Pedro Infante's Last Film
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/15/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film is special for its significance as well as its content; as a film it doesn't quite rise to the quality of some of Infante's best, but it is still extremely entertaining, and as his final film, it is certainly worth watching and owning, and has a place in film history. On this day 50 years ago, Infante crashed his plane near Merida, in the Yucutan, and Mexico lost its most loved singer and actor. In "Escuela de Rateros" Infante plays the dual role of Victor Valdez, a devious movie star, and Raul Hernandez, a poor but likable panadero down on his luck, after some pranksters topple his bread basket in the street. We see Victor getting shot, and the police, in order to trap the killer, who they suspect is a jewel thief, get Raul, Victor's almost identical look-alike, to pretend he is the dead actor and they tell the press Victor "survived the attack, with the bullet just grazing his arm." Though Infante is fabulous as Victor/Raul, the film has a "Pink Panther" feel to it (though it predates it by 8 years) and doesn't quite have the incredible romantic charm prevalent in so many of Infante's films, as well as only having 3 songs, the best being a beautiful rendition of "Te Quiero Asi."
"Escuela de Rateros" is directed by Rogelio Gonzalez (who directed Infante in the fantastic "Escuela de Vagabundos"), and the very talented cast is terrific, and includes Eduardo Fajardo as the Jewel Thief, and Eduardo Alcaraz as the butler Tonio, who covers Raul's mistakes while impersonating Victor by saying he's practicing for his next movie role, as "un norteno del sur." The film has many laugh out loud moments, and is in color; the audio is a little "flat" so you may have to raise the volume a bit, but otherwise the film quality is good considering its age. No subtitles are available. There is a short "Biografia" included as an extra (approximately 10 minutes long) that is interesting, showing many superb movie clips, and the dreadful newspaper headline "Infante Perecio." Infante now has a new generation of fans, and is loved by millions across the Spanish speaking world, because he still touches our hearts, with simplicity and truth."
G. MCGOFF | New Hampshire | 03/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Though one of his last films it is amazing to see Pedro in absolutely top form- he doesn't miss a beat."