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Macario (1960)

Ignacio Lopez Tarso  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ignacio Lopez Tarso
  • Format: Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Veracruz
  • DVD Release Date: December 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 74 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000VJFUA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,893 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Poor, hungry peasant Macario (Ignacio Lopez Tarso) longs for just one good meal on the Day of the Dead. After his wife cooks a turkey for him, he meets three apparitions, the Devil, God, and Death. Each asks him to share his turkey, but he refuses all except Death. In return, Death gives him a bottle of water which will heal any illness. Soon, Macario is more wealthy than the village doctor, which draws the attention of the feared Inquisition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a small treasure September 2, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
A sadly neglected masterpiece from 1960, this black and white gem is one of my favorites. This wonderful tale, based on Bruno Traven's short story, directed and with a screenplay by Roberto Galvedon, has an attractive cast (Pina Pellicer is exquisite)and is beautifully acted.
This film is so simple, yet profound, and it satisfies because it's so well written. I love the scene with Death in the candlelit cave, it's magical.
Give this film 91 minutes of your time, and it will reward you...and thank you for making this rare film available to the world.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bravo for this DVD! June 6, 2004
Regarding the film, this is an old Mexican classic released in 1960, a little bit after the Golden era of Mexican cinema, from director Roberto Gavald?n, who also did Flor de Mayo starring American Jack Palance (who performed in Spanish!). For an American viewer, I would say this film is sort of a Mexican It's A Wonderful Life, only you would watch it every Day of the Dead instead of Christmas. Its a good film, with touches of surrealism and good old fashion morality (a la Capra), but definitely lacks the shine of earlier Epoca Dorada films. It shows a slight taint of fifties cornyism as well as the influence of the new medium of television. But by all means I don't want to sour you on this film. The cinematography is done by the famed Gabriel Figueroa, and he gets an occasional chance to shine. If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out, especially if you have an interest in M?xico or D?a de los Muertos.
Regarding the DVD, I can only say WOW! This is part of the new apparently Televisa-backed Vive M?xico collection, and the production is first rate. The image quality is top notch, it has marvelous trailers for other films in the collection including Ahi Est? El Detalle (comedian Cantiflas' most revered film) and El Rapto (an Emilio Fernandez flic with Jorge Negrete and Maria Feliz), and it also has English and Spanish subtitles, which have been lacking on other recent DVDs. I see that a number of rare classics like Maria Candelaria, Dona Barbara, Bugambilia, La Perla, Salon Mexico, & Los Olvidados have already been released south of the border in this collection, let's hope somebody gets smart and starts selling those up here sooner rather than later. Otherwise I'll have to take a trip down to Tijuana just to buy some DVDs!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cultural Richness June 28, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
We studied Macario in our Latino Film Studies Club at our high school. The black and white film richly weaves a good vs. evil plot while showcasing Mexican culture and traditions. The celebration of Dia de Los Muertos allows us to observe the holiday as it is practiced in Mexico, and to make that important distinction beween it and the United State's traditon of Halloween.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure from the Mexican Cinema's Golden Age July 8, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
When I first saw this film in fragments, and sensed the immense struggle, tragedy and horror within it, I knew I'd have to see it in its entirety in time. Its story is compelling, but so is its visual atmosphere, which is like an American studio film of the 30s --rich, bigger than life, choicely B&W-- made 20-some years out of time. Macario comes from the end of an era in Mexican film making that has come to be known as The Golden Age. But it isn't at all "campy", whatever that is. The issues Macario and his family face here are very un-Hollywood, truly life and death: Starvation, human cruelty and injustice, and the spectre of grave are never far from mind for anyone in this scenario.
The story is simple, the anti-hero's dilemma poignant and real. Once you see it, you'll never forget certain moments: Macario's children downing their meager rations, while he can only sit, watching in hunger and distress as he wonders where all this can end; poor Macario licking his lips and panting like a dog as he watches the baker baste the mayor's feastday turkeys; and Macario begging death for a favor, as he will more than once before the film ends.
In some parts of the U.S. (like L.A.) Macario is shown at Christmas time just as A Christmas Carol or It's A Wonderful Life are in most of the rest of the country. This almost makes me wish Macario had a wider audience. --But maybe I don't. Maybe this film seems a little more precious to those of us who love it because it hasn't been oversold and overexposed through the years.
I urge you to make it "your" film too. Be warned, though: it is thought-provoking, and unrelievedly sad. You may want the crying towel as you watch this. "It's a Wonderful Life", it ain't!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, thoughtful film about death and power November 27, 2006
In this 1960 black-and-white film, a poor Mexican woodcutter named Macario - tired of being hungry every day - swears to his wife that he won't eat again until he can eat an entire turkey by himself. His wife obtains a turkey through exceptional effort, Macario travels to the wilderness to eat it, and is then met by a devil, an angel, and death himself. The rest of the film hinges on the results of those encounters. The plot of the movie is entirely captivating. The portrayals of extreme inequality, with indications of beliefs about how those translate into the afterlife, are intriguing, as well as the image of death and how his power is governed. After watching, my wife and I discussed at length the implications of Macario's choices, the foil between him and his wife, and the uses of power.

This film was Mexican film to be nominated for the Academy Award of Best Film in a Foreign Language (it lost to Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring). Next year, on the Day of the Dead (which is when the film takes place), I hope to hold a viewing of Macario.

The DVD is basic but fine. The audiotrack is in the original Spanish, and it has subtitles in English and Spanish. It also has a page with mini bios of the major actors in the film.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Excelllent movie
I have had many copies of Macario, both in DVD and video.
This is the worst copy and grainiest version I have ever seen.
Published 2 months ago by El Guapo
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to find but worth the wait video
This video was made back in the 1950's with a really great story line. It is also subtitled for the unilinguals out there. Read more
Published 6 months ago by ljstartrek
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Great Movie
I Have always loved this movie, I just wish it was either dubbed in English or at least had English subtitles. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Martha Espinoza
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare treat for the jaded film lover
This film is rarely seen. Made in the fifties in Spanish in Mexico, it comes to light periodically to the great delight of fans of the film.
Published 11 months ago by Tamara Green
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcends time and finality
I recommend this movie to anyone who appreciates the relationship with death as a personified image among the indigenous people of central and southern Mexico. Read more
Published 11 months ago by maggie
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic!
My kids love this movie. The was very impress... I remember watching this movie with my Abuelita. Very loving memories.
Published 15 months ago by Mrs Corona
5.0 out of 5 stars macario movie
a good movie in to watch also is a history movie and a very very good movie very recomended you should see it.
Published 16 months ago by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars My husband Loved it!
The movie was in perfect condition when it arrived. My husband is Spanish and he was nearly in tears because it was so good.
Published 19 months ago by Tamara Wooten
2.0 out of 5 stars Class Requirement
I only purchased this because it was required for a Spanish class I was taking. The story itself has key learning points but the story wasn't especially moving.
Published 19 months ago by Toni Eco
5.0 out of 5 stars A Riveting Tale That Left Me Wanting More
Macario is one of my mother's all time favorite movies. It is indeed a splendid movie with an excellent cast. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dame Derevko
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