Combustible Celluloid
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With: Pedro Armendáriz, Katy Jurado, Rosa Arenas, Andrés Soler, Roberto Meyer, Beatriz Ramos, Paco Martínez, Gloria Mestre, Paz Villegas
Written by: Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza
Directed by: Luis Buñuel
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Spanish with English subtitles
Running Time: 83
Date: 02/05/1953

El Bruto (1953)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Brute Course

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Luis Bunuel made this rambunctious, entertaining film in Mexico after the success of his Los Olvidados (1950). It relies mostly on realism with a few vintage Bunuel touches to punch it up. Slaughterhouse worker Bruto (Pedro Armendariz) agrees to help the wealthy slumlord Don Andres (Andrés Soler) run the occupants out of one of his buildings. Unaware of his own strength, Bruto accidentally kills one of them, then falls in love with the dead man's daughter, Meche (Rosa Arenas). Unfortunately, Don Andres' wife Paloma (Katy Jurado) has also taken an interest in Bruto, and enjoys toying with him. Bunuel captures the unrefined, physical energy of the characters, matched by the film's crumbling, lower-class settings. Facets Video has released three Luis Bunuel films under their Cinemateca banner, including Susana (1951) and A WomanWithout Love (1952), the latter of which Bunuel called "the worst movieI ever made." The quality on all three is only so-so, but it's greathaving these rare, lower-tier Bunuel films finally available.

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