Subida al cielo (Mexican Bus Ride)(Ascent to Heaven) (1954)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Better known as Ascent to Heaven, Luis Bunuel's Mexican Bus Ride is a genial surrealistic comedy with many of the earmarks but little of the elegant cruelty of Bunuel's later works. Esteban Marquez plays a young bridegroom who is called away from the altar. Marquez's mother is dying, necessitating a bumpy two-day ride in a rickety bus to the little village where mama resides. En route, Marquez meets many eccentric characters, and is detained in a variety of mirth-provoking ways. Once he's arrived, Marquez is prevented from returning to his wedding by legal squabble's over mama's will. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Clasa-Mohme Inc.


Esteban Márquez
as Oliviero
Lilia Prado
as Raquel
Carmelita González
as Oliviero's Wife
Manuel Donde
as Eladio Gonzales
Roberto Meyer
as Don Nemesio Alvarez y Villalbazo
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Critic Reviews for Subida al cielo (Mexican Bus Ride)(Ascent to Heaven)

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Audience Reviews for Subida al cielo (Mexican Bus Ride)(Ascent to Heaven)

it's a perfectly lovely film and who knew the great cynic had such sweetness in him. a young man postpones his wedding to take a rickety bus to a distant city to make provisions for his mother's will, beset by a stream of oddball characters and frustrating circumstances along the way. a surreal dream sequence and some pointed satire serve to remind us who we're dealing with

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

This early Luis Bunuel film is not really worth seeing, sorry to say. If it has any selling point, it's not Bunuel but the outrageous sexiness of Lilia Prado. The filmmaking is quite conventional, and initially recalls one of those old Disney travelogue documentaries. The title "Mexican Bus Ride" essentially captures the plot -- a bus full of villagers tags along with a young man journeying to another town to work out the will details for his (allegedly) dying mother. His greedy brothers pursue an alternate scheme at home. Life on the bus meets a slew of complications: rain, traction, a flat tire, sleeplessness, childbirth, farm animals, bickering, sexual temptation and visiting Americans. The fascination of the more obscure Bunuel films is hunting for signs of his usual perverse, we get glimpses including a beautiful woman who is mostly dismissed as an annoyance, a one-legged man, a skeptical depiction of politicians and a fantasy sequence with some visual symbolism. These mild virtues aren't enough.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


I was hoping to find a rare Bunuel gem, but it was rather weak. A morality play/comic farce, it's all pretty standard except for a couple of unusual dream sequences. The symbolism is laid on a bit thick, too. Of course, it's hard to tell how good this movie is, since the videotape has lousy translation. I swear, there's no subtitles for at least 75% of the dialogue. I still remember a little Spanish, so I could get a taste of what I was missing, but not enough.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

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