Pursued union leader meets old college sweetheart and secrets are progressively revealed as pursuit continues.
I had the privilege of viewing this film in 35mm projection with an audience likewise privileged, and the first, spontaneous comment coming from an audience member in a discussion of the film that I was leading was, "It was like Casablanca only better." That comment has stayed with me, because I did not know the person, but I came to agree with it the more I got to see this film. What stands out the most is the excellent night-time photography, and the second feature is the seething romance that makes it so much like Casablanca. Even the soundtrack gives the film a boxed in feeling that makes the viewing experience very dreamlike, and the pace, the editing, and the sound/image timing is just wonderful. Julio Bracho is one of the three directors who emerged with auteur status in Mexico in the 1940s, next to Emilio "El Indio" Fernandez and Roberto Gavaldon, all three starting out with outstanding feature films in the early 1940s. At that time Mexican cinema was taking itself more seriously than ever, and filmmakers disagreed about the direction to embark upon. Distinto Amanecer was, stylistically, one answer to that open question, with a distinctly European feel, very much inspired by its ambience in 1930s French poetic realism (the studio Films Mundiales was owned by French expatriates, if I'm not mistaken). I gave this film a rating of "excellent" because I never tire of watching it for its elegant dialogue, smooth cadence and heart-melting romance, with the best performance that I have seen by the female lead Andrea Palma.
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