Pecado de amor (1961)

  |  Musical, Drama

Pecado de amor (1961) Poster

A nun serving in a women's prison confesses to an inmate about her turbulent past as a cabaret singer, single mother, and convicted murderer.


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16 May 2005 | whatsupomar
| A Montiel film if there's ever been one!
Argentinean director Luis Cesar Amadori had no time to waste. His previous two films with Sarita Montiel (La Violetera & Mi Ultimo Tango) had been blockbusters all over the world and the public was clamoring for more, more, more; not to mention the producers who were willing to spend TEN times their usual budget on ONE Montiel vehicle.

Consequently, Amadori couldn't afford to be overly creative. With "Mi Ultimo Tango" he had shamelessly remade his 1939 hit "Caminito de Gloria" transforming the Libertad Lamarque vehicle to fit, lets say, Montiel's more carnal attributes ... and he had gotten away with it. For "Pecado de Amor" he avoided being so obvious but he still borrowed a lot from another of his Lamarque epics, this time it was "Madreselva" (1938).

Sara Montiel, at the peak of her beauty and talent, was ready for whatever her writer-director (or whoever) would throw at her and she bit into the story of a nun with a shady past as if it was her last meal. In religious habit or in expensive gowns by Schubert or Balenciaga she is a delight to watch, her personality dominating the screen from beginning to end captivating her audiences and moving them to laugh or cry. A lot has been argued about Sarita's acting and singing abilities but nobody can deny that the lady possesses star quality in spades.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the rest of the cast. Both leading men Reginald Kernan (whoever he is) and Mario Girotti, who later became a star of the Spaghetti Western genre as Terence Hill, walk through "Pecado de Amor" as mere shadows of Miss Montiel. The Eastmancolor photography is adequate for this kind of "plush melodrama" and the musical score by prolific composer Gregorio Garcia Segura serves the film very well, although I detect a certain influence of Rodgers & Hart's "My Funny Valentine" throughout the proceedings.

The dialogs by J.M. Arozamena are at times tacky but sometimes surprise us with some unexpected wit. Take the scene in which Kernan, as the stern father confronts his son Girotti in Montiel's presence. Girotti had been caught stealing from his dad in order to buy jewelry for Sarita. Kernan: I just wanted to meet in person "the motive" that has made you stoop so low.... Sarita:(as she walks away) I love family reunions, but "the motive" is leaving now!

"Pecado de Amor" is full of scenes like that and they add to the entertaining value of a film which pretends to be nothing more than good entertainment Of course, the real beef is in the songs which are enough to fill the soundtrack album. Particularly memorable are "El Pichi" (The Pimp) with Montiel dressed as a man surrounded by pretty chorus girls; Carlos Gardel's "El Dia Que Me Quieras"(The Day That You Love Me) sung passionately by Sarita to Kernan; "Sous Les Toits de Paris" (Under the Roofs of Paris) sung in French and Montiel as a Greek Goddess singing "Tinaine I Agapi" (What Is Love?) in Greek. Director Amadori could not resist the temptation of including his own tango "Madreselva" and Sarita does a good cover of it wearing her famous emeralds and diamonds necklace and earrings.

Critics who adore art cinema have always had a problem with Sara Montiel films. I don't. Cinema should be, before all, entertainment and stars have always played a big role in this. They have made the masses pay the admission and attend the cinema even when the films lacked "quality"... This is quite a contribution to an industry that could not have survived until now without box office sensations such as Miss Montiel.

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Did You Know?


Flor del mal
Written by
F. Wolter and E.M. Montesinos
Adapted by Jesús María de Arozamena
Performed by Sara Montiel
Arranged and conducted by Gregorio García Segura
Recorded by Hispavox


Plot Summary


Musical | Drama


Release Date:

3 May 1962



Country of Origin

Spain, Italy

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