El 7 de copas
- 1h 35min
In the small town of Tayahua, Valerio, an orphan boy raised by the local priest, runs away from the church, and as he is leaving town, the boy wins a raffle when he draws the card of the 7 o... Read allIn the small town of Tayahua, Valerio, an orphan boy raised by the local priest, runs away from the church, and as he is leaving town, the boy wins a raffle when he draws the card of the 7 of Cups. As a grown man, Valerio breeds race horses and plays cards, always keeping the 7 o... Read allIn the small town of Tayahua, Valerio, an orphan boy raised by the local priest, runs away from the church, and as he is leaving town, the boy wins a raffle when he draws the card of the 7 of Cups. As a grown man, Valerio breeds race horses and plays cards, always keeping the 7 of Cups as his lucky charm. However, he loses for the first time to Mauro, a foreigner who ... Read all
I believe that his 1960 fantasy «Macario», in which a peasant shares his meal with Death without knowing it, was his last great work. The following year, he became discouraged when the Mexican State censored «Rosa Blanca» for a decade, a work in which he denounced the crimes committed by North American companies to seize Mexico's oil. Until 1979 he made the occasional commendable film, but in those 19 years he directed erotic themes that were alien to him, and low-value products conceived as vehicles for aged stars such as Libertad Lamarque, Cantinflas, Amparo Rivelles and Antonio Aguilar.
«El 7 de Copas» belongs to this group of films and marks (for me) the beginning of the decline. This is not the Gavaldón of a landowner drama as strong as «Rosauro Castro», but the fourth and last title directing Aguilar, with whom he began collaboration in 1958 with «Aquí está Heraclio Bernal.» The intentions of creating a rural romantic drama with social overtones is lost as the story of an orphan altar boy progresses and he grows up to become the player nicknamed 7 de Copas. His vicious gambling strongly interferes with his achievement of happiness, with his beloved girlfriend Rosalía, all the way until the words "The End".
After an hour in which the drama advances with situations that must have been daring for its time, I felt that, when 7 de Copas began wandering around fairs with Rosalía, gambling without caring about winning or losing, Gavaldón lost the aesthetic interest of the previous hour in which he favors the long-shot to narrate without losing detail of the elements, and in which compositions are more elaborate. Editor Carlos Savage doesn't help either, with transitions without elaboration or inspiration, but Aguilar doesn't miss the opportunity to sing various rancheras.
Gavaldón was a cultured man who knew his trade and I think that, in his script, based on an argument by journalist Ricardo Garibay, what he got the most out of was the description of the character of Rosalía, played by the beautiful Spanish actress Elvira Quintana , who would unexpectedly die eight years later, at age 32. Just as in «Sombra verde», Gavaldón made a hot portrait of a girl who grew up in the jungle without prejudice to sex (Ariadne Welter was never more sensual than in that film), in «El 7 de Copas» Gavaldón presents a provincial girl who, to begin with, is the one who proposes marriage to 7 de Copas and, when he loses her to a rival through a set of cards, the girl suddenly goes to the hacienda of the man she loves and proposes to him, on the eve of the marriage with the other (Julio Aldama, who would be the leading man of Luis Alcoriza's classics, «Tlayucán» and «Tiburoneros»). And her determination does not end there, but the girl finally leaves groom and home, in search of her man. The reaction of her mother, Doña Angelita (Aurora Walker) is also interesting: in a way, she is responsible of the tragic events by forcing the rival to fight for the hand of her daughter. Faced with her decision, she has no choice but to swallow any sermon and accept Rosalía's decision.
I am sure that «El 7 de Copas» had enough going on to be a better product, but these films built around the singing talents of their actors (like the Elvis Presley films) are more determined to show their vocal skills than to achieve the status of good cinema, through more elaborate stories.
- Aug 8, 2021