The 2 Greatest Stars of Mexican Cinema
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 04/07/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One doesn't usually associate director Ismael Rodriguez with Technicolor and CinemaScope, rather with the earlier b&w Pedro Infante films like "Nosotros los Pobres," and "Los Tres Garcia," but this film has brilliant color, spectacular scenic vistas, and is gorgeous to look at, and one wishes it would be released in widescreen to fully appreciate the beauty of its Oaxacan landscape and the many historic landmarks. "Tizoc" is also special because it stars the two most renown actors of the Epoca de Oro of Mexican filmmaking, Pedro Infante and Maria Felix. Infante plays Tizoc, a humble but noble native of royal bloodlines, hated by the rest of the Mixteca villagers because he is not from the same tribe, and despised by the white man because of being "indio." When Tizoc first sees Maria, the headstrong, artist daughter of a landowner, he thinks she is the Virgen Maria, and then when Maria, ignorant of a local custom, gives him her handkerchief to wipe some blood from an injury, he falls hopelessly in love with her. Maria is engaged to handsome Capitan Arturo (Eduardo Fajardo), and trying to sort out the confusions and errors of many is Fray Bernardo (Andres Soler, excellent as the "Padrecito").
A lot of the dialogue is in a semi-dialect but is understandable, and the film has a certain stiffness to it (perhaps because Infante walks with a slight stoop and bent knees!), but nevertheless it has loads of charm, and is endearing due to Tizoc's sweet soul and his ability to converse with animals, which makes him poetic and intuitive. Maria Felix as always looks like a goddess, and her presence fills the screen like few superstars have managed to do. With the exception of one short scene which alternates betwen being a little too dark and a little too light, the film is in very good condition. Alex Phillips did the glorious cinematography, Raul Lavista the interesting score, where birdsongs are the main focus of the soundtrack, and "Tizoc" won a Golden Globe Award in 1958 for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as many other awards, like a Golden Ariel for Ismael Rodriguez, and a Silver Award for Best Actor at the 1957 Berlin International Festival, given to Infante posthumously. Pedro Infante (1917-1957) crashed his plane near Merida in the Yucutan, and 50 years after his passing, still reigns supreme in the hearts of millions."
Classic melodrama and social fantasy
Timothy Byrne | Seattle, WA United States | 01/17/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First off, a warning that the DVD is not subtitled. The Spanish is easy though, even Pedro Infante's *indian* accent.
In an era where Frida's adoption of native dress and Diego's valorization of the native was still fresh in the social consciousness, the social fantasy of the rich woman who falls for the despised Indian probably came off as a little less disingenuous. Even today it's still a good film, mostly because of Infante's terrific blend of character acting and presence. He's always the perfect outsider, with a strong and quirky character who becomes weightier and weightier as the film progresses.
The print is less than perfect and the transfer is less than good, but it's watchable without too much distraction. Sadly one generally has to make do with this sort of copy to watch this old gems of the Mexican cinema. Unfortunately piracy probably renders any more ambitious project unprofitable."