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Yo soy gallo dondequiera!.. (1953)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  1954 (USA)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Rosalia
Joaquín Cordero ...
Jimmy; Joaquín
Freddy Fernández ...
Juanito
Julio Villarreal ...
don Plutarco
Marco de Carlo ...
Felipe
Alicia Rodríguez ...
Lupe
Salvador Quiroz ...
don Pedro, presidente municipal
Roberto Meyer ...
Licenciado Ruvalcaba
Alejandro Parodi ...
Alejandro
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Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cock o' the Walk  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Soundtracks

Alabao
Arranged by Manuel Esperón
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User Reviews

 
A "Pocho" is the Star!
23 September 2013 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

"Yo Soy Gallo Donde Quiera" is quite extraordinary in that Joquin Cordero's Jimmy/ Joaquin, a Chicano, or Mexican-American character is the leading man. Although he faces discrimination and condescension, his dynamic character is equipped to deal with any situation he faces. He speaks both English and Spanish and seems to draw on qualities from both cultures to conquer any challenges, to the frustration of his Mexican antagonists.

The Mexican townspeople are impressed with his attributes; the patriarch and mayor treat him with respect. Only a few speak disparagingly about him. I think Rosalia (love interest) and Felipe (his rival) are the only ones who openly call him "pocho" to his face. (A "pocho" is a Mexican Spanish slang term used to insult somebody born in the United States to Mexican parents who grows up speaking English and learns American culture, but neither speak Spanish fluently nor understands his Mexican culture.)

When Joaquin/Jimmy is called "pocho" to his face, it's fascinating to note that Joaquin/Jimmy does not get upset or angry at this blatant act of discrimination; instead, he calmly owns the term, and replies, "Why be ashamed of what I am?" He leaves it at that, and let's his actions do the talking, as he continues with more important matters, like tending to his business, winning at poker, or courting Rosalia.

This Chicano is definitely confident in his abilities. He doesn't get bogged down in arguments about discrimination or feelings of self-pity or worthlessness. He puts manos a la obra (gets to work) and lets his actions do the talking, and little by little, by way of hard work, intelligence, courage, affability, and compassion, he begins to win over the townspeople.

Unlike other Mexican movies from the Época de Oro, the atmosphere here is positive and welcoming to this "fuereño" or outsider (read: Chicano/Mexican-American). Even Juanito (Freddy Fernández' Indian character) enthusiastically asks Jimmy to teach him English in order to impress a girl. In other words, the message here is that the knowledge and know-how that Chicanos have gained by living in both México and the U.S. are so worthwhile that even Mexicans can learn something from their Chicano cousins!

Astoundingly, as a pocho, Jimmy seems to be a welcome force for good that definitely has an influence and impact on the town. He not only rights a very specific wrong, but defeats every challenge directed at him--sometimes even turning the tables on his antagonists-- which, again, are surprisingly played by Mexicans and a Spaniard!

In other words, this Chicano out-Mexicans (outsmarts, outworks, outhustles) the Mexicans, and, in the end, he also gets the girl--and what a girl, none other than the gorgeous and talented Spaniard, Sara Montiel!

So, what one finally has here is revolutionary: a Mexican movie with a sterling portrayal of a "POCHO AS HERO" with his Indian sidekick/friend confronting the evil of the Mexican (criollo) hacendado, the overbearing and macho Mexican charro, and the disdainful but beautiful Spanish daughter.

Another scene in the movie that exemplifies the high regard that the screenwriter and director hold for this Chicano character is when Juanito and his girlfriend exit a movie theater. The former comments to the latter, "Jimmy is a lot like that Pedro Infante, isn't he?" This is really incredible, as Jimmy is now being compared to the most popular movie actor/singer Pedro Infante. But I wonder, what was the reasoning behind this? Did the producers plan to launch Joaquin Cordero as the next idol of México?

It is interesting to note that screenwriters/producers can make ANYONE the hero of a movie, if it is their inclination, and if there is money to be made. I guess they were searching for a new formula here, and for Latinos born in the U.S., Jimmy could be seen as "our" version of Pedro Infante, that positive, intelligent, strong, masculine, and romantic representation of ourselves that we would like to see reflected on the Mexican silver screen.

This movie is truly one of the most positive representations of a Chicano in a Mexican movie, and it can be added to other popular representations during the time, like the pachuco (Tin-Tan) and the bracero (Piporro). Noteworthy, too, is Martha Valdés' supporting role in the film "Espaldas Mojadas" (1955) as Mary/ María, a lonely pocha who feels she doesn't fit in anywhere, rejected by both the U.S. and México, and who falls in love with Rafael, an undocumented Mexican bracero played by David Silva.

"Yo Soy Gallo Donde Quiera" is a movie that was way ahead of its time, being that it was filmed in 1954. It is a rare gem. I only wish Chicanos had had even more positive portrayals in Mexican films instead of negative stereotypes, as it would have helped to build self-esteem, understanding and camaraderie between Chicanos and Mexicans...


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