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Criminal Life of Archibaldo De La Cruz / This Strange Passion [DVD]

Ernesto Alonso , Miroslava , Luis Buñuel    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ernesto Alonso, Miroslava, Arturo de Córdova, Delia Garcés, Rita Macedo
  • Directors: Luis Buñuel
  • Writers: Luis Buñuel, Eduardo Ugarte, Luis Alcoriza, Mercedes Pinto, Rodolfo Usigli
  • Producers: Alfonso Patiño Gómez, Roberto Figueroa
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Films Sans Frontiers
  • DVD Release Date: 10 July 2003
  • Run Time: 191.00 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000E8RE9S
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,147 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


France released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: Spanish ( Mono ), English ( Subtitles ), French ( Subtitles ), SPECIAL FEATURES: Black & White, Documentary, Filmographies, Interactive Menu, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955); The delirious journey of a mental disordered man, who is obsessed in making the perfect crime. ; This Strange Passion (1953); Francisco is rich, rather strict on principles, and still a bachelor. After meeting Gloria by accident, he is suddenly intent on her becoming his wife and courts her until she agrees to marry him. Francisco is a dedicated husband, but little by little his passion starts to exhibit disturbing traits. Nevertheless, Gloria meets with scepticism as she expresses her worries to their acquaintances. ...Criminal Life of Archibaldo De La Cruz / This Strange Passion ( Ensayo de un crimen / El )

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fear 10 July 2013
Rarely has a journey into madness so convincingly and so brilliantly been filmed. Luis Buñuel's directing and the playing of the actors, Arturo de Córdova and Delia Garcés, are simply magnificent, as was his crew, with Gabriel Figueroa as primus inter pares.

The obsessions (jealousy, suspicion, greed) of the main character of the movie burst into plain paranoia in one of the most hilarious/dramatic sequences ever shot in the history of the motion picture. The end comes as a shock when the main character appears in a most unexpected disguise. Luis Buñuel used shocks (an eminent trick of the surrealists) time and again in many of his movies in order to derange and provoke the spectators.
Of course, the main intrigue of the movie is a variation on the age old male nightmare of raising unknowingly the offspring of other men.
This bright movie is a must see for all movie buffs.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Marriage Wrecker 27 Feb 2011
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
A dissection of a man who desires a woman but cannot consumate her. Bunuel takes to task the libido of the rich and the powerful grasping for more and more but unable to create any meaning. A subversive movie because the surrealists in their take of De Sade sided with the protagonist, here they have overturned that particular notion.

Black and White noir sumptuous in set, this displays the eccentricity of power verging and tottering into a nightmare through wife abuse. It is shot with verve and power. Not sure how it would hold a modern audience with its depiction of marriage but this is a psychological tour de force compared much of moderm depiction.

Well worth the investing of time for those who want to learn about jealousy and its effect. For those who want a quick fix then turn over quickly
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jewel Of Mexican Cinema. 9 Jun 2000
By Robert Blake - Published on
"The Criminal Life Of Archibaldo de la Cruz" is yet another brilliant film from the great Luis Bunuel. It vibrates with his exquisite eye for composition, style and eroticism. It's one of those films that keeps you gripped and watching without any actual violence (though there is some with the Bunuel mark of surrealism). The performances are all convincing, the plot is complex and keeps you guessing all the way through. There are surprises large and small and it all seems so real because Bunuel makes it all so plausible, he had such an insight into human behavior which is really evident here in a film driven completely by story and characters, more by the characters actually. There is also a lot of style here in the photography, costumes, settings etc. Bunuel was not a tame director and here his eye for style and conversations and behaviors is what makes this a brilliant jewel of cinema from his "Mexican years" after he left Spain. "The Criminal Life Of Archibaldo De La Cruz" stands among his best works. He shows a touch of eroticism here that is convincing and artistic (it usually has to do with his obsessions with legs and shoes, but it's brilliantly filmed). Here we have a great example of cinema driven by the characters and their minds, lusts and dark secrets. We really feel as if we are in the mind of de la Cruz. As always, Bunuel adds his touch of surrealism, which is great. Don't miss this one, great cinema.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bunuel at his best. 15 Oct 2001
By Anna Shlimovich - Published on
This is one of the best creations by Bunuel. As always, unpredictable, surrealistic, beautiful, witty and puzzling. The cinematography is extraordinary, too. This is a true masterpiece for those who like Bunuel or enjoy the art of cinema.
Not a Hollywood mass-production style movie, for sure.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not all that glitters in Buñuel is gold 12 Jun 2007
By Jose J Calzada - Published on
Adapted from a mediocre novel by Mexican playwright Rodolfo Usigli (gladly the only one he wrote) "Ensayo de un Crimen" gathers several of the worst cinematographic moments issued from such an uneven filmmaker as Luis Buñuel. Its many clumsy aspects are generously distributed on all areas of its making: there is not a single actor that can deliver his/her lines without sounding like your average end-of-semester college play. The scenery and decor are elementary and full of anachronisms. To mention just one, in the initial flashback Archibaldo (as a young child) is playing in the 20's with a Lionel train from the 40-50's! Buñuel's directing job is plainly bad, even if he tries to embellish it with a couple of his famous "oniric" sequences that just don't work here.

Maybe the worst part of all is the script. There's not a single line that doesn't sound corny and forced. Here's to those who watched the film with the benefit of translated subtitles or dubbed into a foreign language: I envy you. In Spanish, the dialogs are plainly awful.

However, the most remarkable feature is the enormous amount of praise this unholy stinker has received during its 50 years of existence! Undoubtedly this shows that to most moviegoers and critics -moviegoers of the Summa cum Laude species, I guess- suppose that the sole name of a famous filmmaker must mean you're watching a work of art.

To this I must add that practically none of the movies that Buñuel filmed during his stay in Mexico is a true masterpiece. Even the celebrated "Los Olvidados" is sadly marred by an unabashed pamphlet scene extolling the social merits of the Juvenile Delinquent re-adaptation centers issued from the government of President Cárdenas. Maybe Buñuel considered necessary giving a little lick to the hand that was feeding him at the moment...
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