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Susana (1951)

 -  Drama  -  1953 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,107 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 23 critic

An unstable young woman escapes from a reformatory for very, very wayward girls and deceptively finds shelter in the kind home of a frighteningly nice and decent family. Little by little, ... See full summary »

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Title: Susana (1951)

Susana (1951) on IMDb 7.3/10

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Cast

Cast overview:
Fernando Soler ...
Don Guadalupe
Rosita Quintana ...
Susana
Víctor Manuel Mendoza ...
Jesús
María Gentil Arcos ...
Felisa
Luis López Somoza ...
Alberto
Matilde Palou ...
Doña Carmen
Rafael Icardo ...
Don Severiano, veterinary
Enrique del Castillo ...
Official reformatory
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Storyline

An unstable young woman escapes from a reformatory for very, very wayward girls and deceptively finds shelter in the kind home of a frighteningly nice and decent family. Little by little, she causes unrest and discord among the members of the household, until they are virtually fighting with each other. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

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Drama

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Release Date:

1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Susana  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Remake of The Squall (1929) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What happened to Susana?
25 January 2008 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

"Susana" lacks the usual touches of irony and surrealism present in other Buñuel films. Buñuel tells a straightforward story - the sort of melodrama that dominated the Mexican movie theaters at the time.

Susana escapes from the reformatory in which she was locked. It's a dark and stormy night. Meanwhile in a ranch nearby the members of a peaceful family follow their occupations. An old servant maid is mumbling that in nights like this the devil walks around. Thunder and lightning. Susana's face appears in the window. She faints. She is brought inside the house. Susana is a young girl with a wayward sensuality (remember, we are in 1951). Her presence will bring discord and threaten the stability of the family.

Buñuel, even in his most surrealistic films, was always deeply anchored in the reality. That is why his films are so strong. His films have a taste of earth, humanity, sensuality. "Susana" is in fact a very sensual film. The camera subtly follows Susana, her chaotic sensuality, and the other characters' reactions to her. She's the main character but not much is told about her. She was locked in a reformatory. Why? We are not told. The world doesn't accept her and her ways. Does she know what she really wants? Unfortunately it was not possible for Buñuel to give us a deeper portrait of Susana. We see her mostly through the eyes of the outside world. Why is Susana like that? What happened to Susana?

"Susana" is an over-the-top melodrama - seemingly innocent, but in the "happy ending", that seems to come out of a fairy tale, some people may detect a hidden laughter. The film was a big success in Mexico and contributed to establish definitely Buñuel as a commercially viable director.

Rosita Quintana as Susana proves her wide acting range (a shy governess in "La Ausente" and a sensual temptress in "Susana"). She's beautiful and in "Susana", she's a real volcano. Fernando Soler also distinguishes himself as the pater familias (he was also the moralist judge in "Sensualidad" and the dissolute drinking father in "Oveja Negra").

Actors and scenery are harmoniously integrated in "Susana" and Buñuel is (as always) a master of images and very adept in creating mood. Highly recommended!


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