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Luis Bunuel Box Set (1947-1960)

Cast: Zachary Scott, Zachary Scott, Kay Meersman, more...
Director: Luis Bu˝uel, Luis Bu˝uel
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Lionsgate
Genre: Classics, Foreign, Spain, Classic Romance, Classic Drama
Languages: Spanish
Subtitles: English
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Luis Bunuel: Gran Casino (1947)
Two great Latin singing stars team up in this musical melodrama directed by the innovative Spanish filmmaker Luis Bunuel. Gerardo (Jorge Negrete) and his friend Demetrio (Julio Villarreal) are a pair of footloose cowboys in turn-of-the-century Mexico who are looking for work after escaping from prison on dubious charges. Gerardo persuades Jose (Francisco Jambrina), an tycoon from Argentina who is looking for oil in Mexico, to give work to himself and his friends, but just as their fortunes are on the rise, the oilman disappears and is feared murdered. Jose's sister Mercedes (Libertad Lamarque) travels to Mexico to find out what's become of him, and when she learns that Gerardo has taken over as manager in Jose's absence, she's convinced that Gerardo and his pals are to blame. Wanting to know more about Gerardo and his cronies, she takes a job as a singer as "Gran Casino," a rowdy nightclub near the oil fields; in time, she strikes up a romance with the good-hearted roughneck and learns just who her brother's enemies really are. Gran Casino was Luis Bunuel's first project after settling in Mexico in the wake of the Spanish Civil War and an unsuccessful attempt to seek asylum in the United States; an uncharacteristically conventional story which was not well suited to Bunuel's talents (and a musical to boot), Gran Casino fared poorly at the box office, and it was two years before he'd get to make his next film, El Gran Calavera.

Luis Bunuel: The Young One (1960)
Luis Bu˝uel and Hugo Butler (under the pseudonym "H.B. Addis") adapted Peter Matthiessen's story Travelin' Man for this drama about a black jazz musician, on the run from a false accusation of raping a white woman. Miller (Zachary Scott) is a middle aged handyman on a small island off the southeastern coast. His neighbors are a 13-year-old girl and her grandfather. After her grandfather dies, Miller looks after the young girl, and they are the only two on the island until the arrival of Traver (Bernie Hamilton), a black man fleeing a lynch mob that suspects him of rape. In Miller's absence, Traver gives the girl money for supplies and a gun. Returning to the island, Miller tries to kill Traver until he realizes no harm has come to the girl and Traver is allowed to escape when Miller is convinced of his innocence. Miller then announces his intentions to marry the girl and save her from some meddling church officials who wish to take her away. ~ Dan Pavlides, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Luis Bunuel: Gran Casino (1947)
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4.83 (6 votes)
Luis Bunuel: The Young One (1960)
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7.00 (11 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Where in the world is Luis Bunuel? by THyde November 29, 2012 - 1:39 PM PST
This is pretty much your standard studio product, albeit a competently-directed musical. Don't look for the surrealist Bunuel here -- he is apparently getting his hand back in after not having directed a feature for 15 years or so. All that said, there are a few memorable elements. The singing of the two leads is quite good, there are a couple of comic moments, and then -- right in the middle of a conventional dialogue scene of Jorge Negrete wooing his love, Bunuel cuts gratuitously to a couple of closeups of some icky, black gooey oil tar that Negrete is stirring around with a stick(?!?).

Two films challenging convention - Beware DVD misprinting by awehman July 29, 2008 - 12:51 PM PDT
1 out of 3 members found this review helpful
A highlight from Gran Casino was the trio of back-up singers who appear in many creative roles. The central theme was that good people can come from jail and evil people can come from high places. For me, this film was less of a revelation than The Young One.

The Young One was probably a very risky film for 1960. The most compelling character is the black jazz musician Traver on the run from a false rape charge. The film is very racially charged and the white men say many shocking things including the dehumanization of Traver. It reminded me of the scene in Schindler's List where the Nazi tells the Jew "I realize that you are not a person in the strictest sense of the word". There are two characters with more temperate racial views, including the young girl raised on an island who is oblivious to issues of race and a visiting preacher who sounds like he's reading lines out of a textbook on temperance.

More reviews for titles in this product:

Jonathan Rosenbaum's Alternative List to the AFI's
From Rosenbaum's 1998 article in the Chicago Reader: List-o-mania, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love American Movies (Films were listed alphabetically only.)

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