A Must for Negrete Fans -- A Total Waste of Time for Everyone Else!
SYNOPSIS: Much to his surprise, the self-styled town bully of Jalisco (Jorge Negrete) is put in charge of his young nephew. Although he finds the task neither pleasing nor easy, he accepts the responsibility anyway. The lad is just a baby when the picture starts, but before you can blink an eye, he is around ten or twelve years old and is singing for coins in the town square. No mean vocalist himself, Jorge straightens the lad out with a little assistance from his four cowpoke hangers-on. And of course he also finds time to win the heart of the lovely Gloria Marin.
REVIEW: Not much of a story -- and not much of a movie either! The "De" in writer/producer/director Fernando De Fuentes' name evidently stands for "Dissolve". Because most of the director's shots don't match, the poor old editor has to use dissolves almost continuously. So you fade in to a long shot, then dissolve to the awkward two-shot, then cut in an awkward close-up from the lab. Then you fade out that scene and fade in to the next scene. This is more awkward because it's a crowd scene in the local saloon. So you have to dissolve four or five shots of the crowd together before finding a long shot of Negrete which you can reasonably cut into a closer shot of our hero winning at cards with four of his buddies (two on each side -- how neat!).
One of these four willing victims is our old friend, Alfonso Bedoya, would you believe (here masquerading as Alfonso Bedolla which is the correct spelling of his name -- it's pronounced "Bedoya")? Senor Bedolla is slightly less hammy than in his Hollywood movies. But only slightly. Although billed way down in the cast list, he uses all his tricks to distract audience attention from the other three.
Although Negrete serenades her with his best song, the movie's leading lady, Gloria Marin, is such a colorless if beautiful lady, Negrete has no trouble steering the audience's eyes in his direction instead.
The story, written by Senor Fuentes, is -- as noted above -- a lot of boring tripe about Negrete inheriting his young nephew. The lad of course can sing for his supper (and such singing -- makes Elvis Presley sound like Caruso). I'm amazed Negrete allowed Fuentes to get away with a rival vocalist, although he himself does have six or seven songs (including the serenade which is quite listenable and is not too ineptly staged).
However, thanks to its extended dialogue scenes and very little action, the movie, aside from its curiosity appeal, is almost a total waste of time. What little action there is, is staged in a very peculiar fashion. Negrete is often on horseback holding a conversation with people who are either standing by the roadside or sitting in a coach. His horse is remarkably restless and never stands still but continually bucks, rears and trots around in a circle while Negrete, unperturbed, continues to hold forth. (The dialogue is post-synced of course).
Other movies in the Jalisco series are available on DVD, but if they are anything like as boring as this entry...
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