The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Ensayo de un crimen)(Rehearsal for a Crime)
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The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Ensayo de un crimen)(Rehearsal for a Crime)
This Mexican-filmed black comedy (distributed in the U.S. seven years after its initial 1955 release date) is one of the minor but no less characteristic works of director Luis Bu˝uel. The film begins with Archibaldo (Ernesto Alonso) being triggered by a music box into a lengthy reminiscence of his childhood. It was an average, everyday incident, one that undoubtedly has occurred to us all: Archibaldo was caught dressing up in his mother's clothes by his governess, who was then instantly killed by a revolutionary's bullet before she could tell on him. The experience proved to be… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Against a background of revolution and restoration, Catholic mysteries and aristocratic manners, Bu˝uel unfolds, in images akin to Freudian X-rays ..."
‑ Richard Brody, New Yorker
"The central work of Bu˝uel's career, a midpoint between the early savagery and the later urbanity"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Interessante principalmente pela representašŃo psicolˇgica de seu anti-herˇi e pela utilizašŃo de reflexos como instrumento narrativo."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
"Though it's 22 years late in arriving, The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz is the only new movie in town about which I can say that it mustn't be missed."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Perhaps the lightest and most purely playful film of Bu˝uel's career. It's an oddly charming black comedy dressed up as a kind of thriller."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"This is the closest Bu˝uel ever came to directing a bona fide suspense thriller."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"Bu˝uel is still able to put some bizarre -- and very funny -- personal touches on this story of a man obsessed with the idea that the music box he owned as a child has the power to kill."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"It never amounts to more than a cheaply made one macabre joke movie that was only slightly amusing and only somewhat more effective as satire."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews