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Two Monks (1934)

Dos monjes (original title)
In a Gothic-styled monastery, a monk named Javier sees the face of another monk, Juan, and suddenly attempts to bludgeon him to death with a heavy crucifix. Both men then relate their own ... See full summary »

Director:

Juan Bustillo Oro
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Cast

Cast overview:
Víctor Urruchúa Víctor Urruchúa ... Juan
Carlos Villatoro Carlos Villatoro ... Javier
Magda Haller ... Ana
Beltrán de Heredia Beltrán de Heredia ... Prior
Emma Roldán ... Gertrudis
Alberto Miquel Alberto Miquel
Manuel Noriega Manuel Noriega
Manuel Bernaldez Manuel Bernaldez
José Cortés José Cortés
Conchita Gentil Arcos
Hugo Taboada Hugo Taboada
Sofía Haller Sofía Haller
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Storyline

In a Gothic-styled monastery, a monk named Javier sees the face of another monk, Juan, and suddenly attempts to bludgeon him to death with a heavy crucifix. Both men then relate their own versions of a story of romantic rivalry between them. Javier, a consumptive musician, fell in love with and was betrothed to Anita. When his old friend Juan appeared, he was ecstatic. But soon, it seemed that Juan was making a play for Anita. When Javier found them in an apparently compromising position, a tussle ensued, and Anita was accidentally shot and killed. The two versions of the story differ significantly in Juan's motivations and in the details of Anita's death. Both men later became monks, leading to their latest encounter. As Juan begins to recover from the blow, Javier is subjected to horrific hallucinations. Written by goblinhairedguy

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Trivia

This is the second Horror Movie in Mexican Cinema See more »

User Reviews

 
Caligari à la mexicana!
19 May 2004 | by goblinhairedguySee all my reviews

Who would have known that extreme Germanic expressionism was alive and well in the Mexican cinema of the mid-30's? This remarkable macabre melodrama has only recently been rediscovered in the rest of North America (see "Video Watchdog" #85 and Fab Press's anthology "Fear Without Frontiers"); had it not appeared in such isolated circumstances and been several years out of date in its own time, it would likely be looked on today as a seminal work. The style (both visually and in mise-en-scène) is pure UFA, with strong elements of early Lang, Wiene and Dreyer, and similar in design to many highly stylized early-talkie Hollywood chillers like "Murders in the Rue Morgue" and "Svengali". There are huge, high-ceilinged sets with rampant diagonal lines, thick venetian-blind style shadows, tilted angles, abrupt and shaky camera movements, strikingly artificial compositions. The performances are appropriately intense and highly mannered, as is the musical score when it intrudes. The hallucinatory climax, with the main character wildly playing a lush romantic melody on the pipe organ as a group of gargoyle-like monks looks on, is a marvel of shivery montage, reminiscent of Gance's "J'Accuse".

Equally significant is the story structure, which relates the same tale of romantic trespass and murder, in turn, from two diverse points of view, anticipating "Rashomon" by many years. In that vein, an extremely clever touch is having the first narrator dressed in white in the flashback (considering himself the "good guy") and his rival in black, then switching the colours for the rival's version of the story.

Although the print is not in the finest condition (and only available in Spanish), this is a must-see for connoisseurs.


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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

20 January 1935 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Two Monks See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico

Company Credits

Production Co:

Proa Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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