Philippe's last role before his death from cancer, playing a small-time government administrator - the setting is a South American dictator-state - whose time comes when the governor is assassinated and he temporarily takes over until a successor is appointed. The film is a study in the futility of liberal sentimentality when it refuses to acknowledge the fascist mechanism for what it is: Philippe's few attempts to improve the lot of political prisoners prove useless in face of a stronger rival and his own desire for security and power. It's hardly major Buñuel - he himself blamed its shortcomings on the inevitable compromises of a co-production - but his view of greed, hypocrisy and cruelty is as lucidly sardonic as ever, and the portrait of the dangers of trying to improve a totalitarian regime from the inside remains as relevant today as when the film was made.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Louis Sapin, Luis Buñuel, Luis Alcoriza, CharlesDorat|
Miguel Angel Ferriz