Monday, March 4, 2013

Chicano & Mexicano: Small Tribute to Cornelio Reyna Movies.

Brief History of Cornelio Reyna from Wikipedia:

Cornelio Reyna (September 15, 1940 - January 22, 1997) was a Mexican norteño singer.

Cornelio Reyna formed a partnership with the legendary Ramón Ayala to create the famous duet called Los Relampagos del Norte in 1963. The band stayed together for eight years and then in 1971, Reyna decided to pursue a solo career as a mariachi singer. His mariachi career was not as successful as music experts expected. He was unable to compete and gain a spot alongside charismatic mariachi giants Vicente Fernandez and Antonio Aguilar.

Reyna played for 26 more years before dying in 1997 of a stomach ulcer.

Now here's some brief writing on some of Cornelio Reyna's movies!

There are 3 movies that I wasn't able to write about due to not having copies of them. However, whenever I do get around getting the copies, I will gladly write about them and add them unto this post. The 3 movies I have yet to see & write about are Me Cai De La Nube (1974), El Andariego (El Rey De Texas) (1978), and Yo y Mi Mariachi (1976).

Lagrimas De Mi Barrio (1972)
In Lagrimas De Mi Barrio, Cornelio Reyna plays a widower trying to survive living in poverty with his young son. This is by far the most emotional & serious Cornelio Reyna movie I've seen yet. It deals with poverty, alcoholism, heartbreak, and loss.

Me Caiste Del Cielo (Alma Chicana) (1975)
Me Caiste Del Cielo is about Gonzalo (Cornelio Reyna); a Texas fireman who falls in love with his new neighbor (Angelica Chain) and Gonzalo's kind & loving sister (Lola Beltran) who is torn between 2 men (ex-husband & her boss).

I enjoy this movie & all, but I only wished that the movie would of focused more on Gonzalo rather than his sister. At least we get to see Cornelio perform his famous song "Me Caiste Del Cielo" to Angelica Chain. Very Sweet.

El Hijo De Los Pobres (1974)
Cornelio stars in this movie as a fireworks & party supplier that goes to the USA to work in order to scrape up enough money for his son's eye surgery. The reason why the son needs such a complicated sounding surgery is due to the fact that the kid accidentally sets off fireworks in their home, thus causing his face to be burnt badly and messing up his vision.

El Hijo De Los Pobres is yet another enjoyable Cornelio Reyna movie. It has great music, a great cast, and a very great story. A must watch for sure.

Soy Chicano y Mexicano (1974)
As usual, this movie takes place mostly in Texas (various cities in Texas to be exact). In Soy Chicano y Mexicano, Cornelio heads off to the USA to work and to learn English since the jobs that he's applied back in Mexico require some English speaking. When he arrives in the USA, he meets up with family he hasn't met before, but quickly grows close to.

Soy Chicano y Mexicano is interesting due to the fact that we see Cornelio going through the rough process of crossing the border, finding a decent job, and he witnesses what goes on in the USA (discrimination of race & sex).

Guadalajara Es Mexico (1975)
This time, Cornelio is playing himself in a movie! Well, sorta. In Guadalajara Es Mexico, Cornelio (playing himself sorta) has arrived in Guadalajara, Jalisco for a little vacation and to reunite with his girlfriend. While everybody is happy to see Cornelio, there is one person that isn't too happy to see him at all. This guy loathes Cornelio very much because he envies him very much.

Shot in all of Guadalajara, Jalisco, this movie is quite fun. The music in the movie is of course great!

El Llanto De Los Pobres (1976)
Hands down my all-time favorite Cornelio Reyna movie. As a matter of fact, this was the 1st one I've ever watched.

In El Llanto De Los Pobres, Cornelio yet again plays a Mexican living & working in the USA, has a huge crush on a neighbor girl, and he gets into big trouble for a crime that he didn't commit.

I absolutely adore this movie mainly because of the music in it. We get to see Cornelio serenading to his neighbor "Amor a La Mexicana" (a cheesy little love song) while sweeping the apartment complex. Then he sings "Que Bonito, Que Bonito" (a beautiful & underrated song) while walking with a girl he meets later on in the movie.

El Llanto De Los Pobres is a must watch. It plays on TV often, so be sure to catch it on TV sometime!

El Norteño Enamorado (De La Misma Rasa) (1975)
Cornelio plays 2 roles in El Norteño Enamorado; 1st role being the father, the 2nd role as the grown up son.

El Norteño Enamorado starts off sometime in the 60's in a rural Texas town. A family has just been massacred by a greedy land owner and his henchmen. However, one child was not in the home at the time of the massacre, thus leaving the poor kid becoming an orphan. Luckily though, he has his godfather to live with in Mexico. Some years later (the present time), the kid is now a man who works at a ranch with his godfather, he's also got a wealthy girlfriend whom he plans on marrying soon. The proposed marriage isn't taken too kindly by the girl's father, thus he puts out a hit on his daughter's fiancé. How messed up is that?!?!

El Norteño Enamorado is yet again another great Cornelio Reyna movie with likable characters, great music, and has a nice ending. Best part of the movie is the opening scene! We got Cornelio and his wife Marita Reyna singing "Me Moriria" together. Such a beautiful song it is, and it being sung by these 2 makes it even more beautiful.

Contrabando Por Amor (Chicano Brothers) (1978)
A movie set around 2 brothers that live in different places. Cornelio's character lives in Texas, while Pedro Infante Jr's character moves to Mexico. Both brothers deal with difficulty at work & romance.

Contrabando Por Amor is great, but the main title of the movie (being Contrabando Por Amor) is very misleading since the drug trafficking angle of the movie is coming from the girlfriend of Cornelio's character, and she only does it to gain money for herself; not romance like the title suggests. Also, I'm not too fond that the character's voices were changed to sound more "American". I mean come on now, a lot of Chicanos sometimes sound like they're actually from Mexico, so changing the voices seemed rather ignorant to me.