Someone asked me for a list of my favorite films from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema (La Epoca de Oro) so I've assembled a small list of some the movies that quickly came to mind. Here they are, in no particular order:
Films starring Pedro Infante
Pedro Infante is one of my favorite movie stars. I could create an entire list of favorites just using his films. He's a legendary actor and singer who died tragically in his prime and has practically become a saint in Mexico. His movies are often tragicomic and more often than not, he gets a song or two to sing because, well...he's Pedro Infante! My favorite movies of his include:
La Oveja Negra - Directed by Ismael Rodriquez, co-starring Fernando Soler.
Escuela de Vagabundos - Directed by Rogelio Gonzalez.
Tizoc -Directed by Ismael Rodriguez, co-starring Maria Felix.
Nosotros los Pobres - directed by Ismael Rodriguez.
A.T.M. - A Toda Maquina - directed by Ismael Rodriguez (and co-starring Luis Aguilar).
Los Tres Huastecos - directed by Ismael Rodriguez, Pedro plays three very different brothers to great comic effect.
Los Tres Garcia - directed by Ismael Rodriquez...again!
Dos Tipos de Cuidado - directed by (surprise) Ismael Rodriguez and co-starring Jorge Negrete.
Si Adelita Se Fuera Con Otro - Directed by Chano Urueta, starring Jorge Negrete with Gloria Marin.
Simon del Desierto - Directed by Luis Bunuel, Sylvia Pinal plays the devil incarnate as a sexy schoolgirl.
Viridiana - Luis Bunuel again directs Sylvia Pinal, this time playing a nun.
Maria Candelaria - Directed by Emilio Fernandez, starring Dolores del Rio and Pedro Armendariz. Cinematography by the great Gabriel Figueroa.
Salon Mexico - Also directed by Emilio Fernandez, starring Marga Lopez.
Macario - Directed by Roberto Galvodon, starring Ignacio Lopez Tarso. Macario meets God, The Devil and Death in the perfect Dia de los Muertos movie. You will understand the Mexican fascination with death after seeing this film.
Rio Escondido - Directed by Emilio Fernandez, starring the stunning Maria Felix. This is one of her best performances.
Susana - Carne y Demonio, directed by Luis Bunuel, starring Rosita Quintana and Fernando Soler. Rosita Quintana is a bad, bad girl.
El Bruto, directed by Luis Bunuel, starring Pedro Armendariz and Katy Jurado.
This list just skims the surface. There are dozens of other movies worth checking out, including the Mexican version of the 1931 Dracula, filmed at night using the same sets as the Tod Browning version but with a very different mood and pace than the American version. Los Olvidados by Bunuel is so famous that I didn't include it and it should be easy to rent. I didn't include any Mexican wrestling movies (even though I like them too) because they're not from the Golden Age, strictly speaking. I also did not include any Tin Tan, Resortes or Cantinflas films. I like a few of their movies but I find them in the same vein as the Marx Brothers or Abbott and Costello. It's not my cup of tea. I much prefer the comedy of Viruta and Capulina.
Most of these films I haven't seen since I was a little kid, but I think they will hold up well.