A husband's suave exterior unravels after his marriage, and he unleashes his paranoid and volatile temper on his wife, which escalate to more dangerous and unpredictable tantrums.

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(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arturo de Córdova ...
Francisco Galván de Montemayor
Delia Garcés ...
Gloria Vilalta
Aurora Walker ...
Doña Esperanza Vilalta
Carlos Martínez Baena ...
Padre Velasco
Manuel Dondé ...
Pablo
Rafael Banquells ...
Ricardo Luján
Fernando Casanova ...
Lic. Beltrán
José Pidal ...
Padre prior
Roberto Meyer ...
Licenciado
Luis Beristáin ...
Raúl Conde
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Storyline

Francisco is rich, rather strict on principles, and still a bachelor. After meeting Gloria by accident, he is suddenly intent on her becoming his wife and courts her until she agrees to marry him. Francisco is a dedicated husband, but little by little his passion starts to exhibit disturbing traits. Nevertheless, Gloria meets with scepticism as she expresses her worries to their acquaintances. Written by Eduardo Casais <eduardo.casais@research.nokia.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Another film masterpiece by the director of the prize-winning "The Young and the Damned"

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 July 1953 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

This Strange Passion  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA High Fidelity)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in three weeks. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vertigo (1958) See more »

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User Reviews

 
El (1953)
4 January 2012 | by (Portland OR) – See all my reviews

One of Bunuel's best films, and certainly the finest of his lesser-known work. An intense, gripping study of a man who goes from merely asshole to outright insane, perhaps driven just a bit by his fondness for feet (the film's alternate title is "This Strange Passion"). In a powerhouse performance by Arturo de Cordova, Francisco is jealous, irrational, impulsive, self-centered, paranoid, delusional, megalomaniacal, misanthropic and sadistic. Bunuel leaves it up to the viewer to imagine what he's doing to Julia as we hear her tormented screams echo through the mansion... or what he has in mind when he sneaks into her room with a rope, a razor blade and a pair of scissors. Bunuel isn't known for flashy cinematography, but he always knows exactly where to place the camera, and the film's visual style gets more and more noir-ish as Francisco descends deeper into his obsessive madness. There's a subversive quality and almost a black comedy to it, like a Wyler melodrama with a perverted twist. The film begins and ends in a church, a symbol of sexual repression and false ideals, and the brilliant final shot suggests how much it feeds into Francisco's psychosis.


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