Oscar Movies: Macario (1960)– Mexican Fable with Stunning Photography from Gabriel Figueroa

Mexico

Gabriel Figueroa’s distinguished cinematography is the most impressive element of “Macario,” Mexico’s first nominated feature for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.

B. Traven, better known as the author of “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre,” made in 1948 into a superlative film by John Huston, used an old Mexican folk tale (a variation of a Brothers Grimm fable) for his novel “The Third Guest.”

In the screen version, Ignacio Tarso plays a poverty-stricken peasant who goes on a hunger strike, hoping that someone will rescue him. Torres’ wife Pina Pellecier steals a turkey, but just as Torres is about to eat, he’s visited by Death with a bargain.

Death offers to bestow magical powers on Torres in exchange for part of the meal, but Torres is allowed to heal only sick people that Death chooses for him; soon he becomes Satan’s tool.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Best Foreign Language Film

Oscar awards: None

 

Oscar Context:

 

The winner was Ingmar Bergman’s “The Virgin Spring.”