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Susana - (Mr Bongo Films) (1951) [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Directors: Luis Buñuel
  • Format: Black & White, PAL
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Mr Bongo Films
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IMHI5C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,624 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Susana (Rosita Quintana) finds her desperate prayers answered when she escapes from Mexico's State Reformatory and lands up at a country ranch. Offered a second chance, she's accepted as a maid by the Guadalupe family; her beauty making her an inescapable object of desire to the men of the house. All of them - the uncouth ranch foreman Jesús (Luis Lopez Somoza), the Guadalupe patriarch (Fernando Soler) and his bookish son Alberto (Victor Manuel Mendoza) are ensnared by her mere presence in their stifling middle-class home. Thrilled by the power she wields over the men, Susana manipulates her admirers against each other in the hope that the fittest survivor would provide her with the best comforts.

Made in Mexico in 1951, Susana is filled with the characteristic touches and familiar motifs of Luis Buñuel's body of work. Class tension and sexual repression is revealed beneath the rational façade of the conventional nuclear family. The film's subversion of religious iconography and its uses of animal metaphors for basic human drives reveal the bold style of L Âge d'Or and Diary of a Chambermaid.

Review

A stinging assault on Mexico's rich and religious, in particular their indolence and hypocrisy --Radio Times

Made by the master in Mexico...'Susana'' is full of the sort of Bunuelian touches that forever separate all of Bunuel's films from those of everyone else --New York Times

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Susana has a spellbinding quality that draws one into the film from the very beginning. It could be the picturesque Mexican settings or the music that matches the actions so well, but more than that, the story is exceptional. The story has enough drama and melodrama to compete with Greek classics. The story is also captivating because Susana is seemingly innocent and even meek, but in reality she is a crafty and a sinister woman. Her skill is employing temptation to manipulate others, however chaos also ensues from her work.

The story begins when Susana is trown into a cell in a reformatory (which looks like a prison). In a moment of fear, she pleads to God for a way out, which she soon finds. She excapes her imprisionment on that rainy and stormy night and finds her way onto a ranch. There, she plays coy at times and does all she can to make another fall for her the rest of the time. But she doesn't limit herself to one target - one of the chief ranch workers, the owner of the ranch and even the owner's son are all her targets.

Luis Buñuel had an amazing skill as a director and watching Susana will make one appreciate his talent. As we try to figure out what Susana will try next, while we wonder who she really is, it is hard not to be taken in by this story with timeless appeal. Although the plot is simple enough for everyone to appreciate, there is also symbolism and surrealism present, if one looks for them. Susana is a great film and one that I would recommend to all audiences.
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Fasten your seat belts and observe as 'Hurricane Susana' enters into the lives of a family and tears them apart .... piece by little piece.

I am thoroughly exhausted after watching this film ... but in a good way.

I thought the acting on Susana's part was absolutely amazing ... she inhabited two completely different characters simultaneously, the meek and humble young woman who would not let butter melt in her mouth and Susana the Siren who, with one sultry glance renders the hearts of men into chaos.
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Although far from being Buñuel best film, "Susana" is an excellent melodrama. Buñuel has managed to write a script that may appear to be a simple straight-foward studio film but uses the strength it has in the base characters and the way in which these characters are brought to the screen to show a film that is quite insightful, playing on deception, love and the strength of a family unit, from the violent beginning to the immediately satisfying ending. The casting is excellent throughout. Luis Somoza is great as love-lorn son Alfredo, Maria Gentil Arcos plays her role as the religious head maid who sees right through Susana's deceptive ways and is scared to let her know it and Matilde Palou puts in an excellent performance as wife Dona as we see the character slowly go from a doting woman who just wants to look after Susana to someone who eventually snaps and starts whipping her. The real stars of the show though are Fernando Soler as Don Guadalupe whose powerful screen presence at the right times allows the viewer to slowly watch a man fall in love with the much younger Susana, and Rosita Quintana, who, in the title role, plays Susana so well on so many levels. From exuding sexiness to allure the male characters, to the victim of escaping a 'rape' (she never, it's the lie she tells when she reaches the household for the first time in the rain), to being a downright nasty bitch, Quintana brings this film up a peg from your average melodrama. The score isn't overpowering and is typical for the genre. As a whole, some Buñuel fans may be disappointed by the lack of surrealism he is famous for, but as a melodrama, the films holds up very well, thanks to being clinically shot and the superb cast. 4/5
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Not one of Luis Bunuel's best works but this 1951 film is driven by the electrifying presence of Argentinian actress Rosita Quintata whose character, Susana, having escaped from an institution during a storm proceeds to set alight the desires and fears of everyone in the prosperous ranch she comes across.

Susana (The Devil And The Flesh) is not a Film Noir but it does revolve around the classic Femme Fatale characterisation and in fact, almost attains a Shakespearean quality as a morality tale. Father is set against son, and husband against wife, within the whirlwind of jealousy conjured up by Susana to suit her ruthless ambition to run the household and have cast out anyone who stands in her way.

Very soon in the story it becomes clear why Susana was locked away in a reformatory as she demonstrates what can be achieved by a seemingly irresistible and manipulative woman who recognises no boundaries and no one, however good or principled, can escape unscathed as she burns across the screen.

The quality of the print is primitive and to modern eyes the film appears theatrical and at times it threatens to resemble old-time farce - but there are enough of Bunuel's surrealistic touches to make Susana rewarding and memorable, and of course there is the presence of Rosita Quintata which remains intriguing and powerful.
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Does God let her lose to nearly break up a loving family? It's an intresting movie by Bunuel well done. What he called his bread and butter movies that allowed him to make his later gems
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