Amor perdóname [Forgive Me, Love] (Prods. Jerónimo, 1967) Prod-Dir: Jerónimo Mitchell Meléndez; Scr: Jerónimo Mitchell, José de San Antón; Story: Jerónimo Mitchell; Photo: Orlando Rodríguez Leal; Prod Mgr-Asst. Dir: Félix A. Ramírez; Prod Chief: Tony Rigus; Film Ed: Alfredo Rosas Priego; Camera Asst: Manuel Jiménez; Lighting: César Marrero; Makeup: Estela Cid, Rosie Badillo; Sound Rec: Santos Sales; Sound Ed: Abraham Cruz; Re-rec: Salvador Topete; Asst Ed: Ramón Aupart; Theme Song sung by: César Costa

 

     Cast: Julio Alemán (Carlos Sandoval), Kitty de Hoyos (Ana María Rivas), Marta Romero (Marta Núñez), Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (Arturo Solano), Susana Cabrera (Lupe), Braulio Castillo (prosecutor), Orlando Rodríguez (judge), José de San Antón (Lic. Cáceres), Efraín López Neris (?Freddy), Delia Esther Quiñones, Víctor Santini, José Manuel Caicoya, Luis Alberto Martínez, William Agosto, Eva Alers, Reinaldo Medina, José Hernández Zamora, Juan Batista, Vicky Sanz

 

     Notes: although Jerónimo Mitchell Meléndez had worked with Mexican performers before, Amor perdóname was his only Mexican co-production.  [Although no Mexican company is credited, the number of Mexican performers and the fact that some scenes were shot in Mexico is the tip-off.]  Amor perdóname is a routine melodrama that changes to a legal drama in the final section and is fairly entertaining.

     Businessman Carlos meets Ana María in a Mexico City nightclub where Marta Núñez is performing.  Carlos, although born in Mexico, has been a resident of Puerto Rico for a number of years and is acquainted with Marta.  He escorts Ana María home, and makes a date for the next day.  Ana María is actually a prostitute whose pimp, Arturo, thinks Carlos would be a good client, and urges her to be "nice" to him while Arturo is away on a trip.  Carlos and Ana María fall in love, and he proposes marriage to her, indicating he must return to Puerto Rico soon.  She turns him down but changes her mind on the advice of her maid Lupe.

      "San Juan, Puerto Rico.  One year later."  Ana María gives birth to a son; she and Carlos are a happy couple, and he brings Lupe from Mexico to be his wife's companion.  They are invited to a party at the home of Marta Núñez, who has remarried--Ana María is stunned to see Arturo is the singer's new husband!  Arturo begins to blackmail Ana María, who asks for Carlos for money under false pretenses.  Meanwhile, Marta suspects Arturo is unfaithful to her.  Desperate to keep his affections, she asks Carlos to allow her to purchase a radio station he has an option on, so Arturo can run it.  Carlos is reluctant to give up his dream of a powerful chain of radio stations.

       Arturo decides to leave Marta and demands $100,000 from Ana María as one final payment.  If she lacks the cash, she can arrange for her jewels to be "stolen" by him.  Ana María threatens to shoot herself (with a pistol she took from Carlos' desk), but Arturo wrests the pistol away from her.  Later, Arturo tells Marta he never loved her and is going away forever.

       That night, Carlos catches a shadowy intruder in the house.  They struggle, and someone shoots the burglar to death: it is Arturo!  Carlos, who did not fire the fatal shots, shoots his pistol twice into a potted plant, then calls his lawyer and confesses to the killing.  He claims self defense, but the prosecution decides to charge him with murder.  Despite his lawyer's pleas, Carlos refuses to let Ana María testify.  Marta does take the stand and denies her marriage was in trouble.   Carlos' attorney learns Carlos owned two identical pistols, and the bullets that killed Arturo were not from the gun he turned in.  The prosecution claims this proves the shooting was premeditated murder.  However, Ana María takes the stand and tells her story, admitting she was seduced into prostitution by Arturo, then blackmailed by him.  She says Arturo took away the pistol she had, and she didn't shoot him.  The prosecution claims she's trying to cover for Carlos.

      However, the defense proves Marta had hired a private detective to shadow Arturo.  Marta is recalled to the stand and confesses everything: she stole the pistol from Arturo and followed him to the home of Carlos and Ana María, where she killed him as he fought with Carlos.

       Ana María prepares to leave Puerto Rico, believing Carlos no longer loves her.  However, he admits he knew of her past all along, and loves her anyway.  They reconcile.

      The final part of Amor perdóname provides an interesting twist on the standard melodrama formula (albeit not a unique one, since films like 1950's Amor vendido and La mujer X in 1954-the latter based on the oft-filmed play "Madame X"--featured climactic murder trials), even if some of the legal procedures are a bit shaky.  For example, it's the middle of the trial before anyone thinks to test the bullets that killed Arturo see if they were fired by Carlos (to be fair, he did confess to the shooting, but still...).  This revelation inspires the prosecutor to change the charge against Carlos from homicida calificado (presumably something like second-degree murder) to premeditated murder.  It is neat, however, that Ana María's big confession basically counts for nothing: the prosecutor dismisses it as an attempt to exonerate Carlos.  Only when Marta, in tried-and-true "Perry Mason" fashion, completely breaks down on the witness stand and confesses everything is justice served.

      The performances in Amor perdóname are pretty good, overall.  Marta Romero gets a lot of attention--some big dramatic scenes, a couple of songs--and Pedro Armendáriz Jr. is splendidly evil, which leaves Julio Alemán and Kitty de Hoyos looking a little bland. Susana Cabrera is her usual acerbic self, and the Puerto Rican supporting players are fine.  The production values are adequate.  Curiously, the scenes in Mexico City are not at all distinctive and could easily have been filmed in Puerto Rico;  the Puerto Rican footage--aside from a brief "travelogue" sequence showing various imposing buildings (prominently flying the U.S. and Puerto Rican flags)--is also confined to some anonymous looking buildings and exteriors, not exactly making full use of the island as a movie location.