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Los Olvidados (1950)

Drama | 85 minutes
3,82 188 votes

Genre: Drama / Crime

Duration: 85 minuten

Alternative title: The Young and the Damned

Country: Mexico

Directed by: Luis Buñuel

Stars: Alfonso Mejía, Estela Inda and Roberto Cobo

IMDb score: 8,2 (21.959)

Releasedate: 9 December 1950


This movie is not available on US streaming services.


Los Olvidados plot

Growing up in the slums of Mexico City, young Pedro befriends El Jaibo, who brings him into his youth gang. Walking through the streets, they commit various violent crimes, not so much for the money, but to watch others suffer, something they take pleasure in.

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avatar van arno74


  • 8700 messages
  • 3342 votes

My first long film by Buñuel. I was hoping for original surrealistic scenes, but I just picked the wrong film for that. This film is quite realistic, with street children in the lead role, who try to make life as miserable as their own life is for just about everyone. I have read that the actors have been picked from the street for a large part, which makes it look even more authentic, which also explains that the acting performances are not always excellent.

The watching viewer is also not spared , and gets an outburst of anger in the form of an egg that is thrown at our heads. What have we done? Nothing right?

A good film, which is an indictment of the poverty that nobody does anything about and leads to poor children having poor children and living in poverty and misery, generation after generation. I didn't even find the film that black, I can well imagine that such scenes took place in the 'ghettos' of Mexico at that time, and the harshness in dealings was the norm rather than the exception. In the ghettos of Brazil today it is not much different.

I hoped for a special film and got to see a normal good film. This film has undoubtedly been innovative and daring in its time, for me it is not so at the moment. I also missed elements that lift the score higher. That's why I, slightly disappointed because of my high expectations, keep it at 3 stars. I also didn't really manage to empathize, while Buñuel wants to touch the viewer with this film, which also plays a role in my (too) meager appreciation.

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avatar van Kiekerjan


  • 119 messages
  • 106 votes

Mexican neorealism that takes a bleak look at the consequences of poverty. Unlike Italian neorealism, most of the characters have few or no good character traits. Even the blind beggar, who initially arouses pity, eventually turns out to be a cruel pederast. The characters mainly lack motivation and perseverance to give a different direction to their hopeless existence. The one character who represents a glimmer of hope is constantly thwarted by an immoral son of a bitch named Jaibo and his mother who treats him like a dog. The final scene confrontationally demonstrates the futility of resistance to the state of affairs. This film is indeed anything but optimistic and feels more like an alarm signal and a call to action. Las Hurdes had a similar intention, although the facts there were deliberately hyperbolized. Furthermore, the Mexican slums are very similar to post-war Italy and there is a continuous feeling of desperation. Buñuel, admittedly, prevents any chance of sentimentality, adding symbolism here and there reminiscent of his earlier work. I found it quite difficult to form a connection with the children and as a result the events did not have the desired impact. There was a detachment that limited the chance of empathy. It's a movie that would benefit from an overhaul.

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avatar van mjk87

mjk87 (moderator films)

  • 13317 messages
  • 3920 votes

This now seems to me to be one of those films that was quite innovative and special 70 years ago, but of which little remains of it now. However, this is still a great film to watch that is also well made at times, but certainly a bit simple on a social and psychological level. Especially in those areas so many films have been made more recently and better too (partly due to the acting that has also changed, more to my taste). Nevertheless, the film is well told. Think of a scene where there's a sign saying labor is being sought, kid walks up to two workers there and a fade out with no sound - as a viewer you know exactly what's happening in about 10 seconds with no dialogue. And towards the end the film even gets a bit compelling. But until then, the film is also somewhat outdated and distant. 3.5*.

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