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Herod's Law (La Ley de Herodes)

4.5 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Mexico, 1949. The fable of a janitor turned mayor on a little town lost in the Mexican desert, who gradually realizes how far his new acquainted power and corruption can get him. After the corrupt former mayor is killed by the peasants, poor janitor Juan Vargas is appointed new mayor of a desert town in central Mexico. Although he tries to bring the motto of the ruling party to town (modernity, peace and progress) he realizes soon that there's nothing to do against corruption?except to become corrupt. Step by step, helped by his pistol, Juan Vargas becomes the law and the worst major in the town's history.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Damián Alcázar, Pedro Armendáriz Jr., Delia Casanova, Juan Carlos Colombo, Alex Cox
  • Directors: Luis Estrada
  • Writers: Luis Estrada, Fernando Javier León Rodríguez, Jaime Sampietro, Vicente Leñero
  • Producers: Luis Estrada, Sandra Solares
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2004
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000TPA56
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,335 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Herod's Law (La Ley de Herodes)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Hooker on December 5, 2004
Format: DVD
This very funny movie satirizes the PRI party of Mexico, political corruption, and human nature. After the townspeople of a tiny, isolated, extremely poor Mexican town rise up against their corrupt mayor, the ruling party names a minor political functionary, selected for his stupidity, to preside over (and avoid trouble in) the town pending the selection of candidates for the next election. What ensues in illustration of the maxim that power corrupts is both hilarious and appalling. With amazing location shots that take you to the poorest regions of Mexico, where residents may not even speak Spanish, memorable characters (including an American), and a wonderful mambo orchestra score, this movie is definitely recommended.
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Format: DVD
This is a movie that illustrates very well the way Mexican politics were handled for so many years by the ruling party (PRI), unfortunately some of it still remains, if not all.
I own the Spanish VHS version and to me it was hilarious while at the same time very realistic.
A word of warning: if you are not Mexican or at least from other latinamerican country, you might not get all the jokes, or reasoning behind some actions. You have to be familiar with the culture. Then again, if you buy it, you may watch it again, perhaps in the company of a hispanic friend.
I really recommend it both as a comedy, and as a "general culture" must-have.
As a bonus, you will learn several Spanish bad words, should you want to impress your friends!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am very pleased to see La Ley de Herodes with subtitulos. I have wanted to share it with friends who live here near the border [San Diego] but don't speak Spanish well enough to get some of the humor. This is a great piece of political satire. I am sorry it didn't have broader distribution in the US. It is really a remarkable movie, not often does one see film that is this viscious about the powers that be come out of Mexico. It is a part of the rebirth of Mexican cinema that is so enjoyable.
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Format: DVD
La Ley De Herodes
Review by Edgardo

The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema seems to be in resurgence. A Mexican Film maker Luis Estrada has produced a wicked satire on a political system (and political party as well). And he names the culprit. From 1927 up until the election of Vicente Fox in 2000, the PRI party reigned supreme on a throne of corruption over Mexico. The film is set in the 1930's or early 40's and has a delightful mambo score that uplifts this oftentimes grim comedy. La Ley de Herodes doesn't dwell much on the big dogs at the top, but more the politics of the small village level. Damian Alzar in the lead role of the Janitor turned small town mayor, or "Presidente Municipal" is perfect as the likeable dolt that the party bosses select to head the town of San Juan de Los Saguares, a mostly Indian village in the mountain deserts of Central Mexico. Where the only vegetation seems to be the tall Saguaro cactus. What the janitor turned mayor doesn't know is that the inhabitants of the village have killed the last several mayors that the party had sent to the town, the last one by decapitation. The Indians are incredibly poor, everyone is dirty and dusty, the village school lies in ruins, and most of the inhabitants don't even speak Spanish. There are just a few characters with any integrity what so ever. If an American director had made the film it would have been lambasted as racist and ethnically stereotypical. Still, even with being a being a Mexican Film it was suppressed and banned for years

The acting is first rate and it is hilarious...It is a guilty pleasure at times. The innocent patsy janitor grows into a first rate thieving PRI politician with the huge Mexican Criminal Code book in one hand and a pistol in the other.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
I saw this movie originally in Mexico where I lived for years. It had been banned for some time. This movie goes far beyond politics and gives an extremely good insight into the mentality of a national psycosis. There are a good part of the society that does not view the world as such but generally one must be aware and cautious in dealing in Buisness, personal relationships and many other sociological interactions. To many one who takes advantage of another person is considered clever (this is good) and the blame lies on those who allow themselves to be taken advantage of. This is the only country in Latin America where Hijo de la chin#%$#@ is the worst insult. The realization of this among many in Mexico has made them question whether not only how this attitude has affected their politics but also their commercial and personal relationships.
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Format: DVD
As a corrupt mayor is lynched by the town's furious residents, the party appoints a new mayor as a figurehead until the elections. Once in power, he quickly figures out the benefits of being a politician and proclaims to bring prosperity and justice to his constituents while proceeding to enrich himself at their expense with impunity and cynicism. This is the universal tale of the morass created by hypocrisy, arrogance, greed and corruption in politics in which only the common citizen stands to lose.
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