The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Ensayo de un crimen)(Rehearsal for a Crime)
The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (Ensayo de un crimen)(Rehearsal for a Crime) (1955)

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… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: May 19, 1955
DVD Release Date: March 29, 2005
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

Against a background of revolution and restoration, Catholic mysteries and aristocratic manners, Bu˝uel unfolds, in images akin to Freudian X-rays ...

Full review…
Fernando F. Croce

The central work of Bu˝uel's career, a midpoint between the early savagery and the later urbanity

Full review…
Pablo Villaša
Cinema em Cena

Interessante principalmente pela representašŃo psicolˇgica de seu anti-herˇi e pela utilizašŃo de reflexos como instrumento narrativo.

Vincent Canby
New York Times

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.

Full review…
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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.

Full review…
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

This is the closest Bu˝uel ever came to directing a bona fide suspense thriller.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

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.

Full review…
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 93% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
terrific pitch black comedy about a would be serial killer whose plans always go awry. notable as the last film of miroslava, who was cremated soon after her… More
John Ballantine
Fantastic! Not a lot of familiarity with early Mexican cinema but this has a nice humour to the drama that adds a wonderful touch.
Pierluigi Puccini
Archibaldo De la Cruz is a disturbed man who spends his time plotting the murders of the women he is attracted to. He has a lot of bad blood and malice, but… More
Eric Broome
"The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz" may be Luis Bunuel's most underrated film, and it's certainly among the best of his Mexican… More