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Fernando Fernán Gómez
Oh, boy. My brother is a jazz trumpet player and saw this film a year or so ago because of the Mangione score. It instantly became his least favorite film OF ALL TIME. He would groan and dry-sob over it, telling me how unbelievably poor it was, and even he admitted that the score matched nothing that happens in the film.
Being a lover of truly bad cinema, I gave this the old college try, despite his warnings that it was intolerable and seemed to go on forever. He was oh-so-right.
This heaving waste heap begins with a snail paced procession of Catholics making a pilgrimage through the Mexican desert, bearing a cross and all. Mangione's 'accompanying' music is incredibly upbeat and fast, sounding like it would be more appropriate during a car chase on 'CHiPs!' It reminded me of an effect that Fellini goes after intentionally in '8 1/2,' where you see very old, slow and fragile people parade by a panning camera to Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries."
The first true sign that this movie has serious trouble is the fact that 17 minutes into the show, they are still giving you subtitles, explaining who characters are! There are so many people in this movie that it would be near impossible to know who they were in one viewing, let alone with sub-titles (i.e., SO-AND-SO SANCHEZ: son of Jesus, or SO-AND-SO SANCHEZ: daughter of Jesus). This points to two things - the screenplay is weak beyond the shame of such a gimmick (and trust me, it is!), and/or the producers panicked when the film was done and realized they should've chopped half the characters from the book right out of the film. The absolute most ludicrous moment comes when, at the end of a long day at work, late at night Sanchez comes up to a door in the city. Where could he possibly be? At home, of course, ready for food and bed. Then the subtitle comes: HOME OF SANCHEZ. What, did you think people were that STUPID?! This is like a gag out of 'Airplane!'
The film's production values are that of low budget 70's tv, the acting is terrible (except Quinn, he's just Quinn), and the ending is not to be believed. This thing never seems like it will end - I first checked to see how long it had been running, hoping it was almost over, at the 1 hr 7 min mark! Absolutely, 100% deplorable.
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