A Biography of the Actor and Mexican Cinema Pioneer
About the Book
In 1912, Guillermo Calles (1893–1958) became the first Mexican actor to appear in films made in California. Despite limited resources, he began directing and producing his own movies, and in 1929 pioneered production of Spanish-language sound films. His major works, among them the long-unavailable El indio yaqui and Raza de bronce (both 1927), represented Calles’ tireless crusade to restore the image of Mexicans and Indians in an era dominated by Hollywood stereotypes.
This biography traces Calles’ career from his earliest Hollywood days through the 1950s. Included are the only surviving images of the filmmaker’s silent productions, a closing commentary on his intimate circle of relatives, and an appendix featuring two fascinating letters written by Calles during a filming trip.
About the Author(s)
Rogelio Agrasanchez, Jr.
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: 85 photos, 2 maps, appendices, notes, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
Table of Contents
1. From Chihuahua to Arizona 7
2. Becoming an Actor in Hollywood 18
3. Riding the Wave of Nationalism 33
4. “The Vindication of Our Race on the Celluloid” 47
5. The Popular Appeal of Guillermo Calles’s Films 65
6. On the Road: From Los Angeles to Mexico City 86
7. A Pioneer of Mexican Talkies 102
8. Last Films as a Director 120
9. Confrontation with Labor Unions and Hunger Strike 132
Epilogue: The Calles Family 146
Appendix 1: Filmography 155
Appendix 2: Exhibition of Films 162
Appendix 3: Pro-Patria 165
Appendix 4: Recovering a Film Script of El indio yaqui 179
Chapter Notes 181
Book Reviews & Awards
“fascinating…impressive”—Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies.