19 September 2003 | hawparks2
Cantinflas gets a job
Before Cantinflas became a priest, a doctor, a teacher, a diplomat or flew in a balloon with David Niven in color and cinemascope, there was a real Cantinflas. And this gem of comedy proves it, here he still plays that surreal hero with whom we all sympathize and identified with. Perhaps one of his best scenes to prove this is when, full of tears, he confesses that first of all he is a macho, and as such, he rather keep on suffering like a man, because he is not working, than get a job and go to work. So here he is, trying to get a job, trying to like it and trying (not too hard) to keep it. And in the end the hero tramp (like you know who) gets away with practically everything, except a steady job. At this time he was already so popular that they (censorship, government, macarthism?) thought he was a bad influence for the kids (the same kids that adored him) so they advised him to change his image (they sort of made him an offer he couldn't refuse). So, a few years after, he became a senator ("Si yo fuera diputado") in a movie he wrote himself. It was very well known then, that the movie was stripped of at least 25 minutes of footage, most of it when he was delivering a political speech. And by the time he became a diplomat ("Su excelencia"), his image was totally changed, just like his face. Maybe it was the same censorship that made another great comedian seek refuge in Switzerland. but that is another(?) story. Nevertheless "Gran Hotel" is Cantinflas at his best, as all his 40's and early 50's b/w movies.