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Riders of the Dawn 

Los jinetes del alba (original title)
| Drama, War | TV Series (1990)
Set in a spa hotel during the Spanish Civil War, Marian is the niece of the proprietress. When her mother dies, her hopes of owning the place are fullfilled. During the revolution in ... See full summary »




1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »


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Series cast summary:
Victoria Abril ...  Marian 5 episodes, 1990
Jorge Sanz ...  Martín 5 episodes, 1990
Fernando Guillén ...  Don Erasmo 5 episodes, 1990
Joan Miralles Joan Miralles ...  Ventura 5 episodes, 1990
Antonio Iranzo ...  El santero 5 episodes, 1990
Gloria Muñoz ...  Adamina 5 episodes, 1990
Carlos Tristancho Carlos Tristancho ...  Quincelibras 5 episodes, 1990
José Cerro José Cerro 5 episodes, 1990
Rosa Morata Rosa Morata 5 episodes, 1990
Eufemia Román Eufemia Román 5 episodes, 1990
Claudia Gravy ...  Doña Elvira Rossi 5 episodes, 1990
Maribel Verdú ...  Raquel 5 episodes, 1990
Conrado San Martín ...  El médico 5 episodes, 1990
Nacho Martínez ...  Juan 5 episodes, 1990
Graciela Borges ...  Doña Amalia 5 episodes, 1990
Pedro Díez del Corral 5 episodes, 1990
Ricard Borràs 5 episodes, 1990
Marisa Tejada Marisa Tejada 5 episodes, 1990
Blanca Apilánez Blanca Apilánez 5 episodes, 1990
Margarita Calahorra Margarita Calahorra 5 episodes, 1990
Manuel Torremocha Manuel Torremocha 5 episodes, 1990
José Canalejas 5 episodes, 1990
Ramón Blanco Ramón Blanco 5 episodes, 1990
Manuel de Blas 5 episodes, 1990
Enrique Cerro Enrique Cerro 5 episodes, 1990
Ariadna Liaño Ariadna Liaño 5 episodes, 1990
Ana María Díaz Ana María Díaz 5 episodes, 1990
Pedro Falla Pedro Falla 5 episodes, 1990
José Gómez de Segura José Gómez de Segura 5 episodes, 1990
Daniel Medrán Daniel Medrán 5 episodes, 1990
Máximo Martínez Máximo Martínez 5 episodes, 1990
José Luis Alexandre José Luis Alexandre 5 episodes, 1990
Resu Morales 5 episodes, 1990
José Luis Barceló José Luis Barceló 5 episodes, 1990
Jesús Corbacho Jesús Corbacho 5 episodes, 1990
David Núñez David Núñez 5 episodes, 1990
Jesús Alonso Jesús Alonso 5 episodes, 1990
Rubén Tobías Rubén Tobías 5 episodes, 1990
Iñaqui Zurbano Iñaqui Zurbano 5 episodes, 1990
Ángeles Martín Ángeles Martín 5 episodes, 1990
Jordi Dauder 5 episodes, 1990
Paco Catalá Paco Catalá ...  Cura 5 episodes, 1990
Pedro Miguel Martínez 5 episodes, 1990
Óscar García de Tejada Óscar García de Tejada 5 episodes, 1990
Fernando Martín Fernando Martín 5 episodes, 1990
Fulgencio Saturno Fulgencio Saturno 5 episodes, 1990
Alfonso Vallejo 5 episodes, 1990
Rodolfo Montero Rodolfo Montero ...  Sargento 5 episodes, 1990
Alejandro Ruetter Alejandro Ruetter 5 episodes, 1990
María Jesús Hoyos María Jesús Hoyos 5 episodes, 1990
Lola Baldrich ...  Aída 5 episodes, 1990
Susana Buen Susana Buen 5 episodes, 1990
Neus Asensi 5 episodes, 1990
So'Tso Melgar So'Tso Melgar 5 episodes, 1990
Gracia Maeste Gracia Maeste 5 episodes, 1990
Joan Lluís Bozzo Joan Lluís Bozzo 5 episodes, 1990
Idilio Cardoso Idilio Cardoso 5 episodes, 1990
Damián Contreras Damián Contreras 5 episodes, 1990
El Gran Wyoming El Gran Wyoming 5 episodes, 1990
Blai Llopis 5 episodes, 1990
Paco Bas Paco Bas 5 episodes, 1990
Aitor Tejada Aitor Tejada 5 episodes, 1990
Francisco Maestre 5 episodes, 1990
Alfonso Godá Alfonso Godá 5 episodes, 1990
Ana Gladys Rodríguez Ana Gladys Rodríguez 5 episodes, 1990
Fernando Hernández Fernando Hernández 5 episodes, 1990
Cosme Cortázar Cosme Cortázar 5 episodes, 1990
Anna Briansó Anna Briansó 5 episodes, 1990


Set in a spa hotel during the Spanish Civil War, Marian is the niece of the proprietress. When her mother dies, her hopes of owning the place are fullfilled. During the revolution in October 1936, her lover Martin joins some revolutionaries who are fighting the Nationalists. Written by Philip O'Carroll

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

spanish civil war | 1930s | See All (2) »


Drama | War







Release Date:

9 January 1991 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Riders of the Dawn See more »

Filming Locations:

Gijón, Oviedo, Asturias, Spain See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(5 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Vital for fans of Julio Medem to see what 'Vacas' was parodying.
2 April 2001 | by the red duchessSee all my reviews

this plays like a Spanish 'Jewel in the Crown', in which the lives, loves, hopes, fears, hates, mysteries of a small group of people are played out against, and fatally influenced by, a defining period of unrest in the history of a once great empire, in this case the Civil War of 1936-39. Like the British series, the key historical moments are played off-screen, reported in concise intertitles or through the hackneyed medium of radio, but their effects pervade the film's varied, but connected, narrative.

i don't know if the original novel here has the same status as Paul Scott's tetralogy, but you can always tell the film is based on a novel: the structure, the symbols, the narrative momentum, the interplay of characters etc., are all very literary. Unlike 'Jewel', however, which seemed to record every dialogue in the four books in a series of static tableaux, 'riders of the dawn' presents the skeleton of each episode, so that obviously crucial relationships (eg Rachel and Marian) are sketchily presented and lack dramatic impact.

The benefit, however, is immediately apparent: whereas 'Jewel' ground to a halt through inert narrative movement, every scene so interminable by the end you'd forgotten how it started, 'Riders' moves fleetly, using plot-friendly stereotypes rather than getting bogged down in historical complexities. The film even tries to be cinematic, the camera is constantly prowling, there is an early, undeveloped self-reflexive interest in voyeurism, and even the odd attempt at meaningful composition.

The film is, rightly, aimed specifically at a Spanish audience who will readily understand the resonance of names, dates, pictures featured; the film doesn't try to explain the Civil War, its causes, just its impact. There is an admirable cynicism in the treatment of both sides - the Fascists are either doddery old buffers or sadistic killers; the left are trigger-happy, proto-hippy thugs. There is no narrative of initial rapturous idealism and humanitarianism here - the film suggest that any doctrine is incompatible with human endeavour (how easy it is to think so now). So even an impromptu outburst of the Internationale, which always brings a lump to my throat, is quashed by murderous caprice.

The film centres around Marian, whose mother is housekeeper for the local spa-owner Amalia. Marian, for some reason, seems to believe the spa, where the local elite congregate, is hers, and spends the whole movie manoeuvring to control it, leading her to make Faustian decisions that compromise her humanity.

There are the usual historical epic plots - a love story with a revolutionary that turns sour; families divided by rival ideologies, and, especially, a complex interlinking of sex, as desire and commodity, and power, both personal and political.

Although the Civil War is usually seen as a site for modernity's two totalitarian ideologies, Aranda insists on the Spanish context, a religious background that goes through perverse superstitions to the Gothic - a subplot involves a web-fingered child born to Marian's mother and a crazed hermit, locked underground like Kaspar Hauser. The hatreds and obsessions brought to a head by the war are shown to have deep, rotting roots, all linked to the soil.

The film is also about Marian's growth to (sexual) maturity, which allows for many loving sequences of Victoria Abril uninhibitedly 'finding' herself, part of the film's misogynistic dialectic, which reduces women to sexual bargaining tools, putting the series on the same level as the powers it would castigate.

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