La noche avanza (Night Falls). 1952. Mexico. Directed by Roberto Gavaldón. Screenplay by Jesús Cárdenas, Roberto Gavaldón, José Revueltas, Luis Spota. With Pedro Armendáriz, Anita Blanch, Rebeca Iturbide. In Spanish; English subtitles. 85 min.
This Gavaldón classic suggests that what the boxing world is to the American film noir, the high-speed game of pelota (jai alai to American tourists) is to its Mexican cousin. Pedro Armendáriz, Mexico’s great romantic lead, plays against type as an arrogant pelotari who seduces and discards women at will, until he becomes the target of a cunning revenge plot. He meets his fate in a final image that is as quintessentially noir as it is inconceivable in an American film.