Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity

By (author) Jeffrey M. Pilcher

Publication date:

01 December 2000

Length of book:

238 pages

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780842027694

Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity is a revealing probe into the life and times of Mario Moreno, Latin America's most famous film star from the 1940s to the 1970s. This book helps to illuminate the social and cultural history of twentieth-century Mexico. Cantinflas (Moreno's film persona) was the most popular movie star in Mexican history. A fast-talking, nonsensical character, he helped Mexicans embrace their rich mestizo identity and cope with the difficulties of modernization. For thirty years he served as a 'weapon of the weak,' satirizing corrupt officials and pompous elites who victimized Mexico's urban poor.

This is a valuable text for courses on Mexican history and Latin American film.

Excellent. The ideal biography of Cantinflas would set the comic's life within Mexico's social and political history, within Mexican popular culture, and within the context of the nation's emerging cinema. Solidly researched and splendidly written, Jeffrey Pilcher's book does all this and more. It finds a way to convey to the non-Spanish-speaking reader Cantinflas's imaginative and wonderfully convoluted wordplay.