Old Mexican Movies In Black And White

Wednesday, August 10 by Mariela Del Bosque

Here is a selection of old Mexican movies in black and white that you shouldn’t miss, if you consider yourself a dedicated old classic movie devotee. These wonderful old Mexican movies in black and white will take you to unexpected places, where the Mexican golden era glowed with great talent, humor, and, sometimes, the classical magical realism that characterizes the Latin-American culture.

  1. "Macario" This was the first Mexican film nominated for an Academy Award as Best Film in a Foreign Language. On the Day of the Dead, (Nov. 2), Macario, a poor, indigenous man, observes some succulent roasted turkeys that he can’t buy. Being tired of feeding his wife and children while having little or nothing to eat himself, Macario’s biggest dream is eating a whole turkey alone. His wife steals a wild turkey and cooks it for Macario, who hides in the countryside to avoid sharing his treasure. Then, three different hungry characters appear in different moments begging Macario for some turkey. One of the characters is the Devil, the other, God, and the third one is Death. Macario refuses to share his turkey with the Devil and God, arguing that they can get all the food they want, but he shares his turkey with the Death. In return, Macario gets a bottle of miraculous water from Death. The water can heal those who are dying and Macario becomes rich. New problems arise, and this time, Death can’t help.  
  2. "The Exterminating Angel" Intellectually challenging, this surreal movie is full of symbolism and metaphors. A wealthy couple hosts a party at their lavish house. For no reason, the film shows the guests entering the house twice. As the guests dine and converse, they realize that their moods start to change, and they can’t leave the house, even if the only thing they need to do is as simple as opening the door. They are trapped, but life outside remains the same. A psychological force prevents them from leaving the house, and they remain for days. Dark, toxic, behavior starts to flow in, a primitive struggle to survive. A bear and a group of sheep walk into the house. For moments, the guests don’t even look at them, pretending that the presence of these animals is normal. The capacity for elemental reasoning disappears. If you value surrealism, this movie is a true work of art.  
  3. "Los Tres Garcia" A story about 3 cousins who compete for the love of Lupita Smith, a cousin born in the United States, who visits her relatives in Mexico for the first time. The three men also face old revenge from the Lopez’, a long feared, abusive, family. Despite their jealousy, the cousins support each other and join forces in times of trouble, to the point that one of them dies saving his two cousins' lives. The grandma, a comical, authoritarian lady, adds humor to the movie. She still treats her three grandsons as children. While she considers that they have gone too far, she doesn’t mind giving them weapon with a cane that she always has. She doesn’t mean to hurt them because she loves them, but the way grandma handles the problems with her grandchildren is hilarious. The Three Garcia was so successful, that they had to make a second part.
  4. "The Return Of The Garcia" In the second episode, afte fighting and killing some members of the abusive Lopez family retaliation, the two living Garcia cousins ignore that the Lopez family have sworn to kill every last Garcia on earth. One of the Garcias finally  marries Lupita. When they are in the church waiting for the priest, one of the Lopez’ tries to kill the Garcias. He wounds the groom, but kills the authoritarian and humorous Garcia grandma. After several complications and a long depression for loosing their dear grandma, the movie ends in favor of the Garcias. The ethereal soul of the Garcia cousin (the one who gave his life in the first movie for the sake of his cousins) and the grandma’s soul come back home and although they can’t be seen, the are able to witness the happiness that the Garcias have always sought.
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