Film

From María Félix to Cantinflas: 10 Mexican Golden Age Films You Should Stream on Pantaya

Lead Photo: 'Doña Diabla'
'Doña Diabla'
Read more

While we love us a good Netflix or Hulu bingewatch, we have to admit they are lacking when it comes to classic Spanish-language fare. That’s why we were so excited when the aptly-named Pantaya streaming service announced it’d be stacking their catalogue with a slew of, not only, the most recent flicks like No Manches Frida and Nosotros los Nobles, but with what might be the largest selection of movies from Mexico’s Golden Age.

The Lionsgate-backed service is a goldmine for those looking to catch classics featuring Cantinflas, Pedro Infante, María Felix, and many of the silver-screen legends that made their mark in early twentieth century Mexican cinema. To help you out, we’ve rounded out a list of films to check out if you want to start your very own crash course on Mexico’s Golden Age. From romantic melodramas to hilarious comedies of errors, you can’t go wrong with these ten features, all of which are available to stream from the comfort of your home on Pantaya.

1

Que Dios me perdone

Tito Davison

María Felix plays a classic femme fatale with a twist – her character is a concentration camp survivor who uses her sexuality to elicit information from unwitting men at the height of Mexico City’s World War II spy games. Meanwhile, a series of inexplicable murders can only be solved by a psychologist, played by Julián Soler.

Synopsis By: Andrew S. Vargas

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RSBdrsN474

Mexico
Tito Davison, Xavier Villaurrutia, José Revueltas
Gregorio Walerstein
1948
97

2

Doña Diabla

Tito Davison

Another “woman wronged + exacting vengeance” story in the style of the original “doña” film, Doña Bárbara, Doña Diabla features Félix vamping it up as Ángela (what’s in a name, you say?), a well-to-do woman wronged by her husband, but not for long. With claps of thunder punctuating her contemptuous dialogue, a Cruella De Vil-like bolt of silver supercharging her glossy black mane, and a way with a cigarette that shows how well she can make, er, anything crumple, Doña Diabla is pure Doña Dominitrix payoff, no strings attached. Gilded, guilty pleasure for wicked ladies and those who (can’t help but) love them.

Synopsis By: Maria-Christina Villaseñor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKvRiv1Cnto

Mexico
1949

3

La malquerida

Emilio Fernández

Raymunda (Dolores del Rio) is a widow about to be married to Esteban (Pedro Armendáriz). At first, her daughter Acacia (Columba Domínguez) rejects her new stepfather, thinking all he was after was their family money. But as the years go by, her rejection turns to the kind of illicit love that melodrama films are made of!

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Romance, Drama
Emilio Fernández, Mauricio Magdaleno
Francisco Cabrera
1949
86

4

Ahí está el detalle

Juan Bustillo Oro

Unbeknownst to the head of the Cayetano household, Cantinflas is sneaking around with Paz, the maid. One night he finds himself mistaken for the brother of Mr. Cayetano’s wife which leads to the kind of comedy of errors (involving a gangster, a rabid dog, and a bountiful inheritance!) the Mexican star was so known for.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Comedy
Juan Bustillo Oro, Humberto Gómez Landero
Jesús Grovas
1940
103

5

Flor silvestre

Emilio Fernández

During the Mexican Revolution, don Francisco kicks out of his house and disowns his own son, José Luis for marrying a peasant woman called Esperanza, who’s then kidnapped by a pair of fake revolutionaries that José Luis then has to track down.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpgYklJ6XT8

Mexico
Romance, Drama
Emilio Fernández, Mauricio Magdaleno
Agustín J. Fink
1943
90

6

Camino del infierno

Miguel Morayta

Camino del infierno tells the story of a love triangle gone dangerously wrong. León desperately longs after Leticia, but she’s his best friend’s (and boss!) lover. Given that she’s an ambitious minx, Leticia agrees to give herself to León in exchange for betraying her lover and his friend and steal his fortune in the process.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Crime, Drama
Miguel Morayta
Óscar J. Brooks, Felipe Mier
1951
89

7

La Valentina

Rogelio A. González

In the midst of the Mexican Revolution, Valentina’s husband is murdered the night of their wedding day. Stricken by righteous grief, she swears to never fall in love again. That promise is put to the test when she’s kidnapped by an arms dealer on the orders of a federal army captain who’s madly in love with her. As usual, the film is a perfect María Felix vehicle that shows exactly why she’s one of the most enduring screen icons of the twentieth century.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaann-VnfeQ

Mexico
Adventure, Drama
José María Fernández Unsáin
Gregorio Walerstein
1966
94

8

Los Gavilanes

Vicente Oroná

Two men pining for the same woman don’t know that they’re half-brothers. To complicate things, one of them belongs to Los Gavilanes, a band of merry men who sack the rich to feed the poor. The rivalry and blood feud comes to a head in this Pedro Infante classic that thrills with its story of love and revenge.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Drama
Aurora Brillas, Vicente Oroná
Antonio Matouk
1956
102

9

Tierra de pasiones

José Benavides Jr

A romantic melodrama for the ages starring Jorge Negrete and Margarita Mora set against the backdrop of La Zandunga, a feast in the town of Tehuanchitán to celebrate the start of the mango harvest.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt
Mexico
Adventure
Alejandro Galindo, Marco Aurelio Galindo
David Negrete
1943
101

10

Maria Candelaria

Emilio Fernández

It is 1909. María Candelaria (Dolores del Rio) faces prejudice in her hometown of Xochimilco. Not only is she the child of a prostitute but she’s of indigenous descent. Nevertheless, she hopes to get married to her lover Lorenzo Rafael, in spite of the fact that a greedy shop owner in town has his sights set on the young woman. Things only get more complicated in this sumptuous melodrama when María Candelaria falls ill with malaria forcing Lorenzo Rafael to go through unspeakable lengths to cure her.

Synopsis By: Manuel Betancourt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgmPoHqRgY8

Mexico
Romance, Drama
Emilio Fernández, Mauricio Magdaleno
Agustín J. Fink
1944
97