A humble peasant (Cruz) who works as the town crier is hired to be the announcer at a cockfight. When the victorious but badly injured bird is about to be killed, he persuades the owner to give it to him. At home, Cruz nurses the bird back to health, oblivious to the fact that his mother
is lying dead on the floor. He enters the rooster in the fights and wins several bouts, leading gambler Parodi to try to buy the bird. Shunned by Cruz, the angry gambler predicts the bird will lose its next fight, which it does. Later Parodi and his girl friend (Guerra) tell Cruz the fight was
fixed, revealing that the bird's ribs were cracked before the bout. The gambler then takes Cruz to his huge, dusty house and teaches him how to be a gamesman. Cruz soon takes to the road himself and is joined by Guerra, who has left Parodi. She proves to be his lucky charm, and he never seems to
lose while she is in the room. Years later, the two have a daughter and they go to visit Parodi. The mentor and his pupil play an all-night card game, with Cruz winning everything, including Parodi's estate. More years pass and Guerra grows unhappy as her husband's human talisman, while their
daughter commits adultery. One night, while Cruz is playing cards, his luck turns against him. Eventually he loses the house himself, and then discovers that Guerra is dead. He excuses himself for a moment, goes into another room, and shoots himself.
A fascinating film with Bunuelian overtones (director Ripstein was once Luis Bunuel's assistant), this work swept the Mexican film awards in 1986, later playing to good reviews in the US. Cruz gives a spotty performance, but Guerra is terrific as the carnival singer who is forced to be nothing but
a good luck charm for her husband. Filled with odd details and blackly humorous subplots, this is a most satisfying effort.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 1986
- Rating: NR
- Review: A humble peasant (Cruz) who works as the town crier is hired to be the announcer at a cockfight. When the victorious but badly injured bird is about to be killed, he persuades the owner to give it to him. At home, Cruz nurses the bird back to health, obliv… (more)