Reviews written by registered user
|7 reviews in total|
Wow, what a picture! If only someone would digitize, remaster and possibly colorize this flick. UCLA Film Archive, are you listening? Jon Hall and Dorothy Lamour put on some great skin beauty candy for the viewers. Both had long natural hair and athletic bodies. And the special effects were before their time. The "wind" plays as a character in the movie. You would be surprised at these special effects, given it was filmed in 1937 without computers! On a different note, I wish all seven of Dorothy Lamour's sarong movies were available on DVD with tons of special features, remastered, of course! Did you know that one of Dorothy Lamour's sarongs is in exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum? I can't wait to read her "My Side of the Road" autobiography.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First of all, let me start by stating that this movie has a stellar
performance by 11 or 12 year old Evita Muñoz, known as Chachita. I am
very surprised Evita did not win an Ariel for her character
performance! Her cries and emotions are very surreal.
(SPOILER) Chachita is not the daughter of Pepe El Toro (Pedro Infante), but rather his niece, which is not revealed until late in the movie. Pepe raises Chachita as his own daughter hiding the knowledge of her real mother because Chachita was born from prostitution.
Somehow, this dark aspect caused Chachita's grandmother to become paralyzed. The setting takes place in "La Miseria" suburb of Mexico City. The dialogs are peppered with Mexican idioms. Chachita, though a child, runs the household taking care of her grandmother and Pepe. She manages Pepe's business finances. Chachita is also very jealous of any woman coming between Pepe and her.
The supporting cast play a key role in rounding out the setting. La Tostada and La Guayaba drunken performances made me laugh. La Romantica's pot-head step-father shows that there is hypocrisy anywhere and everywhere. There is a neighborhood cop that actually does take care of his jurisdiction with compassion. All in all, a very well done movie.
The movie opens with Andrés Soler killing his wife's lover. In the process, he is injured from a bullet wound. Julián Soler portrays a depressed doctor with a terminal illness living down in the city. Rafael Baledón is a simple mountain man living in a humble home high in the foothills with his pregnant wife. The doctor and his wife decide to move up to a cabin near Rafael. When Andrés sees the doctor about his wound, he is informed that his arm will need to be amputated. Andrés decides to commit suicide instead of being handicapped and living with the thought of his infidel wife. Rafael has an affair with Julián's wife. Julián is informed about the affair. The wives (Raquel Rojas and Pituka de Foronda) hash things out amiably. Julian assists in the delivery of Rafael's wife's newborn baby, which has complications. After that however, Julian contemplates suicide, knowing his healthy wife had an affair, though he does not blame her due to his terminal illness. Watch the movie to find out the outcome of the delivery and the outcome of the husbands.
This is the story of a Tehuantepec village. The character Lupita is
played by Lupita Velez...hmmm. Lupita is a girl who is chased by three
suiters. One has money and willing to pay for his love. The other is a
home-boy all too macho and yet a gentleman. The last one is an
out-of-town sailor. The problem is that women of these small cultural
towns are not allowed to court, let alone marry men from the "outside".
However, Lupita and the sailor do love each other, despite the cultural
traditions. A machete fight is brewing because Lupita's best friend is
in the process of marrying an outsider and the sailor returns to claim
Lupita. Their only hope is the acalde (mayor) who must carry out the
law and maintain peace. The love affair between Lupita and the sailor
is similar to the problems faced by Romeo and Juliette! The story plot
is great. The ending is even better with a double twist! The acting by
Lupita Velez and Joaquín Pardave (mayor) is also very good. Lupita was
a silent film superstar in both México and the USA (see Gaucho 1928
with D. Fairbanks). Here, not only does Lupita talk, but she also sings
and dances. Lupita was Mexico's Greta Garbo who successfully
transferred from the silent movies to the talkies! Lupita was Marilyn
Monroe's idol and role model. And like Marilyn, Lupita had the same
María Luisa Zea co-stars with Lupita as her best friend. Only less than a handful of her 52 movies are available in the USA. What is interesting about her acting in this particular movie is that she does a nude scene at the river! Don't get too excited. Her very long hair covers her nipples and she shows only a couple of milliseconds of her ass. Mexico's censors were lenient until the late forties, unlike the USA which clamped down in 1934.
Bad news: the DVD by Phoenix Entertainment Group sucks! There are typos on the title screen. When opting "menu", it goes to the beginning of the DVD as if you just inserted it, instead of going directly to the menu selections, of which it only has begin movie, select chapter, and view photographs. No bios or special features! The beginning of the movie jumps and skips for milliseconds as if playing a 45rpm record while people are dancing! I wish someone like Criterion, Kino, or UCLA would fix and remaster this movie because it is worth it. La Zandunga was created at the dawn of Mexico's Golden Era. I also wish more of Lupita's movies were available. Just like María Luisa Zea, less than a handful of her 44 movies are available in the USA.
This has to be M.A.P.'s worst movie... and it's not her fault. Though
Pons started out as a very hot rumbera in the early forties, she was
"tamed" by the late fifties, early sixties. In this movie, she is a
daughter of a single dad (Fernando Fernández) who follows fairs
(carnivals), gambling and drinking. He takes in an orphan boy and the
children are raised as siblings. When the children reach their
adulthood, they become singers and lovers. However, Tin- Tán's skit and
the battle of the composers (Cuco Sánchez and José Alfredo Jiménez) out
shadow Pons' and Roberto Rivera's performances, the main protagonists!
They could have easily given Pons more and better singing/dancing
skits. As for Roberto, he is no Pedro Infante. Difficulties arise when
one of the Maldonado brothers is killed after a card game. The
Maldonados wait for their opportunity of revenge.
What made this movie a bust is that many scenes are repeated multiple times throughout the movie, making the viewer seem ignorant. Actually, it becomes very annoying after the first repeat. I blame the director and the editor for being stupid and not creative. The other negative thing is that the actress that played the very young "María Luisa" is NOT credited. I would like to know who she is to see if she continued her acting career into adulthood.
The only reason I give this movie a 2-star is because Tin-Tán's skit and the composer dual picked it up from a 1-star.
This beautiful romantic drama is set in the mid 1800's and in the then
very small village of Zihuatanejo, occasionally visited by sailors. A
young affluent historian leaves Mexico City in search of a rumored lost
treasure from a shipwreck. The village has a few "macho" men wanting
the charming Rosalinda, who carries a secret message in her medallion.
A pearl diver spends years collecting the right pearls to create a
perfect necklace on a matrimonial gift for Rosalinda. Eventually,
Rosalinda finds herself romantically caught between these two men.
María Antonieta Pons, "Queen of the Rumberas", does not sing nor dance
in this movie. However, she does swim in it!
The movie was filmed on location in 1945. Zihuatanejo's population remained under 1,650 inhabitants since pre-Columbian times until the mid 1960's. It was sometimes abandoned during this period. By the mid 1980's it was up to 7,000. It now holds a population of over 62,400! Mexico's true treasures are getting spoiled by tourism.
The movie is about an anthropologist/wizard trying to invoke an ancient legendary hero Quetzalcoatl. For those viewers not well informed about the Mexican Aztecs, many of the errors about the Aztecs portrayed in the movie will be overlooked. However, for those well informed, it will be a very hard pill to swallow. Unfortunately, I know enough about the Nahua Nations that the errors and stereotypes portrayed stuck out greatly. The movie is more focused around the plot to obtain 4 virgins for sacrificial offerings administered by the wizard. This is Mario Moreno's 3rd year in the movies. His debut was in 1937. Therefore, his Cantinflas character is still being developed. In this movie, Mario plays "Cantinflas" and is the anthropologist's assistant. Though his "way with words about talking and talking without saying anything" is apparent, his clothing is "normal" and not with the sagging pants nor tattered clothes. Again, the movie is centered around the plot and not around Cantinflas. What is unique about this movie is that a woman's full naked breasts are exposed and clearly visible in one of the sacrifices. The detective in the movie dropped the ratings even lower. He was assigned terrible acting parts or is a very bad actor. Whatever, if you want to see the Cantinflas character that is well known internationally, see his other movies.