The Criminal Life Of Archibaldo De La Cruz

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Music Video Distributors, Inc.
1955
91 Minutes
Mexico
Spanish
Comedy, Thriller, Crime
Not Rated
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Possibly Luis Bunuel's most underrated film, "The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz" is executed in traditional Bunuel fashion, where macabre meets comedy. The story begins when an overindulged young boy of 'privilege' is shown a music box, which is a family air loom, alleged to cause the death of an enemy when played. The boy decides to test it out, setting his sights on his nanny, who'd recently offended him, wishing for her death. When moments later, a stray bullet from a revolutionary's gun sails though the window killing her, the twisted boy is convinced this was no accident and finds that he likes his newfound 'power'. Taking on the mind of a serial killer, he carries this mindset into adulthood, plotting, planning, fanaticizing, and 'wishing', with women as his victims. The irony of it all is, his efforts to carry out these crimes are always thwarted by outside forces, be it 'twist of fate' or 'providence', making him a serial killer in 'mind' only.

  • Highest Rating
    ""Archibaldo" is Buñuel in the peak form with which he has continued to dazzle us in recent years. It has the wit, the simplicity of style, the directness and, above all, the total command that make his later films seem virtually perfect realizations of the director's particular visions."
    Vincent Canby, The New York Times
  • Highest Rating
    "My favorite film by Luis Buñuel."
    Richard Brody, The New Yorker
  • Highest Rating
    "This is the closest Bunuel ever came to directing a bona fide suspense thriller."
    Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
  • Highest Rating
    "Bunuel 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

Awards & Recognition

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