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Mexican Bus Ride (1952)

Subida al cielo (original title)
A young man and woman's honeymoon is cut short when the man learns that his mother has fallen ill back at home. The newlywed couple rush there to discover the other sons neglecting their ... See full summary »



(story and adaptation), (adaptation) | 3 more credits »

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6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilia Prado ...
Esteban Márquez ...
Oliverio Grajales
Luis Aceves Castañeda ...
Manuel Dondé ...
Eladio González
Roberto Cobo ...
Juan Grajales
Beatriz Ramos ...
Manuel Noriega ...
Licenciado Figueroa (as Manolo Noriega)
Roberto Meyer ...
Don Nemesio Álvarez y Villalbazo
Pedro Elviro ...
El cojo (as Pitouto)
Pedro Ibarra ...
Felipe Grajales
Leonor Gómez ...
Doña Linda
Chel López ...
Compadre Chema
Paz Villegas ...
Doña Ester - Mamá de Oliverio (as Paz Villegas de Orellana)
Silvia Castro
Paula Rendón


A young man and woman's honeymoon is cut short when the man learns that his mother has fallen ill back at home. The newlywed couple rush there to discover the other sons neglecting their mom in order to plot their squandering of the inheritance. The newlywed son takes quite an adventurous bus-ride to a distant city to get his mother's will notarized to the contrary, and is faced with multiple temptations along the way. Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

26 June 1952 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Mexican Bus Ride  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In his autobiography, _My Last Sigh_, Luis Buñuel said the screenplay was based on adventures that actually happened to his friend and producer of the film, Spanish poet Manuel Altolaguirre, while on a bus trip. See more »


Featured in Anoche soñé contigo (1992) See more »


La Sanmarqueña
Written by Agustín Ramírez
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User Reviews

Entertaining and formative film from early in Buñuel's Mexican period…
13 June 2015 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

Luis Buñuel, I believe, is one of the ten greatest directors of all time, and "Mexican Bus Ride" is a perfect example of why; not because it's one of his best films, but because it's one of his worst films, and yet it's wonderful. It's certainly not Buñuel at his most brilliant, but it may be something near Buñuel at his most delightful. This was a joyous viewing experience for me.

Buñuel began his filmmaking career in Paris, directing a short film in 1929 called "Un chien andalou", which was co-written by none other than the great surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí. It wasn't exactly the first film of its kind — René Clair's "Entr'acte" in 1924 was stylistically similar — but it was extremely audacious and a milestone in the attempt to bring true, uncompromising art to the cinema.

Buñuel and Dalí collaborated on one more film, "L'age d'or", in 1930, which was followed by Buñuel's documentary short, "Las Hurdes" (a.k.a "Land Without Bread"), in 1933. That marked the end of this early period in Buñuel's career. He would not make any more films for fourteen years.

In order to break back into the film industry, Buñuel had to accept a commercial, mainstream project that was, artistically speaking, beneath his dignity. And so his fourteen-year hiatus came to an end with the release of the 1947 Mexican film, "Gran Casino". It was the only truly bad Buñuel film I've ever seen, but it served its purpose: It got Buñuel on his feet again, and the subsequent run of Mexican pictures that Buñuel directed was fantastic.

The most famous films from this Mexican period in Buñuel's career came at the end of it, in the early '60s: "Viridiana", "The Exterminating Angel", and "Simon of the Desert", after which he returned to making mostly French films to finish his career, and his final three films — "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie", "The Phantom of Liberty", and "That Obscure Object of Desire" — are perhaps his greatest masterpieces.

Still, the early films from Buñuel's Mexican period are a true pleasure to watch. Amongst them, we have more serious films like "Los olvidados", an uncharacteristic exercise in social realism, and "Susana", which in many ways was an early dress rehearsal for "Tristana". Those are probably the best films out of his first half-dozen or so Mexican films, but the others, excluding "Gran Casino", are very enjoyable films. They were lighthearted comedies, with varying degrees of drama. They include "The Great Madcap", "Daughter of Deceit", and "Mexican Bus Ride". While none of these are likely to be considered truly great films, and certainly aren't among Buñuel's best, they occupy a very special place in his body of work for me. I'll always have a soft spot for these films.

Of these six films that began his Mexican period, "Susana" was undoubtedly the Buñuel film that reminds us most of the later work that would ultimately define his identity as a filmmaker. It worked on one of Buñuel's most recurring themes: the sexual frustration — the full-fledged torment — that a man can undergo at the hands of a beautiful woman who withholds intimacy. "Tristana" and "That Obscure Object of Desire" are the best-known examples of this, but it's a constant theme throughout Buñuel's body of work, and we see it here in "Mexican Bus Ride", albeit very watered down compared to his later work.

In addition to the marvelous entertainment value of the film, "Mexican Bus Ride" stood out to me as being the first Buñuel feature to really include all of his hallmarks as a filmmaker — all of the elements of the cinema that would eventually constitute his essence as an artist. Granted, they all came in very small doses in this film — they were very unrefined at this point, and none of them fully developed — but they're present, nonetheless.

Buñuel was known as "the father of cinematic surrealism". His oneiric tone and surrealist mode of filmmaking were essential facets of his cinema, and he delivers a great dream sequence in "Mexican Bus Ride". It comes about halfway into the film, and it only lasts about five minutes, but it was a welcome addition to an already very enjoyable viewing experience.

Buñuel was also known as "the scourge of the bourgeoisie". He went beyond the requisite for a leftist filmmaker when he attacked both bourgeois society and bourgeois individuals themselves, generally through unrelenting, scathing satire. This aspect of his cinema isn't by any means present in "Mexican Bus Ride" to the extent that it is in, say, "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie", but it's there, and it's not difficult to detect.

Surrealism, female sexual dominance, and satirization of the bourgeoisie — these, to me, are the three pillars of Luis Buñuel's cinema, and the most fascinating aspect of his films is observing the various ways in which he's able to intertwine these themes. In "Mexican Bus Ride", all three are somewhat diluted, as Buñuel hadn't yet fully discovered his identity as a filmmaker (or hadn't yet been allowed to fully express it, perhaps), but they're present, together, for the first time in his career in Mexico. Buñuel certainly wasn't able to be as extreme here in his expression of his ideas as he would be later on, and he goes light enough on these themes that, if we weren't looking for them — that is to say, if we didn't know Buñuel so well — we might not attach much significance to them. But for the veteran Buñuel fan, it's all there.

"Mexican Bus Ride" is a legitimately good film. With all his outright brilliance, I often forget how downright fun Buñuel could be, and this film was a great reminder.

RATING: 7.33 out of 10 stars

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