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La zandunga (1938)

Lupe (Velez) is in love with the sailor Juancho (De Cordova) but is also courted by Ramón (Falcon) and old Don Atanasio (Icardo). Juancho leaves town but promises to return. Time goes by ... See full summary »


Salvador Novo (dialogue), Rafael M. Saavedra (dialogue) | 3 more credits »




Cast overview:
Lupe Velez ... Lupe
Rafael Falcón Rafael Falcón ... Ramón Miranda
Arturo de Córdova ... Juancho
María Luisa Zea ... Marilú
Joaquín Pardavé ... Don Catarino, el alcalde
Carlos López Carlos López ... El secretario, Don Chencho
Rafael Icardo ... Don Atanasio
Manuel Noriega Manuel Noriega ... Don Eulogio (as Manolo Noriega)
Carmen Cortés Carmen Cortés ... Petra
Antonio Mendoza Antonio Mendoza ... Pedro
Enrique Carrillo Enrique Carrillo ... Juan
Álvaro González Álvaro González ... José Antonio
Jesús Melgarejo Jesús Melgarejo ... El Número Doce


Lupe (Velez) is in love with the sailor Juancho (De Cordova) but is also courted by Ramón (Falcon) and old Don Atanasio (Icardo). Juancho leaves town but promises to return. Time goes by and Juancho doesn't get back. Don Atanasio insists and goes loco. Pedro and Don Atanasio fight and go to jail. Tired of waiting and afraid that Juancho has forgotten, Lupe promises to marry Ramón. Juancho returns during the celebration of a friend's wedding. Written by Maximiliano Maza <mmaza@campus.mty.itesm.mx>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance







Release Date:

17 March 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La Zandunga See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Films Selectos See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Mexico's Romeo and Juliette?
9 November 2009 | by zorrito1953See all my reviews

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 tragic ending.

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.

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