María Félix 10 years apart...
Carlos A. Nieves | State College, PA USA | 10/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the Hispanic film world, María Félix was Mexico's answer to Joan Crawford (during her 40's apogée). This pairing sees her at her earliest (El Peñón de las Animas) and also at the beginning of her descent into self parody ('El Rapto'). 'El Peñón de las Animas,' was her debut. It is considered one of the classics of Mexican Golden Era films. A period piece, it is basically a Romeo & Juliet plot (with the Tchaicovsky theme to underline it) and a lot of folk songs performed by leading man, Jorge Negrete, in peak form. It is interesting to watch, if nothing else, for La Félix's performance before she got her La Doña act together, playing a very submisive young lass in love. (After starring in 'Doña Bárbara a couple of years later, she acquired her famous Femme Fatale persona both on and off screen and she never let go of it, even when she became past her prime.) The photography is absolutely gorgeous, the production values top drawer, the leads (Félix and Negrete) were captured here in their breathtaking prime. Though legend has it that these two did not cotton to each other during filming, there is no evidence of this in their performances. The story is a tragedy in the Shakespeare tradition: doomed lover from the word go.
Ten years later, Negrete and Félix had buried their hatchet and were a married couple. In 1952 they co-starred again in 'El Rapto.' This is the story of a woman who claims she was raped by a man who has come back to claim his property (the house she now occupies). Rather sexist in approach, the film fails to find its footing. La Félix, rather mature for her role, is almost umbereably shrill in this outing: as all humorless performers, she overacts whenever comedy is called for. Negrete tries his best with an impossible role, though as a singer, he's still in excellent voice. Not up to their standards, with lots of padding involving a supporting cast of hams and gobs of lame humor. A pity.
'El Peñón de las Animas' makes this an excellent purchase (you can always watch 'El Rapto' just for the sheer perverse pleasure of watching La Doña fail in her attempt at comedy). Lions Gate should be commended for putting out this classic in such a pristine presentation. Bravo to them."
Wuthering Heights, only in Spanisih!!!
Ana L. Hernandez | 04/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"El peñon de las animas shows a Maria Felix who is soft spoken and deicate!!! Jorge NEgrete sings some of his greatest hits! This movie is the Wuthering Heights of Mexico!!!!! BUY IT!!!!"