El hechizo del trigal (1939)


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28 October 2012 | fsilva
Interesting from a historical point of view
I saw this film on Monday 22nd October 2012 at the Cinema of the Centro Cultural "La Moneda" (a Cultural Centre near the Chilean Government Building). The presenter stated that this was the first time in 73 years since the film had premiered (in 1939) that it was screened properly. The film underwent a detailed restoration process. In fact, the presenter said that the newly restored version runs 100 or more minutes and the poor copies extant until the time of its restoration ran seventy something minutes.

The film was the first sound film produced in Chile utilizing sound-on-film as opposed to sound-on-disc. The first Chilean film that used sound on disc was "Norte y Sur" (North and South) (1934) directed by Jorge Délano "Coke".

The film reportedly was cast with non-professional actors, which is quite apparent due to their apparent lack of acting skills. In fact the two principal female players: María Loubet and Adriana Leighton were chosen Beauty Queens of their respective cities during the 1930s. The dialogues are kind of inane and artificial and the pacing is rather dull. There are long scenes showcasing the landscape of the Chilean countryside and musical sequences featuring Chilean "tonadas" and "cuecas".

On the other hand, since the film was shot on location, one gets to see cities and towns like Valparaíso, Santiago, Viña del Mar, Peñablanca et al, as they were in the 1930s, which is utterly interesting.

To sum it up, the film is interesting mainly as a historical document of times-now-gone.

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Release Date:

25 April 1939



Country of Origin


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