Check Out Films from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema! Cinco de Mayo Spotlight
By Ingrid Rivera
Some of the most cherished, high content quality and highly successful Mexican films were produced during what’s known as the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema (in Spanish: La época de oro del cine mexicano), a period between about 1936 and 1969. Films included a diversity of genres including literary works, comedies called comedias rancheras, police films, musical comedies and melodramas.
Cinco de Mayo, meaning the fifth of May, commemorates the May 5, 1862, Battle of Puebla, Mexico – a day Mexico successfully defended its sovereignty and proved its army’s resilience. In that famous battle, the Mexicans had an unlikely victory when the French invaded their city of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War (1861-1867). The outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexican Army defeated the more powerful and well-armed veteran French Army.
Check out these classic Mexican films as we honor Cinco de Mayo, a celebration that brings great pride to Mexicans.
Classic Films from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema
Compiled by Main Library staff
2. Doña Bárbara (1943)
3. Enamorada (1946)
4. Nosotros los pobres (1947)
5. Ustedes los ricos (1948)
6. Pepe el Toro (1953)
7. Angelitos negros (1948)
8. La malquerida (1949)
9. Doña Perfecta (1951)
10. Escuela de vagabundos (1955)
English subtitles are available.
These are films we have in the Lorain Public Library System (LPLS) collection or through our partnership, the CLEVNET collection. Enjoy! Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Request movies that are not immediately available by placing a hold via our CLEVNET catalog. They will be delivered to your LPLS library of choice.
See our Pinterest Board for more movies!
Mexican Stars of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema
Many of these timeless films feature Pedro Infante, Mexico’s most beloved actor, also known as the idol of Mexico. Infante, actor and singer, starred in over 55 movies and had over 360 songs recorded between 1943 and 1956. His most popular films were the "trilogy of bittersweet poverty” with Nosotros, los pobres (1947), Ustedes, los ricos (1948) and Pepe El Toro (1953).
María Félix, “La Doña,” was another great actor who dominated the roles of "femme fatale" or strong female characters in these Mexican films. She became known as the unattainable and indomitable beautiful woman when she played “La Doña” in the hit Doña Bárbara.
Dolores del Río, who starred in Maria Candelaria and Doña Perfecta, was the first Mexican movie star with an international appeal who had started a career in 1920s Hollywood. She, like Félix, was another actor who represented one of the highest ideals of the Mexican female beauty.
Jorge Negrete, actor and singer, starred in over 30 movies and made popular the comedies known as la comedia ranchera. Just like Infante, he often played the role of charro or cowboy.
Emilio "El Indio" Fernández Romo is another one of the most famous people in the history of Mexican movies, who both directed and acted in unforgettable films such as Flor silvestre.
Fernando de Fuentes was the Mexican movie industry's pioneer. He was the first great director who inaugurated the Golden Age in the mid 1930s with hits such as Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936) and ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (1936).
Other famous stars of the age included Pedro Armendáriz, Andrea Palma, Sara García, Fernando y Andrés Soler, Joaquín Pardavé and Arturo de Córdova.
Lean esto en español aquí. Read this in Spanish here.