El (This Strange Passion, 1952)

Alternative market DVD edition with english subtitles


Another one of Buñuel's mexican period films that haven't been released (when writing this in December 2022) on a decent
DVD, Blu-ray or 4K UHD disc edition. Strange as this film is considered to be one of Buñuel's best, made in Mexico or not.
So, this DVD with a fuzzy picture will have to do until a proper release with subs turns up.

The film starts with foot/shoe fetishism, a constant through Buñuel's oevre, when our protagonist takes part in some
disgusting catholic ceremony in the church. A lecherous dirty old priest kisses young boys feet with such religious fervour,
or lust, that he looks like he's about to have an orgasm. Disgusting. Yuck.
But our man, Francisco Galvan (Arturo de Cordova) likes feet/shoes too though he prefers watching womens feet. He's
immediately sexually aroused when he gets a glimpse of a churchgoer's shoes, Gloria (Delia Garces) and for a moment
there's a mutual attraction between them. When Francisco sees her again, also in the church, he's obsessed with her and he
follows her to see where she lives or who she meets.

She meets her boyfriend and Francisco is happy to see that a friend of his, architect Raul (Luis Beristain) is The Man. He
knows he can steal her from Raul due to his riches, stature in society and his charm, and the way Gloria looked at him.
And, yes, Francisco and Gloria become lovers and she dumps Raul.

Then there's a Time Jump, and next we see Gloria meeting Raul out on the town. She tells him that she married Francisco
and that not all is well with their marriage. Then follows a series of Flashbacks starting with their wedding night when she
sees the first signs of his psychotic jealousy on their failed honeymoon trip to the city of Guanajuato. The city where he
was born and where he thinks he's the rightful owner of land properties (once lost by his grandfather).
He's obsessed with two things, firstly with his wife and her imagined infidelitys (and with her "sexy" shoes), secondly with
winning back his land, for which he pays an army of lawyers, who all lose as it's a lost case from the start.

Francisco gets more and more paranoid and more and more dangerous, and Gloria is afraid of him killing her, but everyone
are on his side (even her mother) as he's a good man, he's rich and he's a pillar of society. Can Raul help her ?
The film in original 4:3 fullscreen ratio, black & white, with spanish audio and english subtitles, picture gallery, region free


Back to Méxican Film Page