La Fièvre monte à El Pao (Republic of Sin) (Fever Rises in El Pao) (1959)
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A moral decay leading to revolution is paralleled to the illness that is consuming the hero in this emotive tale by renowned director Luis Buñuel. Set on a fictional Latin American island, the action starts when Gov. Vargas (Miguel Angle Ferriz) is assassinated. His executive secretary Ramon Vasquez (Gerard Phillipe who died during production) is then forced to temporarily assume the mantle of power. After the new, brutal, and sadistic governor (Jean Servais) takes over, conditions steadily deteriorate. Meanwhile, the widow of the former governor, Inez Vargas (Maria Felix), and Ramon have fallen in love. Their relationship, as well as the stability of the island, is threatened by the new governor who covets Inez. … More
as Ramon Vasquez
as Ines Vargas
as Alejandro Gual
as Governor Vargas
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Critic Reviews for La Fièvre monte à El Pao (Republic of Sin) (Fever Rises in El Pao)
Buñuel's sharp-toothed study, with unmistakable traces of Huston, Clouzot, and Franco's Spain
This is not vintage Bunuel, but Mr. Philipe is unexpectedly good as the muddled idealist.
What with all the missives and writs of agenda waiting to be signed, Fever Mounts in El Pao is noticeably burdened by excess paperwork.
As Buñuel's most directly political work, it certainly warrants a look.
Audience Reviews for La Fièvre monte à El Pao (Republic of Sin) (Fever Rises in El Pao)
As the peasants starve, Ines(Maria Felix), the wife of Governor Vargas(Miguel Angel Ferriz), is carrying on an affair with Colonel Olivares(Roberto Canedo). Just as the peasants are about to be fed meat on a national holiday, Garcia(Raul Dantes) assassinates Vargas in front of everyone. That only makes Ines' life more complicated as she is now stranded on the island, with Vasquez(Gerard Philipe), the governor's former secretary, professing his love for her while trying to institute a reform or two.
"Fever Rises in El Pao" is pretty good as a transitional film for Luis Bunuel, as he seeks to take more of a global approach while indulging some of his perverse fascinations at the same time. Disappointingly, he also bites off more than he can chew, especially in the crowd scenes, as he seems much more interested in having something to say than in telling a story. That involves Vasquez who comes under a great deal of scrutiny on his road to hell paved with good intentions.
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