(aka "Xochimilco" or "Portrait of Maria")


directed by Emilio Fernández
México 1943


One of the best cinematic experiences I've witnessed, a milestone in Mexican Film History, This Winner of the Grand Prix and Best Cinematography at the Cannes Film Festival in 1946.

This was one of the highest peaks that reached a successful career of the duo of Director Emilio Fernández and Cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa. The movie depicts one of the director's passions: the injustice and prejudice at poor and innocent people.

Lorenzo Rafael (played by Pedro Armendáriz) is living with María Candelaria (Dolores Del Río) and they plan to get married until tragedy occurs as she gets ill and Lorenzo Rafael has to break in to a store and steals medicine and a dress for Maria for their wedding day. The owner of the store: Don Damián (Miguel Inclán) wants Maria for him, and incarcerates Lorenzo Rafael. Maria tries to get money to put Lorenzo out of jail as she poses for a painter in Xochimilco, but a confusion implodes tragic events.

Axel Mishael Muñoz Barba

Theatrical Release: January 20th, 1944 - Mexico

Reviews       DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Alter Films - Region 1,4 - NTSC

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Alter Films

Region 1,4 - NTSC

Runtime 1:37:00

1:33 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 4.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Spanish (Mexican) 2.0
Subtitles English, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Alter Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1:33

Edition Details:

 - text biographies of the 3 principal actors (In Spanish)

DVD Release Date: May 2nd, 2004
Keep case in side cardboard box

Chapters 10





Comments Tape -sourced and non-progressive again, this DVD seems slightly superior to Frida (the first Alter Films DVD I reviewed). This print has a lot of damage and crackling audio. Subtitles are a disturbing bright yellow. A few scenes seem to have some contrast boosting, but for the most part it looks free of digital boosting. It has a menu structure and 20 chapters, but the only ones I can see interested in this are fans of Mexico's golden age of cinema. This film is quite highly lauded and I assume will be released properly one day. The price sure is right, so its up to you whether you feel it is worth it. out of

Gary W. Tooze


Alter Films makes this statement.



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Note: lots of damage visible.
















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