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Old ladies with style

8/10
Author: Antonio Escobosa from Mexico, Mexico
13 August 2002

Sara Garcia and Prudencia Grifell are two old sisters from a once wealthy family. Now they are forced to recover their lost fortune by stealing it from their brother´s lovers in order to give a good life to their new found grand daughter. Great innocent and clever laughs. Cynical and adorable, the Vivanco sisters do their best to give all to the girl without her realizing where the wealth is coming from.

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Neo-Porfirian Comedy

7/10
Author: Edgar Soberon Torchia (estorchia@gmail.com) from Panama
19 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sentimental comedy that revived the old "Porfirian comedy", a Mexican film genre that euphemistically questioned the ideals of the 1910 Mexican revolution, while stressing the values of the white and petit-bourgeois Mexicans who were followers of dictator Porfirio Díaz. The main characters are Hortensia Vivanco y de la Vega (Sara García) and Teresa Vivanco y de la Vega (Prudencia Grifell), two flat broke old Porfirian sisters who find a baby niece at their door, just when they have been gone bankrupt. Refusing to accept their new condition and to keep up with the appearances of material well-being, they decide to rob to survive and raise the girl: first, Hortensia works as a maid for a vaudeville artist (Ana Luisa Peluffo) to re-possesses the family jewels that her womanizer dead brother have given to the singer; then Teresa becomes the French-speaking governess of the four children of a Catholic nouveau riche couple (Miguel Manzano, María Teresa Rivas), and steals an effigy of the Holy Child of Atocha with a money box, brought to the house by a priest, with all the pesos that were given by the parishioners to build a sanctuary for the little saint; next Hortensia works in a brothel and takes the hush money a minister (Roberto Meyer) gives to the madame (Emma Arvizu) in a moment of impending scandal, and finally Teresa steals the loot from a revolutionary general (Pedro Armendáriz, at his macho worst). What definitely makes this work is the two actresses: García (who was 64 when the film was made) and Grifell (who was 80, and still active in films when she died at 91) work in such great harmony that they are fun to watch, with fine support from José Luis Jiménez as the friend who secretly loves both women; and handsome Manolo Fábregas as a police detective. It was a big success, followed a couple of years later by "The Trial of the Señoritas Vivanco".

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