Wednesday, February 18, 2009


(Mex, 1951, 86m, b/w)
d Luis Buñuel p Sergio Kogan, Manuel Reachi sc Luis Buñuel, Jaime Salvador ph José Ortiz Ramos ed Jorge Bustos pd Gunther Gerszo m Raúl Lavista cast Rosita Quintana, Fernando Soler, Matilde Palou, Victor Manuel Mendoza, María Gentil Arcos, Luis López Somoza, Rafael Icardo, Enrique del Castillo

Made a handful of months after Los Olvidados, though you’d never guess it, this opens with the “God of Prisons” freeing Susana from her reformatory cell during a thunderstorm, before chiaroscuro atmospherics give way to the sunny ranch on which she winds up, continually pulling down the shoulders of her blouse and driving everyone crazy with lust, jealousy and anger. Patriarch, wife, son and foreman spy on one another through doors and windows and Buñuel delights in showing off Quintana’s alluring gams at every opportunity – most outrageously with egg-white dripping between them – and in putting Soler through the familiar wringer of sexual frustration. It’s an uneasy, if enjoyable, stab at combining melodrama and ironic comedy; the former predominates, but the audience is not fully let in on the joke until the outrageously ridiculous ending.

© Time Out Film Guide

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