10 user 1 critic

The Torch (1950)

Passed | | Action, Adventure, Comedy | 2 June 1950 (USA)
A revolutionary and his band take over a small Mexican town. The townspeople begin to take sides over whether to fight him, join forces with him or just try to get along with him.



(original screenplay), (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

Free at Internet Archive



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Three short stories revolving around the topic of the daily question posed by the roving reporter to the readers of a daily newspaper.

Directors: Leslie Fenton, King Vidor, and 2 more credits »
Stars: Paulette Goddard, James Stewart, Henry Fonda
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Girl loses beauty contest, becomes a fortune teller.

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, Gladys George
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Celestine, the chamber-maid, has a new job in the country, at the Lanlaires. She has decided to use her beauty to seduce a wealthy man, but Mr. Lanlaire is not a right choice: the house is ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Renoir
Stars: Paulette Goddard, Burgess Meredith, Hurd Hatfield
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A prominent politician is preparing to expose a financial scandal. But then a woman who has invested heavily in the shady venture threatens to uncover a damaging secret in the politician's ... See full summary »

Director: Alexander Korda
Stars: Paulette Goddard, Michael Wilding, Diana Wynyard
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A female Borgia is sent out to live up to the family name by killing someone, but falls in love with her intended victim.

Director: Mitchell Leisen
Stars: John Lund, Paulette Goddard, Macdonald Carey
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Stockbroker T.T.Ralston has promised his neice Gwen to double it if she can raise $20,000. for charity. But he connives so those she asks refuse to give her more than the $10,000 she's ... See full summary »

Director: Elliott Nugent
Stars: Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Edward Arnold
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Florida ship salvager, Loxi, falls for Jack, captain of a ship wrecked on the Key West shore. However, their romance is complicated by the arrival of another suitor, and eventually leads to tragedy.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille
Stars: Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A man on a fishing trip with three of his friends receives a blow to the head that makes him lose his memory. Three years later it all comes back to him, but on the day it does one of the men who was on the trip with him turns up dead.

Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Paulette Goddard, William Sylvester, Patrick Holt
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

The downward spiral of the quality of films Paulette Goddard appeared in in the 1950's would cause a gravitational blackout to anyone viewing them in a single day, but with some of the ... See full summary »

Director: William Castle
Stars: Paulette Goddard, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Richard Wyler
Enamorada (1946)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

During the Mexican Revolution, a macho rebel general falls in love with the independent-minded daughter of an aristocrat in the town he is occupying.

Director: Emilio Fernández
Stars: María Félix, Pedro Armendáriz, Fernando Fernández
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The aging Ahab, king of Israel, comes under the influence of a young and beautiful but scheming pagan woman named Jezebel and, against the advice of his advisers and the prophet Elijah, ... See full summary »

Director: Reginald Le Borg
Stars: Paulette Goddard, George Nader, Eduard Franz
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Hassan, the Kadi of Bagdad, has a harem housing twelve beauties, but concentrates his attention on Zohara. A newcomer, Kyra, introduces rebellion into the by the unheard of act of ... See full summary »

Directors: Jerónimo Mihura, Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Paulette Goddard, Gypsy Rose Lee, Richard Ney


Cast overview:
María Dolores Penafiel
José Juan Reyes
Father Sierra
Dr. Robert Stanley
Julio Villarreal ...
Don Carlos Penafiel
Carlos Múzquiz ...
Fidel Bernal
Margarito Luna ...
Capt. Bocanegra
José Torvay ...
Capt. Quiñones (as José I. Torvay)
Pascual García Peña ...
Don Apolinio
Antonia Daneem ...
Jorge Treviño
Rosaura Revueltas
Eduardo Arozamena
Guillermo Calles


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 <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


BY GUN...BY FLAME...BY FORCE...He took everything he wanted!


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

2 June 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rebellen der schwarzen Berge  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Remake of Enamorada (1946) See more »


Wedding March
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Heard at the wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

perhaps minor, but necessary classic of commercial film-making
28 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

You have to have like zero sense of Mexican history and culture not to understand the multiple levels of thematic development and narrative going on in this film. And unfortunately some of the reviews on this film evidence just that lack of sense.

The Mexican revolution (roughly 1910-1920) was one of the most confusing - and bloodiest - in the annals of national political developments in the West. Perhaps only the Spanish Cuivil War could equal it for ferocity, and that only lasted less than half as long. An entire generation was shaped by the slaughter but also by the struggle to establish a national identity at last committed to some principle of legitimate democratic governance. The legacy - and the problems -continue.

The leading male, General Reyes (based loosely on Zapata), is a complex character; he is hardly a saint - he passes judgment on a wealthy businessman (who has raise the prices of necessities to prevent their purchase by the poor) and has him executed. Is he authoritarian murderer and thief? Or is he trying to establish and enforce a new law? Can this be determined in a time of revolution, when the very question of what constitutes legitimacy is at issue? Yet we are given to know that he can love individuals - and also the people as a whole, when an influenza epidemic breaks out and he orders his men to help the stricken, even at the risk of their own lives - and his.

The relationship between Reyes and the wealthy landowner's daughter Maria will probably not make much sense unless you understand that Mexican culture is profoundly Romantic in the 19th Century usage of that term. Both Reyes and Maria are fiercely struggling to determine how to maintain their individuality while pursuing a courtship threatening to engulf them both. Their resolution - allowing the revolution to seal their fates together - is pure (Percy) Shellyan. (This is a very tough-minded romance, and only a true Romantic would know what that means. The closest Hollywood came to it is Gone With The Wind which this film resembles, as a rather compressed variant at 80 minutes - and maybe Casablanca.)

As to the film-making - it is glorious - absolutely beautiful cinematography, exquisitely taut direction, brilliant performances by the leading actors. The editing is a bit rugged, but it may have to be. I was at first confused by the influenza epidemic sequence - it is all smoke, darkness, sudden jump cuts and time ellipses - until I realized that this was as intended. Director Fernandez knew that his audience wanted a battle to decide the fates of the characters, but also recognized that this would spoil the romance. So the epidemic displace military engagement; nonetheless, it too is a battle, a battle to survive, and so must be both confusing and threatening, involving the loss of life and the definition of the personalities at risk and how they respond to it.

That is intuitive film-making, and very risky, and brilliant if pulled off well. And I think it is. The ending, for me, was emotionally staggering, but only Reyes' and Maria's collective endeavors to survive the epidemic - and help others during it - could properly prepare me for it.

An absolutely knockdown film. The existing prints - the one at Internet Archive I saw was a Mexican television edit, and I've read of worse - are not great, and maybe lacking episodes. Still what is available makes proper claim that this ought to stand as a (perhaps minor, but necessary) classic of commercial film-making. God knows what was going through RKO's Hollywood brains when they decided to make a Mexican film by a Mexican director (in English, with US actors), but thank god they did.

(BTW influence: Undoubtedly seen by Sam Peckinpah who hired Fernandez to play Mapache in the Wild Bunch - note certain character similarities. Probably also seen in Europe, where it would have earned more respect than in the US, I suggest Sergio Leone may very well have been a fan, note similarity of certain shots, certain relationships, certain characters, to those in The Good, The Bad, The Ugly.)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Goddard was too old for this role DavidLawrenceWagner
Discuss The Torch (1950) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: