IMDb > Life Sentence (1979)

Life Sentence (1979) More at IMDbPro »Cadena perpetua (original title)


User Rating:
7.6/10   127 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 6% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for Life Sentence on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
9 August 1979 (Mexico) See more »
A former felon is blackmailed by a corrupt policeman and forced to commit a crime. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win See more »
User Reviews:
Mexican cinema maestro Arturo Ripstein shows why it is difficult for a reformed person to make progress in life. See more (3 total) »


  (in credits order)

Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... Javier Lira; El Tarzan
Narciso Busquets ... Comandante Prieto
Ernesto Gómez Cruz ... Cabo Pantoja
Angélica Chain ... Rosa Martinez
Ana Ofelia Murguía ... Sra Romero
Roberto Cobo ... Gallito
Rodrigo Puebla ... Cotorra
Yolanda Rigel ... Ojitos
Jorge Patiño ... Muclan
Pilar Pellicer ... Mujer de Pantoja
Ana Martín ... Criada
Ramón Menéndez ... Empleado del banco
Julián Pastor
Yaco Alva
Salvador Garcini
Antonio Bravo ... Sr. Romero
Roberto Dumont

León Singer
Jorge Fegán ... Señor Poli
Eduardo Cassab
Martha Meneses
Laura Alfaro
Agustín Silva
Marta Resnikoff
Humberto Vilchis
Eduardo Borja
Roberto Monterrubio
María Barber
Pepe Arévalo
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Socorro de la Campa

Directed by
Arturo Ripstein 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Vicente Leñero  writer
Arturo Ripstein  writer
Luis Spota  novel

Original Music by
Miguel Pous 
Cinematography by
Jorge Stahl Jr. 
Film Editing by
Rafael Ceballos 
Production Design by
Jorge Fernández 
Lucero Isaac 
Costume Design by
Juanita Oliver 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Félix Martín .... assistant director

Production CompaniesOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Cadena perpetua" - Mexico (original title)
See more »
95 min
Sound Mix:


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Mexican cinema maestro Arturo Ripstein shows why it is difficult for a reformed person to make progress in life., 1 October 2014
Author: FilmCriticLalitRao from Paris, France

Every human being deserves a chance to progress in life despite having had a shady past. This is the reason why many religions state that one should hate the sin and not the sinner. It is on this belief that Arturo Ripstein, Mexican cinema's greatest director has directed one of his important films "Cadena Perpetua". It can be translated as 'life imprisonment' but it is more than a simple life imprisonment as this film's protagonist Tarzan, a former thief finds himself at difficult crossroads when some corrupt policemen make their way in his life in order to disturb it. A reformed person might feel himself under the influence of being perpetually tied to chains if somebody forces him to abandon the life of goodness for a life of evil. It is often said that Ripstein's films are difficult for Mexican people to watch as he truthfully shows what is wrong with the losers who have given a bad name to Mexico. In "Cadena Perpetua", Ripstein directs his anger at corrupt police forces who seem to have prevailed in Mexico. Lastly, 'Cadena Perpetua' is an interesting film to watch as it does not propose easy solutions to problems faced by a reformed person. It is also important especially in the manner it has researched the past of a reformed criminal.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (3 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Life Sentence (1979)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Lucía, Lucía Touch of Evil He Walked by Night Let Sleeping Cops Lie The Big Heat
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Crime section IMDb Mexico section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.