Fictionalized account of the adventures of hired gunman Antonio das Mortes, set against the real life last days of rural banditism. The movie follows Antonio as he witnesses the descent of ... See full summary »
Geraldo Del Rey,
An early blockbuster of argentine mute cinema that certainly deserves the popular devotion that has earned for many time after its release. (But ironically, there was no surviving copies of it for years in Argentine until a project carried out in 2002 by a foundation, reconstructing almost full length of the original film).
Taking place in the rural zone of Argentine (`la pampa'), the story has explicit echoes of the national poem `Martin Fierro'. The fiction depicts a classic triangle between a rich owner of a farm, the poor good `gaucho' (wrangler) and his beloved `china'. Shortly after they fall in love, the girl is abducted by the mean landlord and taken to the city, where her darling goes to the rescue.
There are no political nor philosophical issues at stake, but the movie has an epic and romantic sense of contrast between `evil' city / `pure' country that give a strong symbolic meaning to the story. The pace is quite right, boosted by some sparks of humor and a sound set of secondary characters in spite of its cliché mood.
The movie pass the hurdle of the limitations of its time and not only allows the matching with mute well-known classics like `Birth of a nation' but also resists a contemporary looking without much suspension of disbelief.
Beware: the remake of the film , a `talking' movie, is meant to be quite bad.
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