(aka 'The Brute')

Mexico 1953


It is what it is. I don't know if I did or did not want to make a melodrama," said Luis Bu˝uel of El Bruto (The Brute). If the similarities between Fassbinder's Martha and Bu˝uel's El are unavoidable, there are also striking similarities between El Bruto and Fassbinder's The Stationmaster's Wife: butcher shops, misogynistic men, domineering women and their hen-pecked husbands.

Excerpt from Slant Magazine located HERE


Not one of Bu˝uel's better-known efforts, this melodrama still has moments of interest, largely for fans of the director. The Brute of the title is a slaughterhouse worker who relies on brawn rather than brains, and it's this that comes in handy when a landlord hires him to frighten away unwanted tenants. Problems arise, however, when he embarks on an affair with both the boss's wife and the daughter of one of the errant tenants, whose death he has accidentally caused. Unlike Bu˝uel's subtler, more surreal work this is relatively straightforward although it lacks much of his style as a result.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE



Theatrical Release: February 5th, 1953

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DVD Review: Facets - Region 0 - NTSC

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Distribution Facets - Region 0 - NTSC
Runtime 1:20:33 
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.3 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 (Dolby Digital 1.0) 
Subtitles English, None

Release Information:
Studio: Facets

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• none

DVD Release Date: October 23rd, 2007

Keep Case
Chapters: 10




As far as Facets Video goes this bare-bones, single-layered, interlaced DVD release would probably be considered standard fare from the weakest of the quasi-major distributors. I believe it's a case of 'only game in town' giving it some healthy desirability. I guess the funny thing is that I was aware that this was how the transfer was going to be represented - akin to a VHS to DVD port... so I'm not as disappointed as others might be. I guess the point of my review would be to inform you of what to expect if you, as a loyal Bu˝uelian, decide to purchase. I expect Susana and Woman Without Love (both cited as Cinemateca releases with Facets as the distributor) to be of similar quality with some visible damage marks - notably in this release as a long vertical scratch down the left side of the film for about 15 minutes.  There are decent removable English subtitles (see sample) which is good as the audio is as weak as the image.

Thankfully, the DVD inferiorities don't take away from the magnificence of the narrative. I LOVE the Mexican Bu˝uel efforts even is they are dissimilar to much of his later work. I thoroughly enjoyed watching El Bruto - and if you are keen just be prepared of what to expect of the digital quality. That gal sure reminded me of Linda Darnell at times.

Hey, how about an Eclipse release? - Bu˝uel in Mexico! 

Gary W. Tooze



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Combing and damage...


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Distribution Facets - Region 0 - NTSC


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