Webb Carey returns to Orta, near Milan, to find out who betrayed his World War II O.S.S. team and caused the death of several villagers. His old love Julie, whom he thought dead at the ... See full summary »
Actor Pedro Armendáriz and director Roberto Gavaldón produced this strong rural melodrama, set in an iconic Mexican town, where landowners rule in a feudalistic manner (as they still do up to this day in many places). Probably Armendáriz produced the film as a reaction to his frequent casting as a passive indigenous peasant or too good loud-mouthed soldier: he is still shouting in this one, but now as Rosauro Castro, a mean and menacing tyrant who stops at nothing to control the town and its people. A moral tale written by Gavaldón and playwright José Revueltas (with dramatic elements that predate both "High Noon" and "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance", from a story by Robert Quigley, British writer and filmmaker who frequently worked in Mexico), it starts with the killing of a candidate to mayor, and the arrival of a government official (Arturo Martínez in a rare performance as a good guy), who suspects of Castro's tyrannical ways and wants to teach the town authorities more civilized ways to administer justice. All the action takes place in 24 hours, with a highly dramatic third act, but everything is told in less than 90 satisfactory minutes.
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