'When Love Laughs'? It's not laughing here, muchacho.
I'm not a big fan of cowboy movies in general, although I enjoy the truly great Westerns by Ford, Hawks, Walsh, Wellman. Something I enjoy even less than the typical shoot-'em-up oater is the *singing* cowboy movie, as musical cowpokes tend to be even more brainless than the other sort.
'Thief of Love' ('Ladrón de Amor') is a Mexican singing-cowboy movie, so it manages to embody all the flaws of singing-cowboy flicks made north of the Rio Grande with a few extra flaws of Mexican origin. The film takes place in Spanish California, in the early 19th century. I'll admit that I know very little about the culture of that time and place, yet I found the production design of this film very unconvincing, and I believe that I spotted some anachronisms.
José Mojica plays a singing vacquero who stops off in la cantina to have muchas cervezas with los muchachos. While José is all beered up, he boasts that he can tame the wild mare -- a horse no man can ride -- owned by local ranchero Don Alvarado (a stolid performance by Carlos Villarias). While he's in the neighbourhood, José also boasts that he can tame the Don's daughter, a Mexican spitfire played by Mona Maris.
From here, the rest of the movie is by the numbers. One thing I found quite offensive about this film is its 'Taming of the Shrew' attitude: if a man desires a woman, he is her absolute master and she must bend to his will. If she fails to realise this at first, she will come to her senses eventually. I got the impression that the blatant sexism and machismo in this movie were due to the fact that this film is a product of Mexican culture, intended for Mexican audiences. But Mexicans have no exclusive copyright on such attitudes: quite a few 'yanqui' movies have committed the same crimes.
I'll rate this dire effort just one point out of 10.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?