A tale of complex morality. It's aggressive in portraying characters with flaws, but even more so by siding with a black character. This happened as the Civil Rights Movement was barely becoming gaining momentum. It may surprise a casual viewer that the master of surrealist cinema would produce a film so sober. I feel this strengthens the film, while maintaining little moments that define his style.
More unfocused and ambiguous than most of Buñuel's work, but not in a bad way (as in for instance in "Le Journal d'une femme de chambre"). The ambiguous ending seems to suggest that despite our most inner and animal pulsions we, as human beings, can still live amongst ourselves. The priest that arrives on the island has a redemptive and religious quality that gives an even more ambiguous ressonance to the movie.
[Cinémathèque PT #660: 35 mm] (2008) - that ending. in black and white. those waves. with 'Sinner Man' sung by Leon Bibb and with arrangement by Milton Okun in an era when records were not usual to be included on a film's soundtrack. Zachary Scott
Lo que no deja de ser atractivo es cómo Buñuel filtra su filia dentro de una película coproducida por EEUU. Me refiero a la figura de la niña, objeto del deseo, siendo presa fácil de un círculo masculino (incluyendo a un deprevado) a ojos de la misma decencia religiosa. La historia sin embargo está dentro de lo menos resplandeciente del director español, sobre el racismo y lo moralizante.
Strangely reminiscent, in its little, enclosed, hothouse world, of Russ Meyer's southern gothics in black & white - LORNA and MUDHONEY. All feature a fugitive, entering a humid backwater, but not quite finding the haven he was searching for. Maybe, it's time for a comparative study of these two auteurs. Outstanding photography by Gabriel Figueroa and a brilliant performance by Zachary Scott. Neglected for decades.