Uneven fantastic comedy with big name actors , brilliant cinematography and great scenarios
The unfortunate devil called Mogón (Fernando Fernan Gómez who gives a sympathetic performance) is a second-class demon who waits at a cavern his fate in the burning inferno . He tells speleologist Valentin (Fernando Rey) , lost in a deep pre-historic cave , how Faustina (Maria Felix) has sold her soul to Mefistófeles (Juan De Landa) to retrieve her past beauty . As Faustina is challenged by the devil , as she too , wants to conquer all . But her covenant with the astute demon Mefistófeles is a flop , as she doesn't get marry to prince Natalio (Guillermo Marin) , but Faustina then falls in love for captain Balder (Conrado San Martin) and things go awry .
Fun adaptation based on the successful ¨Musical Revista¨ titled ¨Si Fausto Fuese Faustina¨ premiered in theatrical stage by the known singer Celia Gámez and dealing with a woman who has sold her soul to Mefistófeles in exchange for eternal youth . Many years later , its author , Jose Luis Saenz De Heredia , writes , produces and directs this cinematic rendition . It is an average comedy with a great cast though contains uneven pace and being badly narrated by means of several flashbacks . It stands out the super famous diva Maria Felix , the greatest Mexican star of all time , here hired by co-producer Cesareo Gonzalez , owner of a big production company during Franco dictatorship : ¨Suevia Films¨ . Felix gives a nice acting as a conquering woman of love , power , and fame . However , Felix and filmmaker Heredia had a lousy relationship during the shooting and along with a weak screenplay that suffered numerous modifications , all of them spoiled the film . Support cast is fabulous , plenty of ordinary Spanish secondaries , such as : Juan De Landa , Tony Leblanc , Tomás Blanco , Xan Das Bolas , Guillermo Marín , Santiago Ontañón , Erasmo Pascual , Ángel Álvarez , Matilde Muñoz Sampedro , Antonio Casas , Rafael Bardem , Joaquín Roa , Santiago Rivero and special mention for the always great José Isbert . The staging is very well achieved and we can watch some surprising and gaudy sequences ; especially , the splendid recreation of the flaming hell and the wonderful grotto and caves filled with marvelous stalactite . Lavish and nice production design by the prestigious Ramiro Gómez . Colorful cinematography in Eastmancolor by the great cameraman Alfredo Fraile . Atmospheric as well as evocative musical score by Juan Quintero , including some songs and musical numbers .
The motion was regularly directed by Jose Luis Saenz De Heredia . He was a controversial figure in Spain because of his strong and unabashed support of dictator Francisco Franco . At the beginning his career he was hired by Luis Buñuel , as executive producer , to direct ¨La Hija De Juan Simon¨ (1935) and ¨Quien Me Quiere a Mi¨ . During the Spanish Civil War , Jose Luis Heredia is detained but freed thanks to Luis Buñuel and Santiago Ontañon . Heredia directed various ¨Propaganda films¨ . It is well known the main title ¨Raza¨ written by General Francisco Franco under pseudonym : ¨Jaime Andrade¨ . As Jose Luis became the official filmmaker of the dictatorship , as he writes ¨Escuadrilla¨ (1941) . Posteriorly ,in the 40s , he directs several successful dramas : ¨El Escandalo¨ (43) based on Pedro Alarcón novel , ¨Mariona Rebull¨(1947) based on Ignacio Agusti book , ¨La Aguas Bajan Negras¨ based on Armanado Palacio Valdes , ¨El Destino Se Disculpa¨ based on Wenceslao Fernández Florez , ¨Don Juan¨ based on Don Juan Tenorio by Zorrilla , ¨Bambu¨ about the Cuba War and ¨¨Mies Es Mucha¨. In addition , a very good drama about Carlistas wars : ¨Diez Fusiles Esperan¨ . Heredia subsequently makes inferior comedies as ¨Grano De Mostaza¨, ¨Derechos De La Mujer¨ and ¨La Decente¨ . And various Manolo Escobar/Concha Velasco vehicles such as ¨Pero En Que País Vivimos¨, ¨Juicio De Faldas¨, Relaciones Casi Publicas ¨and ¨Me Debes Un Muerto¨. And other films for Paco Martínez Soria: ¨Se Armo El Belen¨, ¨Don Erre Que Erre¨. His greatest hits were ¨Historia De La Radio¨(1955) and ¨La Verbena De La Paloma¨ or ¨The fair of the dove¨.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?