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Fever Mounts at El Pao (1959)

La fièvre monte à El Pao (original title)
Aroused citizens assassinate an unpopular Caribbean despot, then two men vie for his gorgeous widow Ines. Ojeda is a steamy, isolated island, the penal colony for an oppressive dictatorship... See full summary »



(novel), (adaptation) (as Luis Bunuel) | 4 more credits »
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Cast overview:
Ramón Vázquez
Inés Rojas (as Maria Felix)
Alejandro Gual
Miguel Ángel Ferriz ...
Le gouverneur Mariano Vargas (as M.A. Soler)
Raúl Dantés ...
Le lieutenant García (as Raoul Dantes)
Domingo Soler ...
Le professeur Juan Cárdenas
Víctor Junco ...
Roberto Cañedo ...
Le colonel Olivares


Aroused citizens assassinate an unpopular Caribbean despot, then two men vie for his gorgeous widow Ines. Ojeda is a steamy, isolated island, the penal colony for an oppressive dictatorship. A reactionary seizes the murdered governor's post, and rushes to eliminate his romantic rival, an idealistic underling. The bureaucrat Vazquez hopes to marshal the angry residents of the capitol, El Pao, plus the many political prisoners, to oust Governor Gual. Written by David Stevens

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Release Date:

5 December 1959 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Febre Sobe em El Pao  »

Filming Locations:


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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Half of the credits are displayed at the beginning of the films: the first seven member of the cast, director, writers, director of photography, composer & conductor, production companies and, finally, executive producer. The closing credits display the other half (after the word "FIN"): Once again the cast list but this time the first eight actors; then the assistant director, script supervisor, unit manager, sound engineer, production manager, followed by the name of the dubbing facilities and laboratories. See more »


Remade as La fièvre monte à El Pao (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

Gerard Philippe and Maria Felix outwit Jean Servais only to succumb to even higher level political corruption
1 January 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a melodrama or political film noir in which nobody wins. The story exposes the overlap of human and political corruption in a penal colony on the island of El Pao.

I rate this as very entertaining due to the complex story mainly and the performances, but the story unfolds in rather a rough fashion with some jumps in the action. It looks like the budget may have necessitated some hastiness in the production and less care to creating a smooth outcome than the story merited. But overall, it's one heck of a ride following the ping-pong plotting of Jean Servais and his opposition, Maria Felix.

Felix is definitely a magnetic presence on screen and successfully can convey sincere love one second and deviousness the next, leaving one to wonder where she is truly coming from. She turns in a marvelous performance with her alternating personae. Servais, who had played a very rough and tough character 4 years earlier in Rififi, has no trouble conveying his menace, only softening at times in the presence of Felix or his pet birds.

The men in this story awaken to the calculations and depths of Ms. Felix.

Philippe is the man with scruples who has charge of the penal colony, having taken the place of the husband of Felix who was assassinated by an escaped convict. Servais is a new administrator determined to oust Philippe and to have his lover, the widowed Felix. She has other ideas, being very ruthless herself and persuasive with Philippe. However, she really does love him, and his idealism, which slowly but surely gets ripped apart, is one reason.

Their plots play out against a prison mutiny. Philippe's moral bearings are tested, before, during and especially after the mutiny has ended, when his superiors start using him for their own purposes.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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