4 January 2015 | EdgarST
Slow Race to the Finish Line
Clavillazo was not frequently associated with a given director, as other Mexican comedians: Tin Tan had Gilberto Martínez Solares and Cantinflas worked almost exclusively with Miguel M. Delgado. Clavillazo was directed by many filmmakers (as Julián Soler, René Cardona or Rafael Baledón), and although Martínez Solares was in charge of several of the comic's finest movies, he was simultaneously making Tin Tan's best work, so I guess Clavillazo came second in his list of priorities. In this one the comedian worked for Alejandro Galindo, a respected director who made a few classics with strong social comments during the golden era of Mexican cinema, including "Campeón sin corona", "Una familia de tantas", "Esquina, bajan...!" and "Espaldas mojadas", or popular melodramas as "Tu hijo debe nacer". Galindo also made comedies, and in 1951 he had a big success with a parody of the "red menace" dramas called "Dicen que soy comunista", starring Resortes, another popular funny man. But eight years later, as hard as everybody tried, "Golden Legs" seems too elaborate for a sports film: it was largely shot outdoors, but for comedy details of the central bicycle race Galindo relied too much on back projection and studio shooting. On the positive side, on the role of the Mayor, Óscar Pulido as usual delivers his comedy lines with aplomb (making them sound funnier) but he does not have enough screen time. So at 92 minutes the film feels like an endless race to the finish line, with reiterative xenophobic jokes and a character running amok shooting at Clavillazo with a pistol (luckily with no aim at all), while nobody takes action, unless we as spectators stop watching. Not surprisingly by the end of the decade the crisis of the Mexican post-war cinema would go into a more profound crisis, until a new generation of filmmakers saved the day in the 1970s.