User Reviews (15)

Add a Review

  • Encapsulating and portraying the life and talent of Mario Moreno "Cantiflas" on the big screen is indeed a challenge that probably most producers would like to avoid. Nonetheless, knowing full well the challenges ahead of them, the director and producers of the film managed to put together a compelling story that resonates with moviegoers of today. Cantiflas is simply the story of a poor and humble Mexican in the early 1930's when mostly talent, inheritance and luck were the only ways out of poverty. The story is told in such a way that those unfamiliar with Cantiflas can quickly recognize and appreciate the breadth and depth of the golden age of Mexican cinema and one of its most shinning stars, Mario Moreno.

    It is obvious that the lead actor, Óscar Jaenada spent a considerable amount of time watching Cantinflas movies to be able to imitate his voice and mannerism. He does a decent job portraying one of most intricate comedians of all time, which in itself is a very arduous task.

    Undoubtedly, the film pays tribute to the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema of the 1940's and 1950's, with all its splendor and flair. Hopefully, it would serve as an inspiration for a new generation of filmmakers to appreciate the rich legacy given to them.
  • tshi196729 August 2014
    I simply enjoyed this film, I grew up watching his movies with my parents at our hometown drive-theater. Even at young age, I truly appreciated his sense of humor and comedy approach to many delicate subjects. Oscar Jaenada (though many of my peers don't agree) did a beautiful performance! This film was long over do! Congrats to all who put this project together and showed us the the person behind the movies. I have to add, my parents were truly moved by the performance and his early beginnings, a story they thought they knew. A true homage to Mario Moreno and his legacy. Looking forward to more performance from Oscar Jaenada.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Cantinflas is a biopic and tribute to one of Mexico's most iconic entertainment personalities of the 20th century. For those not familiar with Mario Moreno's perpetual theater and screen persona, let us avoid comparisons and simply present him as follows: the country of Mexico has a rich indigenous tradition, it has it's colonial period followed by the revered fathers of liberty, and then it has Cantinflas – in the running for the top spot of contemporary historical significance among a few others. His films are stuff of binge addiction on long weekends and it's safe to state he has a status of saint by some of his fans.

    With this back history, anyone who dared to bring the two, the persona and the creator, to the big screen would need to have a strong will and set of two firmly planted – to make use of a common Spanish colloquial phrase.

    The target audience is obvious; fans and those familiar with Cantinflas while appealing to the general audience. To fans, there are no surprises or explosive revealing secrets. Overall the text is a positive portrait that allows for some connection with Mario Moreno. It won't come as a shock that Mr. Moreno developed into a shrewd impresario who learned to market and maintain Cantinflas in the vernacular for decades and beyond his death. Revealing the womanizing phase of his career works to show a person rough around the edges and a human who wasn't beyond reproach – in other words not Cantinflas-like.

    Stylistically, the story is told in a whimsical and fairly fast pace of intertwining narratives between Cantiflas the persona and Mario Moreno the creator. With little breathing room, moviegoers are treated briefly to some of the most memorable scenes in Mr. Moreno's filmography. Like with other historical and entertainment figures, viewers' collective memories and personal stories will make for a magical movie experience surely evoking happy laughter and a tear or two. The fun sets in the second the opening and historically marking montage ends and never lets up. Be sure to stay until the house lights come on, you won't regret it.

    Cantinflas is also about the craft of filmmaking. It's always interesting to watch the film process portrayed within a text. Director Sebastian del Amo uses homage in a not so subtle way. In Cold Blood by Richard Brooks and Citizen Cane by Orson Welles moments are clearly depicted but the most poignant statement is the ever present artistic vs commercial or formulaic movie making argument that can become esoteric at times. We learn that at some point, authorship was paramount to Mr. Moreno. As this goes on, a foretelling tie to Hollywood builds and serves as the triumphant marker. Fans obviously know Cantinflas did not stay in Hollywood.

    As for the casting, Óscar Jaenada (The Limits of Control and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), knocks it out of the park. His impersonations of Cantinflas are superb and certainly had this viewer reacting at every turn. Purist may not accept Jaenada in the role but he's a proved actor and not just an impersonator. The cast is international and the well done production serves to prove that cinema has no boundaries.

    Conclusion: A must watch on the big screen. It won't be the same on DVD simply because the collective experience won't be there. A bilingual but mostly Spanish language film with subtitles as needed. Family safe and fun to watch!
  • I attended this movie without knowing anything about Cantinflas. I am pleased to report that this movie is informing and entertaining. The time zone depicted is about 1935-1956 in Mexico.

    The production quality is first rate. However, understand that the lighting and camera angles approximate what was being used in the 1940s and 50s. Therefore, this film has a simple look, an historical feel about it. I particularly enjoyed the costumes and fashions of the actresses during the 40s and 50s.

    I strongly suggest that you read "Wiki" descriptions of his career before you see the movie. This will cause you to understand the importance of this man to Mexico and to the U.S. In fact, when he died, Mexico had 3 days of mourning; and the U.S. Senate had a moment of silence to honor this actor.

    Cantinflas was a Mexican comedian at approximately the level of a Charlie Chaplin or Bob Hope. He started from humble street origins in Mexico and slowly worked his way to Hollywood. He eventually starred in "80 Days Around the World" which featured top stars and won several Oscars.

    His name is an invention that may roughly translate in Spanish to, "He who drinks too much in the Cantina".

    This film has both English and Spanish subtitles which alternate at appropriate times.

    Cantiflas's act might be called "family entertainment" worthy of reaching wide audiences. There is no outrageous violence, no sex, no drug usage, no monsters, no superheros, no flaming car crashes. The story is a predictable rags to riches story which makes for quality and gentle Sunday afternoon entertainment. Religious people should not be offended. This story reinforces the belief that hard focused work may be rewarded with fame and happiness.

    This film is more about the events and people which brought Mario Moreno (Cantinflas) to success on stage and film. His performances are not detailed, not lengthy, only suggestions of his talent. If his performances were recreated, I think this movie would gain a higher rating. You will see Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Yule Brenner, Charlie Chaplin and others played out in this film as well.

    When you read the "Wiki" description, you will understand that he created a kind of humor which allowed him to use a free form style, he was an ad lib artist. Perhaps he could be compared to the late Robin Williams. From what I heard during the show he had a light touch to his truth telling on stage.

    Cantinflas is always a respectable story; and you should not be embarrassed to bring any friend to see this film with you. I am not of Mexican heritage. About 95% of those in the audience seemed to be Mexican. So, you now know that you could be broadening your education of film history to see this film. And again, I think that if you grew up seeing his films, you will enjoy this movie more and give it a higher rating here on IMDb. If not, then for you we have a predictable, simple story which may earn a 6.5 or 7.0 on IMDb.

    I particularly enjoyed seeing Mexico, the buildings, the fashions, the restaurants at their very polished best. The music is romantic. I felt that if I had seen his film when I was young, this film would have provided me with the "nostalgia effect". Nonetheless, it was a nice visit to Mexico during the 1940s.

    The direction of the film was conservative and never confused. There were no "tricks" of the director to distract me from the simple, linear story.

    And there is the greatest value of this film: nostalgia. Older folks who witnessed his acts will gain the most benefit from this reenactment of his past. Those older people will no doubt relive their youth as they enjoy seeing Mario Moreno go through his trials to finally appear in theater and film to become a national hero.

    There are very few dark moments. And no foul language that I could detect.

    Cantinflas was a master comedian. However, I do not think this movie could truly reproduce the comedic timing that Cantinflas used. Therefore, Cantinflas's wit is not displayed in this movie in a manner that I could laugh at most of the time. Subtitles slow down the delivery of his jokes. The effect of surprise in his jokes is muted by the English translation and the use of subtitles. So, as a film goer I am at a disadvantage. His jokes were gentle surprise one liners that entertained families on stage in the Cantinas of Mexico and film. But I am hardly an expert on his career. All I have seen is this movie.

    I think that if you wanted to treat a person to a gentle story, with only a few moments of aggressive drama, you would be safe to bring any friend to see this film. This is a "nice film." And if that friend were born around 1940, all the better. And now I want to know more about Mario Moreno's career. And I would like to experience the results of his comedic timing from the master. Charlie Chaplin is said to have considered him the most humorous man in theater. That is quite a compliment.

    Mario Moreno upset the Union of Actors in Mexico. He shunned the studio system of Hollywood, too. Yet he rose from the very bottom of Mexican society to become an Oscar winning actor.

    This film is safe, gentle entertainment. I feel I broadened my understanding of film history after seeing this movie. I recommend you see it too. I am sure you will leave the theater with a warm, gentle feeling.
  • gfarias-97-4254902 September 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    What can I say? I loved this movie. Very inspiring story! Great actors, great director, great everything. Cantinflas is a great example of the underdog that succeeds with hard work, positive thinking and creativity. I've recommended this movie to everyone I know and 99% of the feedback is positive! Go see it, you won't regret it.

    Also I think that Cantinflas is a great example of a human being that enjoys living his life. A lot of people have trouble enjoying life because they are so focused on accomplishing goals. Mario Moreno's story is a must learn lesson for all of us who live in the future and forget about the present. This guy enjoys the road to success even though the road sometimes get super-bumpy.
  • This is a Mexican/Spanish co-production dealing with the untold story of Mexico's greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time, Cantinflas (Oscar Jaenada) , from his poor origins on the small stage and his acting in Mexican cinema to the bright lights of Hollywood , being hired by a powerful US producer , Mike Todd (Michael Imperioli) .In his youth, he earned money as a prizefighter and worked as an acrobat in circus tent shows. As he acted in cabarets , theatres and varietee shows . He was married to Valentina Ivanova (Ilse Salas) from 1936 until her death. He appeared in more than 55 films, including as Passepartoute in his biggest hit : Around the world in 80 days (1956) . At the peak of his career in the late 1950s, Cantinflas was earning more than $1.5 million a year and was referred to in press releases as the world's highest-paid comedian. He once described as "the world's greatest comedian" by none other than Charles Chaplin (Sedgwick) .Despite the fact that Cantinflas died a millionaire several times over, and was one of the biggest stars ever in Spanish language films, he never forgot where he came from. Much of his money was given over to charitable work, including high-quality, low-income housing for Mexico City's poor. When he died, he was hailed as a national hero, and a protracted period of official mourning followed.

    The picture describes various episodes about Cantinflas life from Mexico to around the world , many of them shown in flashbacks , his hard beginings , his relationship to his understanding wife Valentina Ivanova ( Ilse Salas) , the stubborn Mike Todd (who married Liz Taylor played Barbara Mori) to hire him , the Actors Unions strike led by Cantinflas himself with appearance of notorious Mexican actors as Dolores Del Rio (Jessica Gocha) , María Félix (Ximena Gonzalez-Rubio) , Jorge Negrete (Julio Bracho) , Miroslava , Gloria Marin (Giovanna Zacarias) , Ernesto Alonso , Lupita Tovar (Flor Payán) , Pedro Armendariz , Emilio Indio Fernández (Joaquin Cosio) , cameraman Gabriel Figueroa (Carlos Aragón) , among others . In addition , here shows up some prestigious Hollywood actors in brief appearances , such as : Kirk Douglas (Juan Castelazo) , Charlie Chaplin (Julian Sedgwick) , Marlene Dietrich (Karin Burnett) , Marlon Brando ,Yul Brynner , and Liz Taylor . Furthermore , showing the shooting in the Churubusco studios of some Cantinflas films as ¨Ahí esta el detalle¨, ¨Ni sangre ni arena¨, ¨El gendarme desconocido¨, ¨Un dia con el diablo¨ and , of course , ¨Around the world in 80 days¨ . Stars Oscar Jaenada who looks exactly him , he gives an acceptable acting as the famous showman . However , this film was not well received in México, due to the decission of giving the role to a spanish actor. The general sense is that even when the acting was good, Jaenada was not capable to be funny, because he couldn't understand the mexican sense of humor. There's no real consensus on how Mario Moreno Reyes adopted his more familiar professional name. One story goes that he did not want to shame his family, who thought of show business as a less than respectable profession, and so created his name. Another is that, at one of his first nightclub engagements, a heckler taunted him with, "¡En la cantina inflas!" ("You get drunk in the bar room!"). Other stories say the name came from phrases like "¡Cuanto inflas!", (you really get drunk!) "¿Cantas o le inflas?" (you sing or get drunk?), or "ya calláte cantinflas" (shut up, cheap singer) For some reason, this amused him, and he shortened the taunt into the professional name of Cantinflas. In 1936 Cantinflas made his first "film," a two-reel advertisement for a trucking company. A year later, he appeared in his first movie for the nascent Mexican film industry, "Asi Es Mi Tierra" ("That's My Country"). He scored his first international success in 1940 with what also was his first full-length feature, "Ahi Esta el Detalle" ("There Is the Detail"). In his second major film, "Ni Sangre, Ni Arena" ("Neither Blood Nor Sand"), Cantinflas plays dual roles - an arrogant matador and a humble, devoted fan. The comedy begins when, through a classic mix-up of identities, the lowly fan is mistaken for the vain bull fighter. Cantinflas was to perfect the bull-fight into one of his most famous routines, performed again and again in arenas in Mexico, Europe and the United States.

    The movie has enough budget , including big production design , fastuous scenarios , and luxurious sets . As well as a colorful and brilliant cinematography by Carlos Hidalgo . It contains an evocative and atmospheric musical score by Roque Baños . The motion picture was professionally directed by Sebastian del Amo who plays a cameo as Yul Brynner . It had a great world wide premiere in Mexico D.F. and it was Official submission of Mexico to the best foreign language film category of the 87th Academy Awards 2015. In Spain was released in 2016, 2 years later, in 36 theaters and thanks to Óscar Jaenada who personally secured it a Spanish released trough his connections, which ended up happening on April the 15th 2016.
  • Expectations were just to have a nice time at the movies...I grew up watching Cantinflas, will it be in Spanish, will it be in English? When casting was in progress, Controversy ensued when the actor playing the Mexican icon would be from Spain...not just Spain, but from Catalunya! Just having been to Barcelona and hearing first hand the marked difference between Castillian and Catalan...I didn't think the actor could even pull off sounding a bit from the Western Hemisphere. I stand happily corrected. What an amazing portrayal. Hat's off to the principal actor, all actors, director and everyone that had a hand in this tour de force, magical, moving movie. No spoilers here, but it tugged at my heart. The power of immense, unfathomable fame vs. the true, crystal clear power of love. The hysterical man/myth that some of us were lucky enough to grow up with has been presented to new generations as the man only a handful really knew. I couldn't be happier coming home from the movies.
  • Labeled as the "Charlie Chaplin of Mexico" and once called the greatest comedian alive by none other than the little tramp himself, Charlie Chaplin, Cantinflas was a improvisational comedic tour de force. If you consider yourself Mexican/Mexican American, or you simply wanna get to know the Mexican cinematic genius, Mario Moreno a.k.a.Cantinflas, (the unparalleled Shakespearean word playing tramp from Mexico) you are obligated to watch this film! I had my doubts about a Spanish actor being cast as one of our most iconic Mexican figures, but justice has been done to this endearing personality.The Performance and execution are spot on as Señor Mario Moreno. Well as the cliché goes,Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, pos "ahí esta el detalle!"
  • Cantinflas (2014) should have been a clever little gem about a piece of forgotten film history but ends up being a solidly boring mish-mesh of a film that did little justice to its subject matter. In it Cantinflas aka Mario Moreno (Oscar Jaenada) works his way up from a minor vaudeville player on the streets of Mexico City to one of the most beloved Mexican actor/comedians of all time.

    He does so while a second, mostly English tale unfolds. Michael Todd (Michael Imperioli) a wily producer at United Artists is trying to cobble together the 1956 theatrical version of Around the World in 80 Days. He boasts to the studio exec that he can convince over forty international film stars to be in the film but in reality he barely has Elizabeth Taylor on the hook. In an attempt to make the film salvageable he asks the ever-popular Cantinflas to make a cameo appearance.

    Despite polished period detail and some worthwhile performances, Cantinflas feels cheap and more than a bit off. The cinematography colludes into a mix of flat browns and grays and everyone seems to be spotted by florescent lights. One cannot help but wonder if this story was given to a more mature director we'd be able to see and enjoy the vibrant colors of Mexico and the luster of old Hollywood.

    The film is also betrayed by a script that fails to staple the important moments or rather the two largest threads into a story of urgency. The turbulent labor politics of Moreno's time get the same compromised treatment as his early roving theatre career. His height of popularity is as deflated as the 80 Days subplot. It's as if the editors lost a few key scenes on the cutting room floor and pasted half-shot scenes together hoping the audience wouldn't notice.

    There's one nearly-poignant scene where Cantinflas, in a "success is ruination"-type stupor sees a note of encouragement by none other than Charlie Chaplin. Again I say near-poignant because up until that moment we never knew Chaplin's opinion was important to Cantinflas. Goaded by the letter, once Cantinflas agrees to do Around the World in 80 Days it leaves him without catharsis or character change. His wife seemed to think fame was going to his head so appearing in the film he's most internationally recognized for wouldn't have solved that dispute; yet it did.

    Cantinflas attempts to create a stereotypical biographical film out of a figure that, given the events of the film, deserved better. At best this film deserves to be on cable and given a Hallmark type release, not a theatrical one. Maybe in the decades to come people will honor his contribution to his nation's cinema with a movie that immortalizes the man properly. Now that would be the rub.
  • Unless you are familiar with the Mexican phenomenon known as Cantinflas, before you watch this new bio-pic, you might just want to see a few of these films first so that you can appreciate their wonderful style and charm. They also might help you to understand why Charlie Chaplin raved about the man who created this character and referred to him as 'the world's greatest comedian' as well as why they've chosen to make a film about his life.

    Unfortunately, "Cantinflas" is NOT the perfect film about Mario Moreno's life and career in films. It seems to spend too much energy focusing on his performance in the Hollywood film "Around the World in 80 Days" and not nearly enough on his Mexican movies--which are clearly his best. While his role in "Around the World" did help to bring him to the attention of the American public, his career in Hollywood films would later turn out to be a flop--something that the film not only fails to mention but it strongly implies that his efforts in American cinema were very successful. Likewise, the film tends to whitewash Moreno's personal life at times and fails to show just how beloved the man was in his native land. Despite these flaws, the movie is still well worth seeing. Óscar Jaenada does a lovely job impersonating the late actor and the film is technically a very well made film. It also does a good job in showing the path by which Moreno learned his craft and perfected his Cantinflas character--all things that fans of these films should appreciate and enjoy. It also leaves you wanting to see more--something I'd strongly recommend. You might want to try a few of his later films, such as "The Little Priest", "El Bolero de Raquel", "The Illiterate One" or "Su Exelencia", as they are excellent and, more importantly, are widely available on DVD since they were released by Columbia Pictures, unlike his earlier films.

    Incidentally, "Cantinflas" is the official submission for Mexico for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. We'll soon see if it's among the few selected nominees for this award.
  • I've seen the movie "Cantinflas" directed by Sebastian del Amo, and I am convinced that this is "the film that every Mexican must-see". This is biopic is the story of Mexico's greatest and most beloved comedy film star of all time, Mario Moreno "Cantinflas". The film follows him from his humble beginnings on the small stage to the bright lights of Hollywood.

    On one side you discover the man: Mario Moreno who expressed his values through his Cantinflas character on films and stage. Cantinflas gives voice to social issues: on his films he would protest against injustice, keeping his cool being sincere, generous, honest and optimistic. Cantinflas never resorted to vulgarity, nor to profanity, insults or violence to make us laugh, and his unique speech style (cantinflear) reflects the demagogic rhetoric we hear from politicians. We all recognize on Mario Moreno "Cantinflas" a Mexican hero who overcame poverty and lack of formal education to become an artist and humanist, recognized worldwide.

    On the other hand, there is the film where actor Oscar Jaenada does a masterful "incarnation" of Mario Moreno Cantinflas. Thanks to Oscar's credibility and this film's quality production, more people attended movie theaters to watch the movie and a new generations will better understand Cantinflas legacy and values.

    In addition, the performances of other actors like Ilse Salas, Barbara Mori, Gabriela de la Garza and Luis Gerardo Méndez, to name a few, were preceded by months of preparation and are really a tribute to the characters they play. Original music by Aleks Syntek. Screen play by Edui Tijerina, and excellent production of entrepreneurs Vidal Garza Cantú, Adolfo Franco, Alejandro Barron, and Mario Moreno Ivanova. Thus, "Cantinflas" brings to life Mexico's hero, so this is a most- see film for everyone in Mexico, and elsewhere.
  • It's hard to say this exceeded expectations because I didn't know what to expect, but I was drawn to it on the strength of Mario Moreno. I was curious to see what the film did with his person and with his fame. It's a beautifully crafted story, and intertwining it with Todd's "hustling" to get "Around the World in 80 Days" to happen helps to bring out how Mr. Moreno's fame had gone beyond Mexico to where he was the figure who brought the production to the screen for Todd. Moreno's rise from obscurity to international fame is told in a finely crafted way. Oscar Jaenada is nothing less than brilliant as Mario Moreno the person, and Mario Moreno as the character of "Cantinflas." The entire cast is very well put together. The film has no weak spots. I grew up watching Cantinflas movies. This film does not disappoint - and it's no small feat. Trying to paint a screen portrait of Mario Moreno as other than a sequential narrative is a big undertaking. The story, the cinematography, the acting - all of a very high caliber.
  • enrilopez29 September 2014
    I attended an empty movie theater in Torreon , Mexico at the end of September, 2014. I was surprised of the quality of the film. The script, acting and cinematography worked really well. It seems that in Mexico the film didn't generate a great interest, specially among young people (who barely know about Cantinflas). As a repatriate in Mexico I appreciate the excellent quality of some of the Mexican films made in the last decade. Hope the same enthusiasm can be shared by new generations. So many things are working well back in Mexico and the film industry requires all the support of Mexican audiences. Hope that an empty cinema is more the exception and not the rule. As Mexican myself I support this kind of films portraying a different angle of Mexico (beyond what you see in the news) Congrats to all people in this film----and go and see the film!!!
  • Okonh0wp27 January 2015
    As much as I love learning about the history of Hollywood, there can be something pretentious about the Hollywood biopic. The story of a great creative mind taking Hollywood by storm is one that's been told too many times and easily falls into repetition. Aside from that, there's always the sneaking suspicion that the screenwriter or director is co-opting his subject's story to wrestle with his own greatness.

    "Catinflas" intrigued me enough at the start that I decided to throw caution to the wind hoping the plot wouldn't veer into cliché. I enjoyed seeing the trial and error process over how Catinflas discovered his true calling, I thought the setting was unique (especially the unforgiving Mexican stage where heckling is the norm) and the actor who played Catinflas had a magnetic working-man kind of presence.

    The decision to intercut the story of Mario "Catinflas" Morelli's ascension to fame over the years and the trials and tribulation "Around the World in 80 Days" producer Michael Todd to get his film made, also had potential except for the fact Michael Todd seemed like a rather flat character (not to take anything away from Imperioli's performance), and while I enjoyed "Around the World in 80 Days" as a kid, I'm not sure if there's anything to celebrate in Todd's methodology of putting every actor he could find in the film.

    The storyline itself is one I've seen a hundred times before, so the film was largely on the shoulders of Oscar Jaenada and to the degree he could, Jaenada did an extraordinary job. If only he had slightly better material to work with.
  • Gochi8 September 2014
    First of all a Spaniard as Cantinflas? Yes he makes a good character, but I don't think he has the feeling and he the love for Mexico for live the character, Second Ximena Rubio as Maria Feliz, she doesn't have the beauty and the actitude to represent Mexicos diva, Bracho as Jorge Negrete? El Charro Cantor was a really handsome macho great tenor singer and a charro representative, nothing to do with that big nose awful man, Adal ramones as Mantequilla? That man has nothing to do with mantequilla's charm, he has nothing to do with him Adal is so egocentric and that you can feel in his acting, Ana Layevsca as Miroslava? Ana is nothing that a blond washable bimbo Miroslava was a beautiful woman. And for the rest of the actors, there are some good, some not so good.