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(Spanish 1946 b 96')

En: 6 Ed: 7

A revolutionary general takes a town in Mexico and falls in love with the beautiful daughter of a rich man; she is already engaged and has a temper.

Revolutionary forces led by General Jose Juan Reyes (Pedro Armendariz) take over a town, and he demands to know who the rich people are. Carlos Peñafiel (Jose Morcillo) leaves his daughter Beatriz Peñafiel (Maria Felix) with a gun and is defiant toward Reyes. Fidel Bernal (Manuel Dondé) says he will cooperate but denies his assets that Reyes demands. Fidel offers him his wife, and Reyes has Captain Bocanegra shoot him. Eduardo Roberts (Eugenio Rossi) asks for a pass to Mexico City so he can buy a wedding dress for Beatriz. Reyes grants it, and he pays the schoolteacher his back-pay and doubles his salary. Reyes asks his friend, the priest Rafael Sierra (Fernando Fernandez), for money and explains how he does good. He says Rafael can do as he pleases. Roberts asks Reyes to let Carlos Peñafiel live.

Gen. Reyes comments on Beatriz's legs, and she slaps him twice. He says he will marry her and protects her. Beatriz buys a large firecracker and explodes it under his horse. Roberts tells her what Reyes has done. Her father is expected to give money, but he refuses. In church Rafael sings "Ave Maria." Reyes asks him about the girl. Rafael shows him the painting by Juarez from 1698. Reyes describes her, and Rafael says it is Beatriz Peñafiel. Her father is about to be executed, but Reyes sets him free. Beatriz comes for him and says that Reyes may not enter her house. Carlos Peñafiel tells Beatriz that he carried off her mother because her parents were opposed to their marriage. When Reyes comes to the door, Beatriz swats him. He gets back at her, and she slams the door in his face.

Beatriz gets a letter and burns it. Reyes waits in the street and talks to her there. She slaps him, and he hits her. Rafael says to hit a man, and Reyes hits Rafael, who apologizes. Beatriz is angry, but Rafael tells her how Reyes understood the painting and talked of her. Reyes drinks and asks Joaquin to forgive him. Joaquin tells of his youth and how it takes machismo to forgive. Reyes embraces Rafael in church.

Under Beatriz's window Reyes asks for forgiveness. She hears musicians serenading her. Beatriz prays in church, and Reyes kneels beside her and speaks tenderly of his love. Outside, a scout tells Reyes that federal forces are only five hours away. Roberts returns with a wedding dress, and Bocanegra wants to shoot him. Reyes dismisses Bocanegra and touches the dress. He tells Roberts to make her happy. Rafael says he will marry them in the morning after a civil ceremony. Reyes is told they will be attacked, and he orders the town evacuated. Roberts asks Beatriz if she is ready to wed him, and she says yes. A judge speaks and asks her to sign; but Rafael says they are being attacked. Reyes is not fighting because he was defeated. Beatriz drops the pen and her wedding gift and goes outside, sees Reyes, and retreats with him and the others.

This romantic drama explores how a revolutionary leader with extraordinary power learns how to ask forgiveness for his own transgressions.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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