Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Paulette Goddard, Pedro Armendáriz, Gilbert Roland, Walter Reed, Julio Villarreal
Director: Emilio Fernandez
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Kids & Family, Military & War
Studio: Gotham (dba Alpha) Release Date: 04/27/2004
Great Value DVD; OK Film Remake of Enamorada
Curtis Allan | Seattle, WA | 08/05/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First regarding the Alpha DVD: I have criticized some of Alpha's products in the past but the image and sound quality of The Torch are just fine, especially given the extremely reasonable price (you can buy it for the price of two rentals!). There are no subtitle tracks at all, but the film is recorded in English, so for most of us that is not a major concern.
Regarding the film: this is a remake of Emilio Fernandez's highly regarded 1946 Mexican romance/comedy/drama Enamorada. Unlike most remakes, this was produced primarily by the same team which did the original; it was remade in English with a few American actors added for export to Anglo North America. On the positive side, the original was a classic epoca dorada film and therefore a good choice if one were to decide to pursue a project like this. Also, the early battle scenes are a little better produced and include a couple of marvelous shots of the Mexican volcanoes. On the less than positive side, however, I found the performances jerky and nervous. Walter Reed was alright as the doctor, but Gilbert Roland was terrible and Pedro Armendariz seemed to have just showed up for the paycheck. It's no wonder, as he was in five other movies that year alone; he probably didn't even have time to memorize his lines. And this will probably ruffle some feathers, but I thought Paulette Goddard looked hideous! At times she was vaguely sexy, but more often she looked like a younger resurrection of the wicked witch of the west. Maria Felix was still able to pull this role off at age 32, but Goddard at age 39-45 (her birth date has always been in dispute) looks oddly out of place here as a shrewish young rich girl. The "romance" between Armendariz and Goddard is therefore never interesting; on the contrary, it could well induce nightmares if watched on a full stomach!
The film follows the plot of Enamorada almost to a tee. The first exception is an early almost psychedelic scene with Goddard overseeing a glass blowing operation (adding to her creepy witchy-poo appearance). Also, it seemed the romantic flame never really develops in this film (or perhaps I had just turned away in revulsion). Finally, an eerie plague-like "Spanish flu epidemic" scene is added here which was not in the original (and also doesn't coincide historically with the Revolution, but who would notice!).
Overall, I would recommend this film primarily to the following people: big fans of Paulette Goddard; big fans of Emilio Fernandez; or finally, anyone who has not seen the original but would like to, but cannot speak Spanish (as the current Cozumel DVD release of Enamorada has no English subtitles).
Not one of Paulette's better films...
Nancy Tannenbaum | Texas | 06/21/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I love Paulette Goddard - she was charming and utterly captivating in "Modern Times," "The Ghost Breakers," "Reap the Wild Wind," "The Women," "So Proudly We Hail," "Unconquered..." but it was a trial to sit through "The Torch." Although she was still a beautiful woman and a better actress than she was generally given credit for, she was simply too old to play the role of a rich man's youngish daughter...I found the entire film irritating, loud, exaggerated, and unappealing...Goddard over-acted terribly and was positively shrill at times...and looked a lot like Joan Crawford did in "Johnny Guitar," for some reason, but with longer hair and a feminine wardrobe. I did find the film interesting because I know that Ms. Goddard had a special love for and fascination with Mexico (she supposedly had a brief romance with the artist Diego Rivera, who painted several portraits of her...)Some of the photography in this film is very dramatic and memorable...but seeing Paulette as the "spitfire" daughter with a fiery temper and Pedro Armendariz as the volatile revolutionary general screaming at each other through a closed door (in the guise of strong romantic attraction) is not enjoyable...unless you're a diehard Goddard fan, skipping this one won't hurt."