The Shadow of the Tyrant

(La sombra del caudillo)

BAMPFA Student Committee Pick

  • Introduction

    Diana Bracho, the daughter of Julio Bracho, has worked as an actress in film, theater, and television for over forty years in Mexico and internationally. She will introduce tonight's film and relate the story of its thirty year censorship.


Tito Junco, Thomas Perrin, Carlos López Moctezuma, Bárbara Gil,

Bracho’s 1960 passion project, based on the famous 1929 novel by revolutionary author Martín Luis Guzmán, daringly tackles the corruption of the Mexican elite and the country’s political process; its depiction of treachery and sleaze (all based on the behavior of real-life politicians) outraged the army, and left it banned for over thirty years. Tackling the murderous scramble for power between strongmen and their suck-ups after the Mexican Revolution, The Shadow of the Tyrant still has time for rousingly populist set pieces (showgirls who sing “Respect the popular vote! Don’t be a rat!”), noirish intrigues, and some wonderful location shooting amidst Mexico City’s cultural landmarks.

Jason Sanders
  • Julio Bracho
  • Jesús Cárdenas
Based On
  • a novel by Martín Luis Guzmán

  • Agustín Jiménez
  • Spanish
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • B&W
  • DCP
  • 122 mins
  • Cineteca Nacional
  • STYM