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Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity
     

Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity

by Jeffrey M. Pilcher
 

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Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity is a revealing probe into the life and times of Mario Moreno, Latin America's most famous film star from the 1940s to the 1970s. This book helps to illuminate the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Mexico. Cantinflas (Moreno's film persona) was the most popular movie star in Mexican history. A fast-talking,

Overview

Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity is a revealing probe into the life and times of Mario Moreno, Latin America's most famous film star from the 1940s to the 1970s. This book helps to illuminate the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Mexico. Cantinflas (Moreno's film persona) was the most popular movie star in Mexican history. A fast-talking, nonsensical character, he helped Mexicans embrace their rich mestizo identity and cope with the difficulties of modernization. For thirty years he served as a 'weapon of the weak,' satirizing corrupt officials and pompous elites who victimized Mexico's urban poor.

This is a valuable text for courses on Mexican history and Latin American film.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Examines the life and times of Mario Moreno, Latin America's most famous film star from the 1940s to the 1970s, and his film persona, Cantinflas. Pilcher (The Citadel, Charleston, SC) asserts that the comic underdog character of Cantinflas was as important to Mexican national identity as John Wayne's was in the US. Coverage is given to the film character Cantinflas, Moreno's political career in the Mexican screen actor's guild and elsewhere, and Mexico as it made the transition from an agrarian to an urban society. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The Americas: A Quarterly Review Of Inter-American Cultural
Pilcher's study is an engaging view of twentieth-century Mexico through the lens focused on Mexico's most famous comic. A crisp, straightforward, and compelling look at mid-twentieth-century Mexico through the life of one of its most beloved citizens.
Charles Ramírez Berg
Excellent. The ideal biography of Cantinflas would set the comic's life within Mexico's social and political history, within Mexican popular culture, and within the context of the nation's emerging cinema. Solidly researched and splendidly written, Jeffrey Pilcher's book does all this and more. It finds a way to convey to the non-Spanish-speaking reader Cantinflas's imaginative and wonderfully convoluted wordplay.
David R. Maciel
An insightful, authoritative, and important look at one of Latin America's most influential and beloved comedians, Mario Moreno, 'Cantinflas.' This is the very best biographical study in any language of an icon of Mexican cinema and culture. Cantinflas's significance grew not only from his image as one of the country's greatest comedians and stars but also from his powerful force in the labor movement of the industry, in politics and in opening up the doors of Hollywood to Mexico. The book masterfully combines the study of this unique star with a solid analysis of the culture and society that predominated in the decades of his life and times. Cultural and biographical history at its best.
Joanne Hershfield
Tracing the phenomenon of the Mexican film comic Cantinflas's rise to fame and subsequent decline within the context of Mexican post-Revolutionary modernity, the author offers a sustained account of changing perceptions of Mexican national identity. A compelling examination of the modern Mexican state from the 1930s through the end of the 1950s.
The Americas: A Quarterly Review Of Inter-American Cultural
Pilcher's study is an engaging view of twentieth-century Mexico through the lens focused on Mexico's most famous comic. A crisp, straightforward, and compelling look at mid-twentieth-century Mexico through the life of one of its most beloved citizens.
The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History
Pilcher's study is an engaging view of twentieth-century Mexico through the lens focused on Mexico's most famous comic. A crisp, straightforward, and compelling look at mid-twentieth-century Mexico through the life of one of its most beloved citizens.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780742572485
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/01/2000
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
238
File size:
6 MB

What People are Saying About This

Joanne Hershfield
Tracing the phenomenon of the Mexican film comic Cantinflas's rise to fame and subsequent decline within the context of Mexican post-Revolutionary modernity, the author offers a sustained account of changing perceptions of Mexican national identity. A compelling examination of the modern Mexican state from the 1930s through the end of the 1950s. (Joanne Hershfield, Associate Professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and author of Mexican Cinema, Mexican Women, 1940-1950, and The Invention of Dolores del Rio)
David R. Maciel
This is the very best biographical study in any language of an icon of Mexican cinema and culture. The book masterfully combines the study of this unique star with a solid analysis of the culture and society that predominated in the decades of his life and times. Cultural and biographical history at its best.
—(David R. Maciel, Professor of History, Department of Chicano Studies, California State University, Dominguez Hills, and author of El Norte: The U.S.-Mexican Border in Contemporary Cinema)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey M. Pilcher is professor of history at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
author of Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food

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