June 18, 2021

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There on the big ranch: the movie that marked the beginning of the Golden Age

There on the big ranch the movie that marked the
There at the big ranch is one of the most important films in Mexican cinema (Photo: Twitter @tlaxcalaaldia)
There at the big ranch is one of the most important films in Mexican cinema (Photo: Twitter @tlaxcalaaldia)

The October 6, 1936 a radical change would begin not only in Mexican cinema, but also in international cinema. The premiere of There in the big ranch, tape by Fernando de Fuentes, who months later would release another classic of the national industry: Let’s go with Pancho Villa.

However, There in the big ranch would leave a mark so marked that It is considered the production with which the Golden Age began. The reasons would have to do both for its reception among the public and for becoming the representation of the Mexican on the big screen.

Alejandro Galindo, director of classics like Champion without crown Y A family of so manyHe remembered firsthand the impact that Fernando de Fuentes’s film had. The public left the movie theaters fascinated, almost full of reverie while they talked about the songs that were inside the tape and that many years later would be reinterpreted by Jorge Negrete.

This film by Fernando de Fuentes was released on October 6, 1936 (Photo: Twitter @tlaxcalaaldia)
This film by Fernando de Fuentes was released on October 6, 1936 (Photo: Twitter @tlaxcalaaldia)

The story was not far from those attempts that had been made in the past: here the life of the landowner Felipe and the caporal José Francisco was narrated, men who were friends since childhood and who began to have problems with each other due to a series of misunderstandings related to Crucita, a young peasant girl with braids that José Francisco was in love with.

Even though the movie is set in a rural, small-town area where there were gun battles, as well as moral dilemmas typical of the time, There in the big ranch it was completely removed from the historical context and the conflict of the Revolution.

On the other hand, the solution to the problems that existed within the plot were given thanks to the introduction of rancheras songs and comedic moments. This proved to be to the liking of audiences, who still lived with the novelty of having a talking movie, since just in 1932 it had been released the first mexican tape with sound: Santa.

It told the story of two childhood friends and a love with musical and comedy touches (Photo: File)
It told the story of two childhood friends and a love with musical and comedy touches (Photo: File)

Of course, what no one expected was that the film starring Tito Guízar was the first to have international recognition. It was shown with subtitles in theaters in the United States, in addition to in 1938 it was awarded at the Venice Film Festival for best photography.

According to the writer José Felipe Coria, the media phenomenon that emerged from There in the big ranch it was nothing more than the result of a whole historical context that ended up benefiting the Mexican industry for a couple of decades.

With the United States and Europe at war, Mexico not only had the openness to make its own proposals, but also “He also had an injection of dollars with which studies were built and that, invested in technical and artistic education, filming techniques and dramatic structures of the genres improved ”.

Thanks to Allá en el rancho grande, Tito Guízar was considered the first hero in Mexican cinema (Photo: YouTube Capture-giovanni guzman)
Thanks to Allá en el rancho grande, Tito Guízar was considered the first hero in Mexican cinema (Photo: YouTube Capture-giovanni guzman)

It was thanks to this that Tito Guízar and Esther Fernández, the central couple from There on the Big Ranch, transcended in history as the first hero of the national cinema and the first great star of the Golden Age, respectively. On the other hand, the genre of ranchera comedy emerged, same in which it was necessary the figure of the charro, the devoted woman, guitars, bullets, tequila and horses.

This formula would also directly affect the production of later tapes, since it would be repeated by many filmmakers over several years. In this way, several of the great actors during the Golden Age would be remembered for their role as charros, ranchers or caporales. Such would be the case of Jorge Negrete, Pedro Infante and Pedro Armendariz, among others.

Esther Fernández, who was Crucita, was considered one of the most beautiful faces of the Golden Age (Photo: Twitter @CineMexicano)
Esther Fernández, who was Crucita, was considered one of the most beautiful faces of the Golden Age (Photo: Twitter @CineMexicano)

One of the common criticisms of this film is the fact that it gives a false image of Mexicanness. In the international lens, everything that came from this country was rural, ranchero and lived through haciendas, corridos and tequila.

Either way, the existence of There in the big ranch It was a watershed for some actors to find opportunities in Hollywood, in addition to create the myth that several stars would become during this heyday of Mexican cinema. The importance of this film was such that by 1948 they did it again, this time with Jorge Negrete as the main character.

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