Wednesday, November 29, 2006

La Epoca de Oro Part 2, My Favorites

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.

Other Movies

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.

- 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.
Palomitas anyone?


Reel Fanatic said...

I have just recently started getting interested in Mexican films, but hadn't seen any on your list ... I'll definitely check some of them out .. thanks for the heads up!

Anonymous said...

The choice of Macario is a great one. I just saw this about 2 years ago and was completely blown away.

Anonymous said...

This makes me wish I knew more Spanish.

Anonymous said...

Check out Mexican Cinema,Mexican Women, 1940-1950. I think you'd enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

Great picks, especially the Bunuel film, Simon of the Desert. Virulently anti-Catholic, it's amazing that it was allowed to be shown in Mexico. Nice choices from a broad range of styles, Alice!

Anonymous said...

Maria Felix...hubba hubba...

Jenny Lens said...

Academy of Arts and Sciences, the folks who bestow Oscars(R), is concluding a series "Made in Mexico," the legacy of Mexican Cinema on its fourth floor. These exhibits typically include tons of film stills and clips.
Dec 7,"A Salute to Lipita Tovar." She starred in the 1931 "Dracula" Alice mentioned.

If interested, buy tickets to the movie ASAP. Parking provided free by the Academy. Sometimes the upstairs gallery is open the night of films, but usually you need to make a separate trip. The exhibits are free, but you have find street parking.

Meep said...

Hi... this is totally irrelevant to the topic but I'm annoyed that there aren't enough brown chicks rockin' out these days. where am I supposed to vent my feminist frustration out?

also, this is a helpful list. I always wanted to know about the epoca de oro.

Pedro Alice said...

I am an illustrator, and I take part in two blogs: and . I came to your blog because I was searching for my own name(which happens to be Pedro Alice) to see what I could found. I had some surprises, like foundig a comic magazine where I published one story at Michigan State University library.
The space is finish, I will continue in another comment...

Pedro Alice said...

Bored, wandering around lots of pages that had the word "pedro" somewhere and "alice" at the other corner, I started to open some of them. I´m glad that I had open yours. I enjoy the way you write, and the things you say. I also like the ghost story written by your husband. It gaves me escalofríos. When I read you, I forget that it was written in a foregin language. You both seems to be very clever and nice persons.

Pedro Alice said...

I enjoy the mexican movie posters either. I had save your link and I´ll come here again. Excuse my poor english, it´s not my native language, I´m brazilian.

Alice Bag said...

My maiden name is Alice Armendariz and one of my favorite movie stars is named Pedro Armendariz...coincidence? Or do I need to go to sleep???


Louis Jacinto said...

Hi Alice ... I just saw a great exhibit of Mexican Movie Posters by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences - wonderful ... they also had a tribute to Lupita Tovar and showed her film "Santa" which is considered the first major Mexican Talkie (1931) ... Ms. Tovar was there and she is now 96 years old and she looked absolutely beautiful and spoke about her career prior to the screening ... she was absolutely stunning ... she is in the Mexican version of Dracula that is on your list (we miss you in Los Angeles)!