Dr. Ricardo de Acuna (Ramon Pereda) is a wealthy surgeon who lives in a palatial home with his wife, Ana Maria (Virginia Zuri) and young son, Juanito.  Ricardo and Ana Maria are celebrating Juanito’s fourth birthday.  After the party Juanito’s grandfather, Don Fernando de Moncada (Paco Martinez) takes Ricardo aside to discuss with him the family curse.

According to Don Fernando, centuries ago a wealthy man, Rodrigo de Cortes (Alberto Marti) was living with Ana Xicontencatl (Adriana Lamar).  Rodrigo fathered a child with Ana but the two were not married.  He promises to marry her but right now is not the time.  He then tells her that he has to go on a trip for business reasons.  After leaving the house Rodrigo is set upon by several robbers.  As they engage in sword fight another man, Captain Diego de Acuna (Ramon Pereda) comes to his aide.  The two men fight off the robbers.  Rodrigo invites his new friend in for a drink. 

Diego finds out that Ricardo is leaving to marry a wealthy young woman.  Diego is outraged that Ricardo is forsaking his mistress and illegitimate son.  At the wedding Diego shows up with Ana and her son.  Needless to say, the wedding is off.  Rodrigo goes back to the house intending to get his son and take him away.  Ana, in a fit of insanity, vows that if she can’t have her son, no one can.  She stabs her son and then commits suicide.

After the story, Ricardo recognizes it as the legend of La Llorona or the Crying Woman.  Don Fernando tells him that there is more to the story than just legend.  The people in the story are real and related Ricardo.  Ricardo dismisses the legend, but a hooded figure is prowling around the house eavesdropping on the conversation. 

When the hooded figure tries to kidnap his son, Ricardo begins to think there is something true in the old family legend.  He then learns of another family tale similar in nature to La Llorona where a native Aztec woman who had a child by Cortes had her child stolen from her.  The woman, Dona Marina (Maria Luisa Zea), curses the family and vows revenge.  She commits suicide and her spirit is said to roam the countryside wailing.  Ricardo then finds out that both stories are based in reality and his family is at the heart of both legends.         

“La Llorona” AKA “The Crying Woman” was released in 1933 and was directed by Ramon Peon.  It is a Mexican supernatural horror mystery.  It has the honor of being Mexico’s first sound horror film and the first featuring the La Llorona legend, even though loosely. 

It is billed as an updated version of the old Mexican legend of the weeping or crying woman.  The plot is long and involved, but rather lackluster.  Not much really happens until the end.  It picks up somewhat then but not enough to make up for the dull first three quarters of the film.  Still, it was a damn good try, especially since this was the beginning of the sound age and Mexico, like everyone else, was trying to develop their filmmaking skills. 

The main interest of the film for me is that, at one time, it was a lost film.  Similar to “Mickey Mouse in Vietnam” 1968, it showed up when someone uploaded it to YouTube.  The condition of the print, however, was quite poor.  A restoration was in order.

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