  Pedorsa calls he a fanatic!  He uses the fate of her children to get to her confess, but Mariana still refuses.  She says:  "Why won't you understand?  I accept my fate as part of the struggle for democracy."  (I put in a change from the subtitles for better understanding.)

Mariana says Pedrosa is upset ". . . because you have to order what you always feared--  the legal murder of a woman!"  Pedrosa says it isn't so.  Mariana makes it clear that she is prepared to die for her beliefs in democracy.  Pedrosa says:  "You condemn yourself.  We've finished."  As Pedrosa leaves he is accosted by the prisoners.  When Mariana enters the courtyard the prisoners shout:  Long live Mariana. Long live freedom.  Mariana asks them to be quiet because, as she says:  "Sooner or later they'll kill me."  The Colonel says Mariana will live on!  Mariana just says as long as Pedrosa needs her as bait to catch her compatriots, she will remain alive.  She will be killed when Pedrosa no longer needs her.

Pedrosa says to his assistant that he is going to present the liberal tricolor rosettes as evidence against Mariana.  The assistant says that in the search of March 18 no such rosettes were found.  And again Pedrosa lectures his assistant on results being the only thing that matters in politics.  As a rationalization for what he is going to do to Mariana, Pedrosa says that Mariana on the scaffold will give up the names of the liberals in order to save her own life. 

The hearing will take place tomorrow behind closed doors.  Even Mariana will not be present.  The deck is definitely stacked against Mariana.  Her lawyer just recently got to see the charges and now Pedrosa is going to produce the tricolor rosettes as evidence  --  evidence that even Mariana's lawyer doesn't know about.   Her lawyer has less than 24 hours to prepare for the trial.  Alba learns that Pedrosa doesn't have the authority to carry out a death penalty.  He also has to get the approval of the king before a death sentence can be carried out.  Furthermore, the rosettes have to be sent to Madrid and it takes a coach seven days to get to Madrid and back to Granada.  Alba says he is going to fight to save Mariana up to the last minute.

The lawyer tells Mariana that it his duty to prove her innocent.  He says the evidence is not enough to convict her.  Mariana thinks she's already condemned to death.  She tells her lawyer that Judge Ceruelo is not going to displease the king and will find her guilty.  The lawyer strongly urges her to give up the names to escape death.  Mariana replies:  "I wouldn't even inform on the dead."

The judge has signed the death sentence papers.  Pedrosa wants to hang her.  He is, however, reminded that an executed hero becomes a martyr and then the martyr becomes a myth.  It is suggested that Pedrosa should tell everyone that Mariana has betrayed her cause.  That way, she will be quickly forgotten.  The judge says that perhaps Mariana wants to die and thereby find true freedom.  But Pedrosa is still sticking to his belief that Mariana will confess on the scaffold to avoid death.  The judge then suggests that Pedrosa should let her escape as long as she leaves Granada. 

The new judge talks with Mariana and offers her money and tickets for her and her children to the USA, but she won't budge.  He thinks Mariana wants to be a martyr for her cause of freedom.  The judge sighs and says:  "I can do no more."

Pedrosa goes to see Mariana and tells her that she is free to leave.  All the gates are open and there is a horse waiting for her by the outside wall.  Mariana just stares straight ahead, saying and doing nothing.  So Pedrosa starts asking her why again?  As Mariana told him before he is just not hearing what she is saying.  Dejected, Pedrosa leaves. 

Pedrosa's assistant says that they have confirmation from Madrid for her sentence.  Now she will be transferred to a real prison. 

Marianna's cell looks a little more spacious than her cell in the convent.  She still won't say anything.  But when the assistant reads the charges and the verdict of death by garroting, she shouts at Pedrosa how dare the king and he condemn her?  Pedrosa and a priest ask her to confess.  Her response is:  never, never, never. 

Three women start removing everything from Mariana'sher body that might interfere with the garroting, but when they come to her long black stockings, she refuses to have them taken off.  She tells the women not to worry:  "I have the courage to mount the scaffold."  A man comes in and says that she can request anything within reason.  She tells him to bring a pen and paper.  The man returns with the pen and paper.  He is going to write down what she tells him, but his hand is just too shaky.  Mariana says she will write it herself.  She writes to her son to take care of his sister.  She hopes he will feel no shame at having a mother who was executed.  She is going to die for her political beliefs and, even more important:  "I stopped being scared some time ago, when I realized I lived for a reason  --  freedom for me, for you and for everyone."  She cries thinking of her children. 

Pedrosa arrives.  He and his staff go inside the prison.  They go to a hearing room.  There they sign the final papers in triplicate.    

Now Pedrosa and his assistant go to Mariana's room.  Pedrosa tells her to be brave.  He asked the king for her pardon, but it was denied.  "Your time has come."  The men now leave the room.  A doctor comes in.  He puts something in her drink to make her sleepy and then leaves. 

Mariana is shaking.  She feels very cold and asks for her warmest dress.  She puts a little make-up on her face.  She agrees to forgive her executioner.  Now she is no longer shaking.  An execution robe is put on her.  Her hands are tied.  It's time to go.  She starts walking to the scaffold.  A tear rolls down the right side of her face.  The sentence is read again.  They put her on a donkey.  The soldiers try to keep the people back.  Many people hang up long black banners for Mariana.  The soldiers start taking all the black banners down.   Many people call out:  "Viva, Mariana!" 

They reach the place of execution.  Mariana is helped off the donkey.  She walks herself up the scaffold.  She is seated with her back to a post.  Her legs are manacled together.  The garrote is placed around her throat.  The executioner tightens the garrote and then steps back.  She makes no noise at all. 

Pedrosa with the priest confessor cries over her death.  The staff tries to figure out the various costs of her incarceration and death. 

The body of Mariana Pineda now lies naked on a sheet in a prison room.  She is covered with her dress and then four women in black lift the sheet up and place the sheet and the body in a simple wooden casket.  The nails are driven into the casket lid. 


Good movie.  At times it did drag a bit because they went into such detail about various escape plans.  Nevertheless, Mariana Pineda was a true heroine and a martyr for her cause.  The king was trying to be an absolute monarch even if it was the 19th century.  Mariana and her fellow liberals pushed for founding a government based on the Constitution of 1812.  The king was trying to kill all the liberals.  The head of police, Poseda, was crazy about Mariana. It took him a long time to catch her, but even then he wanted her to escape and he was at times willing to let her escape.  He thought Mariana was a crazy fanatic for choosing to die for her cause, but as she said herself, she wanted democracy for herself, her children and everybody else and she was very ready to die for it.  She could have easily saved  herself by naming the names of the other liberals, but she refused to do that.  She wanted to live because she felt so much love for her two children, but she also wanted to make a statement with her death.  She was, quite frankly, a very brave woman fighting for democracy and against a king who wanted to go back to absolute power for the monarchy.  I don't think I could have done what she did, so my hat's off to her.  Marisol was very good as Mariana.  She looked like a woman who could choose death to promote a worthwhile cause.  Germn Cobos as Pedrosa was also good as the mean head of police.  I was glad to have a film covering this era of Spanish history. 

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.


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