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Masterpieces of Mexican cinema: 6 Must-watch films from the Golden Age

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Películas clásicas mexicanas, cine, películas, Jorge Negrete, actor, movies, film, Pedro Infante
Classic Mexican films (Photo: MundoNOW Archive)
  • The best classic Mexican films.
  • The Golden Age of Mexican cinema is mesmerizing.
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The golden age of Mexican cinema, spanning from the 1930s to the 1960s, was a period marked by remarkable creativity and profound storytelling.

This era gave birth to films that are celebrated for their artistic innovation, cultural significance and deep exploration of Mexican identity.

From riveting dramas to enchanting musicals, these films offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Mexico’s history and its cinematic legacy.

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1. Here’s the Detail (Here’s the Point) is the first of our classic Mexican films

Mario Moreno, comedian, Cantinflas, movies, actor
Photo: MundoNOW Archive

There is the detail , released in 1940 and starring the legendary Cantinflas , is a comedic masterpiece that showcases the actor’s unique style of humor and social satire.

The film tells the story of a mistaken identity that leads to a series of hilarious and unexpected events, highlighting Cantinflas’s ability to weave comedy with commentary on societal norms.

Its clever script and memorable performances have cemented it as a cornerstone of Mexican cinema.

This film not only entertained audiences but also offered a subtle critique of the class system, making it a significant cultural artifact.

2. We the Poor

Pedro Infante, "We the Poor", movies, films, MundoNOW
Photo: MundoNOW Archive

Nos los Pobres featuring the iconic Pedro Infante, is one of the classic Mexican films that tugs at the heartstrings with its portrayal of love, tragedy and resilience among the urban poor.

Released in 1948, it’s part of a trilogy that delves into the lives of everyday Mexicans, facing their struggles with dignity and strength.

The film’s emotional depth, combined with Infante’s compelling performance, creates a poignant narrative that resonates with viewers even today.

Its exploration of social issues and family values ​​offers a window into the challenges and bonds that define community life.

3. Classic Mexican films: María Candelaria

Portrait, actress, Dolores del Rio, Mexican, movies
Photo: MundoNOW Archive

Directed by Emilio Fernández and released in 1944, María Candelaria is a visually stunning film that won international acclaim, including the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

Starring Dolores del Río, it tells the story of a young indigenous woman facing prejudice and hardship in a small village.

The film is renowned for its beautiful cinematography by Gabriel Figueroa, capturing the essence of Mexican landscapes and culture.

María Candelaria is a moving tale of love and injustice, highlighting the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.

4. Enamorada (Enchanted)

María Félix, diva, La Doña, Iconic Mexican film stars, actress
Photo: MundoNOW Archive

Enamorada   a romantic drama set during the Mexican Revolution, stars María Félix and Pedro Armendáriz in a fiery love story between a revolutionary general and the daughter of a wealthy conservative.

Released in 1946 and directed by Emilio Fernández, the film is known for its powerful performances and dynamic chemistry between the leads.

Its blend of romance, politics and stunning visuals offers a rich narrative that captures the complexities of love and war.

Enamorada is a testament to the artistic depth and versatility of classic Mexican films.

5. Classic Mexican films: Allá en el Rancho Grande (Out on the Big Ranch)

Allá en el Rancho Grande, Out on the Big Ranch, director, film, Fernando de Fuentes
Photo: Public Domain

Allá en el Rancho Grande , released in 1936, is considered one of the films that kicked-started the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

This musical comedy-drama, directed by Fernando de Fuentes, is a tale of love, friendship and betrayal set against the backdrop of the Mexican countryside.

Its success not only in Mexico but also internationally, helped to popularize the ranchera genre and establish the Mexican film industry as a significant cultural force.

The film’s catchy tunes, engaging storyline, and picturesque settings make it an enduring classic of Mexican cinema.

6. Los Olvidados (The Young and the Damned)

The forgotten ones, The Young and the Damned, Director, Luis Buñuel, MundoNOW
Photo: Wiki Commons

Directed by the renowned Luis Buñuel, Los Olvidados is a groundbreaking film that offers a stark, unflinching look at the lives of impoverished youth in Mexico City.

Released in 1950, it challenges social norms and cinematic conventions with its raw portrayal of urban decay and lost innocence

Buñuel’s innovative direction and the film’s haunting imagery have earned it a place as a landmark in world cinema.

Los Olvidados is not just a film but a powerful social commentary that remains relevant to this day.

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