Hell-bent on revenge, the cocky reform-school runaway, El Jaibo, returns to his old neighbourhood in post-World-War-II Mexico City's poor and squalid slums, to reunite with his faithful gang of juvenile delinquents and street urchins. However, as the dangerous ringleader lives and breathes retribution, his destructive obsession to find the informant who supposedly sent him to jail will intricately interweave his bitter fate with that of Pedro, his weak and unwitting accessory, in a despicable act of pure evil. In the end, are humans inherently good or bad--and above all--is immorality contingent with society?Written by
SPOILER: In the director's cut, Pedro is stabbed to death by Jaibo, and Meche and her grandfather dump his body outside the town. The blind man denounces Jaibo to the police, who shoot Jaibo when fleeing arrest. Pedro's mother is left alone alone, in despair. A shorter "happy" ending, never used by the director, was filmed probably to accommodate censorship authorities or the sensibilities of the distributors: Jaibo dies in an accidental fall when he's fighting Pedro, who retrieves the stolen banknote from him. Pedro has a short conversation with Ojitos, and then returns to the reformatory farm-school (to a loud musical crescendo). See more »
Please, right now, take away the featured user comment that calls Los Olvidados a "nice, short drama." This is perhaps the worst assessment of any movie I have ever heard, and whoever said it cannot recognize how masterful the film is because his or her senses have been dulled by too many action movies. I say that because this film, from surrealist master Luis Buñuel, is as admirable as nearly any portrait of poverty and crime, with the probable exception of DeSica's The Bicycle Thief. In fact, though, Los Olvidados is much much more brutal and harrowing than The Bicycle Thief (not to say that this assures it to be a superior film). Buñuel mostly takes a break from his surrealist tendencies in this film, with the exception of a few remarkably effective dream sequences, and creates a ultra-realist portrait of Mexican slums that is uncompromisingly frank. All the characters, including a young boy caught up in a dangerous gang, his harsh mother, the gang leader and vicious bully, and a bitter old blind man, among others, and what transpires among them are expertly captured by Buñuel's camera. To characterize this movie, I would call it a much more bleak and brutal Neo-realist film, with a touch of surrealism. I would also characterize it as a masterpiece. Why this film does not show up on more top film lists I am unsure, but all I can say is that it should not be missed by any serious film connoisseur.
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