18 February 2005 | SPOSEYSPRINT
A visual and emotional stunner
Favorite: Flor de Mayo (1959) (Cozumel Films, Ventura Distr.)
I found this recent DVD which apparently is widely AVAILABLE now. It is in Spanish but with my high school and post school Spanish I thoroughly enjoyed this stunning movie filmed in Topolobampo, Sinaloa.
Cinematography is by the legendary Gabriel Figueroa (John Ford's The Fugitive, 1947) . This is also a chance to see the great María Félix (at age ~44) and Pedro Armendáriz along with Paul Stewart (Citizen Kane).
Jack was ~ 39 at the time of filming but Félix and Palance seem much younger. It is quite an artsy film effort and a somewhat different kind of role for Palance. He does refer to himself as a lesser pirate (una pirata menor) when young Pepito asks him if he really is a pirate. The movie has a terrific close (you might cry).
People will probably ask for and search the English version which came out about 1960 under the title Beyond All Limits. The scenes may be different and it might be worth it if there is additional magnificent footage from Gabriel Figueroa. Being a life scientist/student of the Sea of Cortez I was looking for a surrealistic scene of Jack running thru a forest of giant columnar cardón cacti which I recall from some movie that saw many years ago (1960s on a b/w TV in Tucson when I was a student). Maybe, my memory is faulty.
The film was totally different from what I expected and I do not understand why it is not mentioned more. I understand that Jack speaks 6 languages including Spanish, Italian, French along with Ukrainian and Russian and English. He speaks great Spanish and the movie is considered by some as one of the better Mexican movies of the 1950s.
I am going to look for other Gabriel Figueroa works (Night of the Iguana, La Perla, others) as I realize now that movies are really a visual thing....