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With The Brute, a young Luis Buñuel reinvents the Frankenstein myth as a blistering Mexican melodrama.

Pedro Armendáriz stars as the titular El Bruto, a tough but dim-witted slaughterhouse worker hired by an unsparing slumlord to help evict tenants. However, things get heated in more ways than one when El Bruto falls for the landlord’s wife.

The Brute (1953) is one of the finest works from Luis Buñuel’s Mexican period, which saw the auteur mastering the melodrama years before his surrealist classics. This blistering example of the genre reworks the “Frankenstein” parable into a modern tale of lust and unshakable violence.

Starring: Pedro Armendáriz, Katy Jurado, Rosita Arenas, Andrés Soler. Director: Luis Buñuel. Writer: Luis Alcoriza, Luis Buñuel. Cinematographer: Agustín Jiménez. Score: Raul Lavista. Producers: Gabriel Castro, Óscar Dancigers, Sergio Kogan.

Directed by Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1953, 83 minutes. In Spanish with English subtitles.