The liar that came in from the cold.
Above is a nice Belgian poster for the Mexican melodrama Susana, which was known in Belgium as Susana l'Impure in French, and Susana, de Eerloze in Dutch. We talked a long while back about this story of a family shaken by the arrival of sexy young Rosita Quintana. Shorter version: not everybody caught out in a rainstorm deserves to be rescued. The movie premiered in Mexico in April 1951 and reached Belgium today in 1955.
Secrets are meant to come out.
The poster sucked us into this one. The posters always do that. Una mujer sin amor isn't a thriller or noir. It's straight drama about a woman who cheats on her husband, plans to leave him, but due to various circumstances changes her mind and spends the next twenty some years with him. When her old lover dies and leaves his fortune to her younger child it triggers suspicions on the part of the older sibling that his brother is the product of infidelity. This matters because both brothers are in love with the same woman and the older one has no qualms about using this information to his advantage. Sound like your cup of tea? The good news is that you'll now be able to say you've seen a movie by Luis Buñuel, something every film buff ought to be able to say they've done. The bad news? Buñuel himself said this was his worst movie. Love that poster though. Una mujer sin amor premiered in Mexico today in 1952.
She came from a reformatory with trouble on her mind.
Because of their dimensions and the narrow width of the main column on our website, we don't like to use horizontally oriented posters unless they're the Japanese bo-ekibari style meant to be assembled from two halves. But sometimes there's no choice. This promo was made for the Mexican drama Susana, also known as Susana: Carne y demonio, starring Rosita Quintana. It was helmed by the legendary Spanish director Luis Buñuel, who would go on to make classics like Belle du jour, Cet obscur objet du désir (That Obscure Object of Desire), and Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie). In this one, he tells the story of the crazed young title character, who's jailed in a reformatory but escapes during a thunderstorm and turns up at the house of an upper class family, drenched and peering in their dining room window. In the lightning and rain, the family thinks at first that Quintana is some sort of apparition or devil, and by the end of the movie they realize they were right. But she isn't a supernatural devil. She's the most natural devil of all—the femme fatale.
After the family rescues her from the rain and offers to let her stay they slowly succumb to the poisons of lust and jealousy, eventually realizing that Susana is not a lost and helpless waif, but a manipulative temptress and cocktease—and crazy besides. Every man in the movie wants her, and she's willing to entertain possibilities with all of them. The scenario presented of the patriarch of a family desiring a highly sexual newcomer in the household is archetypal now, having been used in everything from the Brazilian television series La Presença de Anita to Jaime Pressly’s 1997 so-bad-it’s-good softcore hit Poison Ivy: The New Seduction, but it was fairly new back then, and it's pretty hot stuff—especially when you compare it to what was happening in U.S. cinema at the time. But even though the movie is racy, has a beautiful lead actress, and was directed by Buñuel, we can't give it a full endorsement. It plays a little too much like a Mexican novela or soap opera. But it's fascinating and certainly worth watching. Susana premiered today in 1951.