Cantinflas. Enough said. Just knowing that it’s a Cantinflas movie automatically means entering a world filled with nonsensical language and ridiculous life situations that keep you laughing scene after scene. Underneath all the word play and foolishness, Mario Moreno uses his comedic persona of Cantinflas to highlight the lower class struggles and critique social norms in Mexican society making him the greatest comedian in Mexican cinema.
In honor of Mario Moreno’s 100th anniversary of his birth, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, a Hispanic focused cultural arts facility, is featuring Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” films for their Cine de Oro Fall Series. In El Gendarme Desconocido (The Undercover Policeman), screened today, Cantinflas becomes a hero after capturing three bank robbers. Given the title of agente 777, he transforms into a jewel collector to capture a group of gangsters on his ultimate assignment.
El Gendarme Desconocido will be screened today at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Mexican American Cultural Center located at 600 River St. Admission is free. The third movie in the series, El Circo, will be screened on Nov. 29 at the same time and place.
Watch a scene from El Gendarme Desconocido below: