Emilio Fernández is a monumental figure in Mexican cinema. Although only his films from the 40s are considered to be the most important, he continued to direct until 1979. It is difficult for someone to make one good film, but to make several within one lifetime has to be celebrated.
His collaborations with specific individuals have often been the focus of attention. Those individuals include cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa with whom Emilio Fernández made 24 films. Screenwriter Mauricio Magdaleno with whom he made 22 films. Editor Gloria Schoemann who edited 23 of his films. Composer Antonio Diaz Conde who composed music for 27 of his films.
And then are the stars. The most well-known and talented being Pedro Armendáriz, Dolores del Río, María Félix. Columba Domínguez, Roberto Cañedo, plus countless others, especially in supporting roles.
Fernández was a staunch nationalist. Education, Equality, and Progress are themes that are never too far from him. His vision for a better Mexico, which can be described as an idealist utopia is why he made films, even if sometimes he became preachy. His dramas have a purpose, often much larger than the main character’s life or desires.
This is, for me, an exploration of Mexico’s greatest film director and actor. Someone I’d heard about in passing, but about whom I knew nothing. Each new film is a learning experience, and that is the reason why I present a list of his films, ranked by what I’d call level of enjoyment.