The film Rosauro Castro falls within an important period in director Roberto Gavaldón´s filmography. Alongside works like La barraca (The Shack, 1944), La otra (The Other One, 1946), La diosa arrodillada (The Kneeling Goddess, 1947) and En la palma de tu mano (In the Palm of Your Hand, 1950), it gives shape to a very particular tragic universe, where characters are forced to confront an adverse destiny – one that almost always arises from their social environment – or else find themselves succumbing to their deepest, darkest passions.
This universe can be understood with reference to the kinds of stories and personalities that inhabit the world of film noir – femmes fatales, men who surrender their lives to passion, baroque dialogue loaded with poetry and fatalism – and it lends Gavaldón’s cinema a cosmopolitanism that is largely at odds with the majority of film production of the time. Gavaldón found support in collaborators like the writer José Revueltas and the cinematographer Alex Phillips, first-class allies who helped him to plot and aestheticize this very personal universe.
Rosauro Castro shows a rural Mexico increasingly threatened by modernism. The film takes place in an oppressed village in which nothing can be said or done without the approval of the title character, a chief who is accustomed to imposing his will on all things, even demanding that his citizens behave in a certain way. Rosauro Castro also exercises his tyrannical will at home, tormenting his wife with countless infidelities, all in front of their young son. However, a new institutional presence in the town, represented here by an agent sent by the public prosecutor to investigate the murder of one of Castro’s political opponents, marks the beginning of the end for the protagonist; it will be his passion and his tyranny that will drive him to his ultimate destiny.
Cast and Credits
Scen.: Roberto Gavaldón, Roberto O’Quigley, José Revueltas. F.: Raúl Martínez Solares. M.: George Crone. Mus.: Antonio Díaz Conde. Int.: Pedro Armendáriz (Rosauro Castro), Carlos López Moctezuma (Don Antonio), Arturo Martínez (García Mata), María Douglas (Marta), Carlos Navarro (Chabelo Campos), Mimí Derba (donna Margarita), Antonio del Puerto (Ángel Castro), Rogelio Fernández (Fidel), Isabel del Puerto (Esperanza). Prod.: Pedro Armendáriz, Roberto Gavaldón, César Santos Galindo per Cinematográfica Azteca. DCP. D.: 83’. Bn.
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