Recently a ninth roll of the movie was found after decades of thinking that the movie only had eight. The ninth roll includes an alternative "happy" ending, and is included in a new DVD released in Mexico with a book about the movie.
This film was very poorly received in Mexico when originally released, with particular resentment directed at the Spaniard Luis Buñuel, as a foreigner, for exposing the nation's problems with poverty and crime. In fact, it was only after Buñuel won Best Director at Cannes that the film's quality was reevaluated by Mexican critics and audiences. Critical opinion of the film in Mexico is now very high: in a 1994 poll for the magazine Somos, Los Olvidados was named the second greatest Mexican film of all time. (Let's Go with Pancho Villa (1936) - directed by Fernando de Fuentes, was ranked first.)
UNESCO has launched the Memory of the World Programme to prevent collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world and ensuring their wide dissemination. This film and Fritz Lang's Metropolis (1927) were the first two movies (and in 2004, the only ones) recognized in this special way.