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The Great Madcap (1949)

El gran calavera (original title)
Buñuel's first "comeback" film since "L'Age d'Or" in 1930 (he made only a few musicals in the interim), "El Gran Calavera" concerns a family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat ... See full summary »

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(adaptation), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Fernando Soler ...
Rosario Granados ...
Andrés Soler ...
Rubén Rojo ...
Pablo
Gustavo Rojo ...
Eduardo de la Mata
Maruja Grifell ...
Milagros
Francisco Jambrina ...
Luis Alcoriza ...
Alfredo
Antonio Bravo ...
Alfonso
Antonio Monsell ...
Juan, mayordomo
María Luisa Serrano ...
Mamá de Alfredo
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Storyline

Buñuel's first "comeback" film since "L'Age d'Or" in 1930 (he made only a few musicals in the interim), "El Gran Calavera" concerns a family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat indulgent and hedonistic ways by fooling him into thinking his large fortune is gone. They assume a life of poverty in Mexico in an attempt to teach him a lesson. However, he discovers it's a ruse, but continues to perpetuate the facade of ignorance while sneaking off during the day to conduct his thriving business. Why? To teach his family a lesson - they are all lazy, worthless leeches! Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

25 November 1949 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Madcap  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

 
there is plenty to enjoy here
19 August 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Enjoyable knockabout movie that is ultimately more complex than the simple plot outline would suggest. There is not much of the Bunuel we have come to expect but then this is his first effort for almost twenty years and he must have been keen to get back into cinema. Clearly a pragmatic man he must have been aware he could soon enough get back to making what he wanted, once he had satisfied the money men he was bankable. Nevertheless there is plenty to enjoy here as much fun is had with the notion of being rich and lazy making you ill and poor and hardworking the opposite. Then there is the love interest and whether you can marry above/beneath yourself. There is a marvellous line towards the end when the said young lady is justifying going with the rich scoundrel instead of the poor, honest boy. She tells of how one may love her for her money but then the other hates her for it. As would be the case in subsequent Mexican efforts Bunuel paints an affectionate picture of the locals and is clearly happy in his surroundings.


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