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A ruthless, comical, fun-loving, romantic rebel general, General Jose Juan Reyes, preparing to make a stand against the Mexican-government army takes over a small Mexican town and imprisons the town leaders, including the father of fiery Maria Dolores Penafiel, who is among those citizens who take a stand against Reyes. Maria protests by slapping the face of Reyes, (the first of many times) and he is so enthralled by her spirit that he immediately declares she must become his wife. In response, she shows some more spirit, she sets off a firecracker under his horse. Reyes begins to soften and, with the aid of Father Sierra and Maria, who is about to marry her local suitor, he helps the town fight an influenza epidemic. He decides to retreat than stage a battle in the town against the advancing government troops. Maria is so stirred by the bugles of the retreating rebels, that she leaves her marriage ceremony and marches with Reyes and his ragged army across the desert into the sunset. ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A Film Classic! Excellent direction by famed Emilio Fernandez
This absorbingly told story is a real tribute to the award-winning director Emilio Fernandez. Fernandez was awarded top prize at the 1946 Cannes festival for Maria Candelaria -- he also was recognized over the years at festivals in Venice, Berlin, Moscow, San Sebastian and in his native Mexico. The photography and editing are stunning - the film is a visual masterpiece from beginning to end. The story couples Fernandez' own "revolutionary" consciousness with a compelling humanitarian outlook. The acting is on cue by the leads -- and the supporting players have fantastic faces and genuine authenticity. This was no "quickie" as other IMDb users claim, but a Class A production throughout. Buy this film. It is out on DVD and well worth every penny. The only real drawback is Paulette Goddard's looks. At 39, she is simply too old for the part (at times she reminded me of "Baby Jane Hudson"). Otherwise, Goddard gives one of her best performances -- her transformation from a temperamental, spoiled, privileged woman to a real human being is well played. This film needs to be re-discovered!!
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