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The Naked Dawn (1955)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Western | 30 November 1955 (Denmark)
In Mexico, at the dawn of the automobile, modern bandit Santiago burglarizes train freight cars and falls in love with a poor farmer's wife.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Arthur Kennedy ...
Santiago
Betta St. John ...
Maria Lopez
Eugene Iglesias ...
Manuel Lopez
Charlita ...
Tita (entertainer)
Roy Engel ...
Guntz (fence)
Tony Martinez ...
Vicente
Francis McDonald ...
Railroad guard
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Storyline

Santiago, a jolly modern bandito, has just lost his partner when he happens on the isolated farm of young Manuel and Maria Lopez. Manuel's aid is enlisted in what develops into a violent encounter with Santiago's fence. Exposed to money, the fast life, and Santiago's anarchistic philosophy, Manuel (formerly simple and hardworking) is in serious danger of being corrupted (and Maria is not immune either)... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

So close together ... only a bullet can separate them ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

30 November 1955 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

The Bandit  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

François Truffaut cited this film as an inspiration for Jules and Jim. In fact, he even mentions Jules and Jim in his review of this film. Truffaut's film came out six years later. See more »

Quotes

Santiago: Aww! You know how to die. You watch plenty others.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Edgar G. Ulmer - The Man Off-screen (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

AI HOMBRE
Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert
Lyrics by William Copeland
Sung and Danced by Charlita
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Technicolor Ulmer

If for the first half of this drama, you can go through the typical Hollywood depiction of Mexico and its people (dancing flamenco and shouting "Olé"), you will enjoy this tale of greed and treason among common folks, related to one another in different ways. Never mind the mixture of Spanish elements with the Mexican: the description of Mexican culture (which is key to the story, though not essential) is not even offensive, but plainly cheap, funny and sometimes embarrassing for the cast, although Charlita seems to enjoy every minute of her part as a kind of Tongolele lost in a dusty cantina. Since the central plot is interesting enough by itself, we can overlook all the kitsch, for what is being told is universal: how human beings can become negative from one moment to the next, by ambition and lust for material possession. All the three leads are quite effective. I really had never seen Arthur Kennedy so good in a role, practically having the whole film on his shoulders; beautiful Betta St. John is a bit out of range in her dramatic scenes, but she is more convincing here than in those Tarzan movies with Gordon Scott; while Eugene Iglesias is intense enough to suggest the emergence of a lout in less than half a day. As in all of Edgar G. Ulmer's films, no matter how big or small the budget, the visuals are good. The ingredient I enjoyed the less was the proto-Morriconesque score by composer Herschel Burke Gilbert, who could have benefited by going to Plaza Garibaldi in México City and have some tequila and tacos, sing with a mariachi band, and listen to rancheras and other typical Mexican musical forms.


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