Director Roberto Gavaldón.
Written by Roberto Gavaldón and José Revueltas adaptation by Jack Wagner, based on a Rian James story. The excellent cinematography was by Alex Phillips. Music by Raúl Lavista.
The film stars Dolores del Rio (Bird of Paradise (1932), Journey Into Fear (1943) as Magdalena Montes de Oca / María Méndez, Agustín Irusta as Roberto González, Víctor Junco (Bandido! (1956), as Fernando.
Also with José Baviera as Licenciado de la Fuente, Conchita Carracedo as Carmela, Carlos Villarías as Lic. Félix Mendoza, Rafael Icardo as Detective de policía, Manuel Dondé as Aguilar, policía.
The script for La otra was owned by Warner brothers. A similar Warner film about identical twins, A Stolen Life was made the same year 1946 starring Bette Davis. The studio held onto the La otra script until they remade it in 1964 as Dead Ringer, starring again Bette Davis (she must have licked these sister roles). The Dark Mirror (1946) is similar film. This film may have influenced The Scar, aka Hollow Triumph (1948). There quite a few similarities between them also.
|Dolores del Rio as Magdalena Montes de Oca top and María Méndez bottom|
|Agustín Irusta as Roberto González|
|Víctor Junco as Fernando|
A Cemetery. A big shot's funeral. Magdalena Montes de Oca. Widow. Young and now very rich. A snob. A bitch. She wears a black veil we can't see her face. Late into this solemn tableau is Maria Méndez, Magdalena's mousey spinster-ish looking twin sister.
Maria wears granny glasses and her hair pulled back tight. The sermons over, the gravediggers are shoveling dirt back into the hole. Magdalena scolds Maria. Tells her that she could have worn something more appropriate.
Magdalena: Couldn’t you find something better to wear?
The funeral over. Magdalena asks her chauffer to offer her sister a ride. Maria gets into the limo and gets lectured to by Magdalena. Tells her she use her job to hook a rich man. Magdalena brings Maria to her mansion. It's the whole nine yards. Huge foyer. Grand Staircase. Statuary and fine art.
Maria goes back to her menial job as a manicurist. Her boss is on her case. He wants her to be flirty with the customers. He's practically piping her out. While working the salon she keeps seeing a flashing neon sign advertising a five million peso lottery.
Of course it all goes deliciously Noirsille, when Maria pretending to be Magdalena finds out that the proverbial grass isn't greener on the other side.
One of the great Mexican Noir. There are more unforeseen challenges ahead for Maria, and some unexpected twists. If you've only seen Dolores del Río, in her Hollywood films you will be pleasantly surprised She was cast memorably as a South Seas siren in Bird of Paradise (1932) and a leopard-skinned temptress in Journey into Fear (1943). Should be uh better known among Noiristas and Aficio-Noir-dos. Should be on Noir Alley 10/10.