This film is set in Northern Mexico in the early part of the 20th century during the Mexican Revolution. The film concerns a Colonel (Emilio Fernández) and his fight for his leader, Pancho Villa (who, incidentally, you never get to see in the movie). His job is pretty thankless and dangerous and he forces all the men in a town to join his army--and many are killed. One of these deaths bothers him--the school teacher who was a pacifist. The dead man's wife (Delores Del Rio) is furious and cannot understand the sacrifice she has had to make. Also furious is an amazonian sort of lady (María Félix) who spends practically every minute of the film being angry! Eventually, the Colonel and the crazy/angry Félix become lovers in a scene that is clichéd and probably would qualify as a rape! Yet, as the cliché goes, once raped, the amazonian calms down and is now in love with her vanquisher. Well, this was not just a Mexican stereotype--American films promoted this sad idea as well.
After being raped and becoming the Colonel's woman, things get goofy. Félix starts becoming insanely jealous of Del Rio and treats this innocent woman like crap. Then, in a small cameo, Pedro Armendáriz comes to kill the Colonel because he wants his old lover, the crazy amazonian, back! Wow...so instead of a historical piece (which I'd hoped), it now had clearly become a soap opera with some ridiculous characters--particularly Félix. It's sad, as the film is generally well made and the battle sequences competently filmed--but after a while it even began to look like an episode of "The Jerry Springer Show" instead of a film about Mexican history. It's just too soapy and histrionic to be taken very seriously. Just my two cents worth.
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