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Xenon Revives Mexican Classics on DVD

11 Apr, 2006 By: Angelique Flores

Hidden in warehouses and tucked away in the homes of movie producers sat some gems from Mexico's Golden Age of Cinema, never released on video.

Televisa Home Entertainment scoured archives for these films, dusted them off and digitally restored them for DVD. Xenon Pictures next month will release them in its new “Pel?culas Clasicas” DVD series.

The first two titles — El Derecho de Nacer (1951) and Me Quiero Casar (1966) — arrive May 9 (prebook April 10) at $14.99 each. The family film El Derecho, which is like Mexico's It's a Wonderful Life, spawned two other feature films and three telenovelas. Me Quiero Casar stars Ang?lica Mar?a and Alberto Vásquez, one of Mexico's favorite couples from the 1960s.

Well aware of the market's saturation and shelf-space crunch, Xenon initially was reluctant to release these popular yet rare old films.

“But these films are classics. They are collectible films from the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema that contain huge stars whose films are underrepresented in the market,” said Kristi Alires, VP of product management for Xenon Pictures.

In addition to family classics, the 18-title collection features cult films, comedies and horror titles. The majority of them star legendary actors of the period, such as Ang?lica Mar?a, a Doris Day-like figure in Mexico, and Miroslava Stern, a Marilyn Monroe-like star.

“Films that feature Golden Age stars are the ones that are in demand in local video stores,” Alires said.

Also in demand are the old film posters, Alires said, which already are sold in hip retail stores and on the Web.

Xenon had film historian Tracy Landecker comb eBay, art galleries and film collectors' sites to track down the original posters for each film. Xenon is using the posters to create authentic DVD box art and key art for retailers.

Xenon will release the next pair of titles in August: Se Solicitan Modelos (1954) and Nosotras Las Sirvientas (1951). Percado Mortal and La Muerte Enamorada, starring Miroslava Stern, arrive in September. All DVDs in the series are $14.99 each.

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