Cast & Crew
A proper young lady is sold into prostitution, threatened by a knife-wielding maniac, and transformed into a singing and dancing nightclub sensation.
The title means "adventuress" and the style was called cabaretera meaning "cabaret entertainer." What the term meant to Mexican moviegoers however, was a mix of music and melodrama with sexy women thrown into dark and dangerous situations in Mexico's "sin" towns where their virtue and often their lives would be threatened.
Ninon Sevilla plays Elena, the unlucky object of desire in Aventurera. A sweet, innocent daughter in a typical middle-class family, she comes home to find her mother in the arms of a lover and her father, shamed by the discovery, having committed suicide. Elena runs away from home and straight to the decadent town of Ciudad Juarez where she is drugged by a man who poses as a friend and sold into sexual slavery at the brothel/cabaret run by Madame Rosaura (Andrea Palma). Now, not only must she accept the advances of men, she must also perform every night as a singer at the cabaret! For most movies this would be enough plot but in Aventurera, this is only the beginning of a story that sends Elena ricocheting through the highs and lows of Mexican society, exposing more and more corruption as she goes.
The cabaretera style of Mexico co-existed with the American film-noir thrillers and served much the same purpose, providing thrills and suspense with a cynical social commentary that could be missed by the less-observant patrons. The different slant of cabaretera comes with the inclusion of music, juxtaposing Latin musical numbers, often in florid costumes, with sex and touches of sadism. The greatness of Aventurera is in spotting another important difference from film noir - the stronger emphasis on women - and using this melodramatic story to expose the injustice and hardships encountered by Mexican women.
With a central performance by Sevilla that is both provocative and emotional, campy musical numbers and a briskly paced plot, Aventurera is immensely entertaining while pointing forward to the socially conscious American melodramas of Douglas Sirk in the late 1950's.
Director: Alberto Gout
Writers: Alvaro Custodio, Carlos Sampelayo
Producers: Guillermo Calderon, Pedro A. Calderon
Cinematographer: Alex Phillips
Editor: Alfredo Rosas Priego
Music: Antonio Diaz Conde
Cast: Ninon Sevilla (Elena), Tito Junco (Lucio), Andrea Palma (Rosaura), Ruben Rojo (Mario), Miguel Inclan (Rengo), Miguel Manzano (El Rana).
by Brian Cady
Released in United States August 21, 1996
Released in United States February 1995
Released in United States September 1995
Re-released in United States March 7, 1997
Released in United States February 1995 (Castro Theatre; San Francisco)
Re-released in United States March 7, 1997 (Laemmle's Grande 4 Plex; as part of series "International Cinema Showcase: Cine Latino"; Los Angeles)
Released in United States August 21, 1996 (Film Forum; New York City)
Released in United States September 1995 (Nuart; Los Angeles)