Gregorio and the Angel (1970)

Article #938 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-9-2003
Posting Date: 3-7-2004
Directed by Gilberto Martinez Solares
Featuring Broderick Crawford, Connie Carol, German Valdez (Tin Tan)

When a statue vanishes from a church in an orphanage, the well-loved but drunken janitor is blamed and then fired. He leaves the orphanage and ends up encountering a little girl who can work miracles.

There are definite charms to this fantasy coproduced by both the United States and Mexico. One is the performance of Broderick Crawford, who wisely underplays the role of the janitor. Another is the Mexican scenery that serves as a background for much of the action. A third is the presence of Connie Carol, who is cute as the dickens as Inez, the little girl who can work miracles. I’m less taken with the static, lifeless direction, a factor that made the movie rather tiresome until the other charms really started to work on me. I’m also not taken with German Valdez’s performance as the devil; his blatant mugging would have been appropriate in high slapstick, but it’s intrusive in this movie which requires a much gentler comedic touch. The aimlessness of the plot is also a bit of a problem, and after a while I felt the story was largely there just to give us as many ways as possible for Broderick Crawford to sneak a drink. So overall what we have here is a rather odd mixed bag, and I’m not quite sure myself how I feel about it. It does however avoid the sickly sweetness that is possible for this sort of story, and that is a plus.

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