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458 Ratings

The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz

Ensayo de un crimen

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Mexico, 1955
Comedy, Crime, Drama


With a strange and powerful obsession stemming from his childhood during the Mexican Revolution, the affluent bachelor and suave ceramist, Archibaldo de la Cruz, oscillates effortlessly between fantasy and reality, obsessed in making the perfect crime.
(Also known as Rehearsal for a Crime.)

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The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz Directed by Luis Buñuel

Awards & Festivals

Ariel Awards (Mexico)

1956 | Winner: Best Cinematography

1956 | 7 nominations including: Golden Ariel

Critics reviews

In Archibaldo’s gloriously imagined, carefully planned, and meticulously staged schemes, the art of murder and the art of movies appear to be closely aligned. In one of the most ludicrously harrowing and repellently exuberant scenes ever filmed, the protagonist—an amateur ceramist—finds the killer app for his kiln.
June 30, 2014
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The central work of Buñuel’s career, a midpoint between the early savagery and the later urbanity, a most dapper derangement of normalcy. Alonso’s resemblance to Rex Harrison points up the debt to Unfaithfully Yours, and there’s also Ealing wryness estilo mexicano (Mackendrick’s The Ladykillers is concurrent). The figure sauntering down the road at the close might be the director himself, the mischievous maniac finally reconciled with the world’s endless reserves of comic horror.
December 16, 2013
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