Cantinflas and the Chaos of Mexican Modernity. JEFFREY M. PILCHER: Wilmington, DE: SR Books, 2001.

Donald F. Stevens


"Cantinflas," as he was known to his adoring public, was the comic alter ego of Mario Moreno, Mexico's most famous comedian and movie star. Moreno's film career lasted from 1936 to 1981 and encompassed a total of 42 feature films made in Mexico and Hollywood. He was the most popular movie star of the 1940s, the "golden age" of Mexican film-making. Pilcher's book, a biography in tandem of Mario Moreno and Cantinflas, is divided into an introduction, seven chronological chapters, and a conclusion, following the career of Mario Moreno and the development of Cantinflas from his early days in street theater (including the historical background and precursors of his comedic style), through his successful film career, his participation in labor disputes, his relationships with prominent government officials, and the international, class, and cultural proliferation and limitations of his Mexican character.

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