Born on November 30, 1911 in Guanajuato, Mexico, Jorge Negrete, better known as The Charro Cantor, he became one of the most iconic figures of Mexican culture and national cinematography and whom we remember with this list of his best films.
Jorge Negrete can be considered an important face of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema along with figures such as Pedro Infante, Tin Tan or Cantinflas. In fact, beyond his stage skills, El Charro Cantor -as his nickname well calls him- shone on the music scene and it is not for less, because he had a very unique voice accompanied by a certain physical attractiveness that, too, was going to tone with the stereotype of the cheerful, reckless and handsome Mexican dressed in the famous charro hat. Thanks to him, we can say that tequila, mariachi songs and charrerías became popular as essential elements of Mexican cinema.
Jorge Negrete died on November 5, 1953, but his death made him a legend and left a total of 44 films in the memory of the national cinema. Here, our selection of the10 great works starring Jorge Negrete, The Charro Cantor.
The devil’s godmother (Dir. Ramón Peón, 1937)
The devil’s godmother marked her debut acting where he began to play characters whose characteristic was that of a brave and reckless male, but with a good heart. In this film he shared credits with María Fernanda Ibañez, daughter of Sara García. The story follows Carlos and María de los Ángeles, a couple in love, who due to their social status and the conservatism of their families cannot love each other, although they cling to being together, destiny prepares a tragic end for them.
Synopsis: «Mexico, at the end of the 19th century, a rich owner of a large ranch refuses to accept the love between his daughter María de los Ángeles and Carlos. As a result, the young woman enters a convent to become a nun. Young Carlos is accused of a crime that he did not commit, because the murderer is his brother Felipe. Carlos escapes to the mountain where he becomes a generous bandit named El Diablo. Felipe dies and Carlos takes María de los Ángeles from the convent, but they are pursued by the rural police and shot dead. She dies in the arms of Carlos, (via) ‘.
Ay Jalisco, don’t back down! (Dir. Joselito Rodríguez, 1941)
Based on the homonymous novel by Aurelio Robles Castillo, this film marked the return to Mexico of Jorge Negrete, who was already living in the United States dedicated to working on various musical projects. The film was a resounding success in our country and abroad, whose main quality was to highlight the ranchero culture through music, clothing and the (rural) social environment of the time. Without forgetting, of course, that eagerness or custom to highlight the archetype of the vigilante rancher: that kind character turned bandit, just to restore order and free civilization from tyrants. Here, Jorge Negrete established himself as one of the most emblematic figures of Mexican cinema of the time, in addition to sharing credits with actress Gloria Marín, who was an important part of his professional and personal life.
Synopsis: «Located in the Altos de Jalisco, it tells the story of Salvador, whose parents were murdered, leaving him in the custody of his godfather Radilla, owner of a cantina. Salvador will learn there everything about gambling, firearms and cockfighting. The Andalusian extoreroBad luck, tells Salvador who killed his parents and in this way, he decides to settle accounts », (via).
If Adelita went with another (Dir. Chano Urueta, 1948)
The Mexican Revolution as a historical event became a show starring Jorge Negrete, whose character (Pancho Portillo), after having fought alongside Pancho Villa, returns to his place of origin to meet his group of friends, who are in love and fighting over the love of Adela Maldonado. However, after putting her charm to the limit, Adela ends up falling in love with Portillo. A film that combines the ingredients of revenge, melodrama and musical romance very well.
Synopsis: «The director Chano Urueta is inspired by the classic Pancho Villa to narrate in a musical key the romance between a privileged rich girl (Gloria Marín) and a revolutionary scoundrel (Jorge Negrete). A wealthy rancher who routinely smuggles weapons to his General, Pancho Portillo has clashed with his friends to stay with Adelita, even though her father does not want him as a villista. When Pancho is betrayed by the scheming Rubén and detained by the huertistas, the brave revolutionary will have to flee only to join Villa in the capture of Ciudad de Juárez and not without first marrying Adelita, in an idyll threatened at every moment by war and the tricks of their enemies », (via).
Two types of care (Dir. Ismael Rodríguez, 1953)
The film, without a doubt, could be classified as one of the best comedies in Mexican cinema. The pair between Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante make the story even more enjoyable due to their complementary personalities that it ends up cataloging the two main characters within a kind of bromance. Ismael Rodríguez’s film is moving, funny, musically attractive, but also very ingenious to highlight, once again, the model of the Mexican male.
Synopsis: «Two rancher friends are in love with two young women from the town. Pedro loves María, Jorge’s sister, who is in love with Rosario, the daughter of an Arab abonero. Jorge has to leave town and when he returns a year later he finds Pedro married to Rosario. Disgusted, Jorge tries to ruin his ex-friend and rival without suspecting that the whole mess is the product of Pedro’s nobility », (via).
There in the big ranch (Dir. Fernando de Fuentes, 1949)
Perhaps, it is important to mention that the title of the film is inspired by the famous mariachi song originally recorded in 1927. In addition, the film starring Jorge Negrete meant a new version of the 1936 film where Tito Guízar and Esther Fernández participated. . The story revolves around one of those classic love triangles, but beyond its plot, There in the big ranch It became one more success for the Mexican actor and, in general, for the Mexican cinema of the time. This film did not leave aside the archetypes of ranchera comedy, accentuating themes such as rural life and machismo.
Synopsis: «When their mother died, the brothers José Francisco and Eulalia, along with the orphan Cruz, were cared for by the washerwoman Angela and the drunkard Florentino. José Francisco grows up with Felipe, the son of Don Rosendo, the boss of Rancho Grande, and when he dies, José Francisco is appointed foreman by his friend Felipe. The union between the two is reinforced when José Francisco is wounded by a gunshot while trying to save Felipe’s life and he, in turn, donates blood for a transfusion to which his friend and savior must undergo. Only one thing threatens their friendship: José Francisco has fallen in love with Cruz and Ángela is willing to sell Felipe the honor of the young woman to obtain the necessary money to celebrate Eulalia’s marriage », (via).
The Rock of Souls (Dir. Miguel Zacarías, 1943)
It would only suffice to say: Jorge Negrete and María Feliz together to consider it one of his best actor films. The film is not only worth it for the meeting of these two figures, but for the plot itself that we could define as a tropicalized version of that famous story baptized as Romeo and Juliet. In addition, once again, the charro culture is contemplated in the midst of a musical romance stained by revenge.
Synopsis: «Due to an old family quarrel, the landowner Braulio Valdivia reminds his grandson Felipe and Manuel that they must liquidate Fernando Iturriaga. At the same time, María Ángela arrives from Spain, also Don Braulio’s granddaughter and Manuel’s girlfriend since childhood. The young woman falls in love with Fernando, but agrees to Manuel to avoid bloodshed. Fights, parties and serenades will be part of the folk repertoire of a tragic story », (via).
Juan without fear (Dir. Juan José Segura, 1939)
Yet another story of an impossible love condemned to tragedy. As in his previous films, the figure of the benevolent male stands out in the middle of a rural environment where the ranchero culture does not wait either and appears in all its splendor.
Synopsis: “A bullfighter does not want his son to be a matador like him and sends him to the capital to study a career”, (via).
Story of a great love (Dir. Julio Bracho, 1942)
Historia de un gran amor was the second film directed by Julio Bracho and where he joined the faces of Jorge Negrete and, again, Gloria Marín. Perhaps it is not one of the actor’s best-recognized films, but it is worth it for having become a faithful adaptation of the novel by the Spanish writer Pedro Antonio de Alarcón.
Synopsis: «Manuel Venegas returns to his town to win the love of his life, Soledad. But to his surprise he finds her married to another man. Regardless of anything, not even social differences, both are willing to fight for their love (via).
The cemetery of the eagles (Dir. Luis Lezama, 1939)
We said that the Mexican Revolution became a whole movie spectacle and the film If Adelita went with another is an example of this, but it never broke away from that musical romance movie scheme. As well, The cemetery of the eagles He also took up a historical event or, rather, historical figures such as the Niños Héroes. Of course, director Luis Lezama did not want to uproot Jorge Negrete (Miguel de la Peña) from the status of bohemian heartthrob and included in the plot a love story, once again, marked by tragedy. Point for this film, because it is one of the few cinematographic vestiges, if not the only one, in addressing the history of those cadets who were the protagonists of the Battle of Chapultepec.
Synopsis: «Agustín Melgar, a cadet from the Military School, falls in love with Mercedes, the daughter of a wealthy family in Mexico City. She reciprocates but her father opposes the courtship, as the young cadet does not meet her expectations of the ideal man she wants for her daughter. Given this, Melgar resigned from the Military College to seek his fortune. In the company of his friend Miguel de la Peña, a bohemian and former cadet, the protagonist proves his bravery by returning with his companions to defend the Castle of Chapultepec and dies, not without first asking his friend Miguel to tell Mercedes that he loved her », (via).
The rapture (Dir. Emilio Fernández, 1954)
Jorge Negrete and María Félix share credits again – becoming their third and last participation together – under the direction of Emilio Fernández. The rapture It was the last film starring the Mexican icon that elevated him to the status of a national myth and that is why it is worth taking it up again in this account of his works.
Synopsis: «After being absent for a few years, Ricardo returns to his hometown to work his land. However, upon arrival he finds that Aurora, a beautiful woman with arms to take, is the owner of the property. When going to the authorities to get the intruder removed, the protagonist is informed that due to a news item in the newspaper, they left him for dead and sold the ranch. However, they decide to give him back the house. However, Aurora is not willing to be deprived of her new home and will use all her charm and character to manage to stay in it », (via).
The entry Jorge Negrete, his best films was published first in Cinema PREMIERE.