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The Great Madcap (1949)

El gran calavera (original title)
Buñuel's first "comeback" film since "L'Age d'Or" in 1930 (he made only a few musicals in the interim), "El Gran Calavera" concerns a family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat ... See full summary »

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(adaptation), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview:
... Ramiro de la Mata
... Virginia de la Mata
Andrés Soler ... Ladislao de la Mata
... Pablo
... Eduardo de la Mata
Maruja Grifell ... Milagros
... Gregorio de la Mata
Luis Alcoriza ... Alfredo
Antonio Bravo ... Alfonso
Antonio Monsell ... Juan, mayordomo
María Luisa Serrano ... Mamá de Alfredo
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Storyline

Buñuel's first "comeback" film since "L'Age d'Or" in 1930 (he made only a few musicals in the interim), "El Gran Calavera" concerns a family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat indulgent and hedonistic ways by fooling him into thinking his large fortune is gone. They assume a life of poverty in Mexico in an attempt to teach him a lesson. However, he discovers it's a ruse, but continues to perpetuate the facade of ignorance while sneaking off during the day to conduct his thriving business. Why? To teach his family a lesson - they are all lazy, worthless leeches! Written by Mark Toscano <fiddybop@uclink4.berkeley.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Comedy

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Release Date:

25 November 1949 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Madcap  »

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1.37 : 1
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User Reviews

Mexican period Bu-uel engages viewer gently sans surrealism
18 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

This Mexican film from Bu-uel's low profile commercial period is a comedy of manners, Those expecting the more caustic or iconoclastic subtexts of his famous films may be disappointed. I found it well made and quite enjoyable. Part of its value is in its conventionality. Seeing that he was capable of creating well crafted "popular" entertainments is a plus in his favor. Perhaps he was only working to pay the bills, but I think he may have actually enjoyed making this film.


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