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The Forgotten Village (1941)

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Documentary examining the conflicts between the coming of modernization and the traditional culture of a small Mexican village.


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A sociological study of the people, of a small pueblo in Santiago, in the remote mountains of Mexico, who have not caught up with modern civilization, as reflected in the life of a young boy, Juan Diego, and his family. A protest against the government and religion that keeps the peasants poor, uneducated and rooted to superstition and poverty. Written by Les Adams <>

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Documentary | Drama


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Release Date:

18 November 1941 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Den glemte landsby  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Motion Picture Division of the New York State Board of Education banned the film when it came out because of its depiction of childbirth and a scene showing a baby at its mother's breast. See more »

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User Reviews

The Forgotten Village (1941) Is An Interesting Low Budget Movie Made With Amateur Actors
21 January 2011 | by (Columbia (Lancaster County) Pennsylvania, USA) – See all my reviews

The Forgotten Village (1941) is an interesting experimental movie made inexpensively and using amateur actors in Mexico, narrated by Burgess Meredith and written by John Steinbeck.

The short movie is a portrait of a rural Mexican village which has public health problems in the form of local drinking water sources infected by pernicious parasitic microorganism germs. Children in the small village die, and the local "witchdoctor" Indian old lady who serves as the village "doctor" does not cure the sick and dying children with her folk remedies, which include wrapping the children's abdominal area in snake skins.

The only educated person in the village is a young male schoolteacher, and he proposes that the village request visitation and assistance by the Mexican federal government rural health service both to attend to the sick and dying children, and also to correct the infected water supply problem.

The old lady "witchdoctor" leads a revolt against the teacher's proposal, and when the government officials do visit the village in time to correct the problems the bad water has caused, the same old lady organizes the villagers in a boycott of the visiting health officials. Her influence is strong and seemingly absolute. Only one person, a teen aged boy named "Juan Diego," is influenced by the schoolteacher and moves to welcome the Mexico federal government public rural visiting health care workers, and cooperate with them.

The boy takes his sick young sister to the visiting government doctors, who treat her, and also move to correct the water infection problem without the permission of the local people.

Juan Diego is thrown out of his home by his angry father, who sides with the witchdoctor lady, and the schoolteacher arranges for the boy to go to a big city in Mexico and obtain advanced education in health care.

At the end of the movie, we see big city Mexico and young adult students in lab coats, looking into microscopes and watching medical operations, learning about scientific, modern health care they can take back to the rural villages many of them have come from.

The actors are all amateurs, but the camera and editor work in the movie is excellent, and so is the direction of the actors by the movie's director, Herbert Kline.

Burgess Meredith's excellent and understated narration is also very good.

The overall result is a very interesting and poignant movie about simple people in rural Mexico, and problems they face, including social problems which prevent their access to modern public health care services and medicine.

The small village shown in the movie had no electricity, motor cars, modern communications (telephones, etc.) and had only a one room school and a single educated young male schoolteacher. This man becomes the pivotal figure in the story, the man who saves the health of the people in his village, in spite of the fact they try to refuse the help he suggests, and do not appreciate or reward his efforts.

It's a very old story told many times over history. The Forgotten Village (1941) is an interesting re-telling of the story, worth seeing and thinking about.


Written by Tex Allen, SAG Actor. Visit WWW.IMDb.Com and choose "Tex Allen" "resume" for contact information, movie credits, and biographical information about Tex Allen.

Tex Allen has reviewed more than 40 movies posted on the website WWW.IMDb.Com (the world's largest movie information database, owned by Amazon.Com) as of January 2011.

These include: 1. Alfie (1966) 29 July 2009 2. Alien (1979) 24 July 2009 3. All the Loving Couples (1969) 17 January 2011 4. All the President's Men (1976) 16 November 2010 5. American Graffiti (1973) 22 November 2010 6. Animal House (1978) 16 August 2009 7. Bullitt (1968) 23 July 2009 8. Captain Kidd (1945) 28 July 2009 9. Child Bride (1938) 24 September 2009 10. Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) 22 September 2010 11. Destination Moon (1950) 17 January 2011 12. Detour (1945) 19 November 2010 13. Die Hard 2 (1990) 23 December 2010 14. The Wonderful, Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl (1993) 19 November 2010 15. Jack and the Beanstalk (1952) 26 July 2009 16. King Solomon's Mines (1950) 1 December 2010 17. Knute Rockne All American (1940) 2 November 2010 18. Claire's Knee (1970) 15 August 2009 19. Melody Ranch (1940) 10 November 2010 20. Morning Glory (1933) 19 November 2010 21. Mush and Milk (1933) 17 January 2011 22. New Moon (1940) 3 November 2010 23. Pinocchio (1940) 6 November 2010 24. R2PC: Road to Park City (2000) 19 November 2010 25. Salt (2010) 24 August 2010 26. Sunset Blvd. (1950) 1 December 2010 27. The Great Dictator (1940) 1 November 2010 28. The King's Speech (2010) 19 January 2011 29. The Last Emperor (1987) 20 January 2011 30. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962) 9 January 2011 31. The Man in the White Suit (1951) 5 August 2009 32. The Philadelphia Story (1940) 5 November 2010 33. The Social Network (2010) 19 January 2011 34. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974) 1 August 2009 35. The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) 14 August 2009 36. The Witchmaker (1969) 21 July 2009

Written by Tex Allen, Antioch College graduate (BA in Education), and also SAG-AFTRA movie actor. Visit WWW.IMDb.Me/TexAllen for more information about Tex Allen.

Tex Allen's email address is TexAllen@Rocketmail.Com.

See Tes Allen Movie Credits, Biography, and 2012 photos at WWW.IMDb.Me/TexAllen. See other Tex Allen written movie reviews....almost 100 titles.... at: "" (paste this address into your URL Browser)

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