Of historical interest, poorly presented
David E. Wilt | Washington DC | 01/08/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Maria Magdalena (Pecadora de Magdala)"--the title "Jesucristo y Maria Magdalena" appears on the DVD case only--was made in Mexico in 1945 by Miguel Contreras Torres. Luis Alcoriza played Christ and the director's wife Medea de Novara played Mary Magdalene. This film was clearly inspired by DeMille's "King of Kings" (and may even use stock footage from that picture)--although ostensibly focused on Mary Magdalene, she virtually disappears about halfway through and the movie concentrates on the actions, death, and resurrection of Jesus, with Mary Magdalene shown only as a member of Christ's "entourage." After Jesus dies and is resurrected, Mary Magdalene also dies and her spirit ascends to Heaven. The end.
This is a fairly sincere and well-made picture (even the aforementioned stock footage is expertly integrated) that drums up some real feeling in the scenes of Jesus on the way to his death, his crucifixion, etc. Luis Alcoriza--later one of Luis Bunuel's collaborators--is fine as Jesus, while Medea de Novara (in her last movie)is adequate in an underwritten role.
This DVD appears to have been sourced from a videotape, with tape rolls, distortion, and other technical flaws evident. The first 20 minutes are particularly washed-out and contrasty. There are no extras. Note that the DVD case cites the original running time (114 minutes) but the film as shown runs less than that."