Cuna de lobos
|Cuna de lobos|
|Created by||Carlos Olmos|
|Developed by||Carlos Olmos|
|Directed by||Carlos Téllez
|Theme music composer||Pedro Plascencia Salinas|
|Opening theme||"Cuna de Lobos"|
|Country of origin||Mexico|
|No. of episodes||170
85 (International version)
|Executive producer(s)||Carlos Téllez|
|Camera setup||Carlos S. Zúñiga|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Original channel||Canal de las Estrellas|
|Original release||October 13, 1986 – June 5, 1987|
|Preceded by||El engaño|
Cuna de Lobos (English title:Cradle of Wolves) is a Mexican telenovela produced by Carlos Téllez for Televisa in 1986. The serial, about the struggle for power within a wealthy Mexican dynasty, was enormously popular in its native Mexico. It was also a hit in several foreign countries, including the United States, Germany and Australia.
"The Best Telenovela of the Year" (Premios TVyNovelas 1987)
The story begins one morning in the mansion of the Larios family, who are the heads of the giant international pharmaceutical company Lar-Creel. Carlos Larios (Raul Meraz) informs his wife Catalina Creel (Maria Rubio) that since he discovered the secret she has kept for years which has hurt the family deeply, he will change the will. On hearing this, she turns around to reveal that she wears an eye patch on her right eye. Not willing to have the will altered and have him reveal her secret to the family, she poisons him. Later that morning as he drives to work, he has a fatal heart attack brought on by the poison and dies at the wheel, which causes the car he’s driving to crash into an office building.
In that office works Leonora Navarro (Diana Bracho), an innocent and sweet woman of good heart who is studying Business Administration at school and takes care of her godmother Esperanza (Carmen Montejo) whom she has lived with since childhood as her mother had died when she was born and her father lives and works faraway in another part of the country. Leonora is the first to respond to the crash but she finds Carlos Larios already dead. She finds his wallet full of cash, documents, and credit cards. So she contacts Carlos’ youngest son Alejandro Larios (Alejandro Camacho) in order to give him the dreadful news and return the wallet. He comes to the office right away and Leonora returns the wallet with its entire contents intact to him. He is grateful and in the midst of his pain and loss, they decide to keep in touch.
Catalina has Carlos buried on that same day without an autopsy in order to avoid her crime being discovered, much to the dismay of Jose Carlos (Gonzalo Vega), Carlos’ eldest son who arrives from abroad and who is furious at missing his father’s funeral. Jose Carlos is a compulsive gambler and falls deeper into his gambling vice, ending up with a huge debt. He begins dating a young woman named Paulina (Edna Bolkan).
When Carlos Larios’ will is finally revealed, the family finds itself in a dilemma. Alejandro is married to Vilma (Rebecca Jones) and Jose Carlos is still single and is living out of the country. The will firmly stipulates that in order to inherit, Alejandro must produce an heir with his wife, while Jose Carlos must marry. Until he marries, Catalina is appointed as the guardian of Jose Carlos’ inheritance. What everyone except Alejandro and Vilma ignores is that Vilma is sterile. Catalina begins to pressure Alejandro to have a child as soon as possible as she’s always wanted him to be the sole heir and in control of the vast family fortune and the company.
Alejandro is Catalina’s only son, while Jose Carlos is her stepson from Carlos’ first marriage. For this reason, Catalina despises Jose Carlos and does everything in her power to push him aside and to destroy his self-confidence and self-esteem. Ever since Jose Carlos was a child, she has blamed him and made him feel guilty for the accident which caused her to wear the eye patch; an accident he caused when he accidentally impaled her eye with a trompo (spintop), and she uses this as the way to keep him emotionally unstable, completely control and manipulate him, and to keep him at bay from the family businesses. It is here when the secret that cost Carlos Larios’ life is revealed to the viewer: Catalina never lost her eye as she tells everyone. Her eye is perfectly healthy, carefully concealed under the eye patches. Carlos had walked in on Catalina and discovered her without the eye patch, immediately understanding his wife’s hatred and manipulation of her stepson in order to destroy him in his father’s eyes and have her own son Alejandro be the one to inherit the vast financial empire. So when he discovered her lie and decided to change the will in order to restore Jose Carlos’ life and give him his rightful place, she killed him.
Faced with the dilemma that Catalina will demand a divorce if she finds out Vilma is sterile, and not willing to adopt a child because he wants a child of his own flesh and blood (because the bloodline and dynasty come first in his eyes), Alejandro concocts a masterful plan. He decides to pursue Leonora in order to seduce her and have her bring forth his child. He does this behind Vilma’s back. In the meantime, Vilma begins to look into adopting as she’s always wanted a child and wants to help her husband inherit his fortune and save her marriage. She’s so sure she will be able to adopt that she begins to fake a pregnancy and tells Catalina she’s pregnant.
Alejandro’s courtship of Leonora culminates when she finally falls in love with him and succumbs to his advances. They sleep together and she becomes pregnant. Upon discovering this and because of their conservative views, Leonora and Esperanza pressure Alejandro to marry her. Because of his living a double life and the constant so called “business trips”, Catalina assumes that Alejandro has an affair. She follows him and discovers him making out with Leonora whom she immediately despises and views as a whore, so she severely chastises him while Leonora runs off crying. Vilma also suspects an affair so she later confronts him. He then admits to the affair telling her he’s doing it in order to have a child of his flesh and blood and save the marriage. But Vilma cannot tolerate the infidelity and she immediately announces her intention of divorcing him. He convinces her to change her mind when he partially reveals his plan: He tells Vilma that Leonora is pregnant and has agreed to sell them her child when he’s born. Reluctantly, and not too happy to have to share her husband, Vilma agrees to continue faking her pregnancy in order to save her marriage to Alejandro, but makes him promise her to stop seeing Leonora.
However, Leonora keeps pushing for marriage. She ignores that Alejandro is married since he had told her he’s a widower and that his wife had died in a plane crash. With the help of his assistant Mauricio (Luis Rivera), two false witnesses by the names of Dr. Frank Syndell (Ramon Menendez) and Rosalia (Lilia Aragon) and a paid false justice, Alejandro marries Leonora in a fake wedding in order to keep her calm and takes her on a honeymoon to Manzanillo while telling Vilma he’s on a business trip. Dr. Syndell is an Austrian physician who has been stripped of his license due to his fraudulent and unscrupulous practices, and Rosalia is a sinister nurse who is his lover and later becomes his wife. She is just as unscrupulous as he is. He had shown up previously at Lar-Creel seeking to do a lucrative but fraudulent business deal, and was repealed by Alejandro and the board.
Upon returning from the honeymoon, Alejandro takes Leonora to live in a beautiful penthouse in his parents’ apartment tower and puts her in the care of Dr. Syndell and Rosalia, who moves in as the live-in nurse. As the months pass Leonora’s belly grows and so do the tensions between her and Rosalia who acts more as a jailor than a nurse, trying to control all of Leonora’s movements. Vilma’s fake belly also grows with the aid of pillows hidden under her clothes. Because Vilma won’t allow anyone to touch her belly, and because Catalina finds out that her daughter-in-law had consulted foreign doctors because of fertility issues, Catalina grows suspicious and travels to New York City bringing along her private secretary Berta Moscoso (Rosa Ma. Bianchi) to meet with one of those physicians, who confirms that it’s impossible for Vilma to be pregnant because she is completely sterile due to a congenital abnormality.
Angered at discovering this, Catalina orders Berta to return to Mexico while she spends sometime in New York alone. Once alone, Catalina sheds her eye patch and goes to a jewelry store to purchase a ruby for a brooch that Carlos had given her. That brooch is in the shape of an eye – a silent reproach by Carlos and clue to Catalina’s lie – with a glass eye in the middle. Catalina dresses in a long black overcoat, blond wig, and sunglasses in order to disguise herself and go purchase a ruby to replace the glass eye. Coincidentally, the jeweler who made the brooch, named Escudero (Jorge Fegan) is there on business and discovers Catalina without her eye patch. Being a former friend to Carlos Larios, Escudero decides to take on the responsibility of making justice as Carlos had wanted to do, and begins to pressure Catalina to drop her act while threatening to reveal her secret to Jose Carlos. What Catalina ignores is that he’s not working alone as he has a secret ally and informant.
Around the same time, Esperanza (Leonora’s Godmother) discovers that Alejandro is actually married and not widowed as he told them when she sees a picture of him and Vilma in the society column of the newspaper, and on top of that accidentally overhears a conversation between him and Mauricio where she learns all the truth about Alejandro’s real plans. Her disgust is such that while she confronts Alejandro, she suffers a massive stroke that leaves her completely paralyzed and unable to speak. Alejandro had wanted to let her die but is forced to help her due to Leonora’s sudden arrival. Thus, Esperanza survives in a somewhat vegetative state.
When Catalina returns from her trip, she angrily confronts Vilma, with Dr. Syndell present, regarding the fake pregnancy. She reveals her discovery of this fact by piercing Vilma’s fake belly with a chimney poker and accuses both Vilma and Dr. Syndell of trying to fool Alejandro. To her astonishment, Dr. Syndell then reveals to her that Alejandro is the one who actually concocted the plan. Catalina confronts Alejandro, so he tells her all about Leonora and the fake wedding. She then decides to take matters into her own hands with a much colder and cruel plan: Put both Leonora and Vilma in Dr. Syndell’s clinic out of town, and once Leonora’s child is born have it given to Vilma, and then have Leonora killed, as her philosophy is that anything goes when protecting the dynasty of the Larios clan. She then begins to befriend Leonora in order to keep tabs on her and orders Vilma to keep her mouth shut and continue to fake the pregnancy. Knowing she can’t speak, Catalina, Rosalia, Dr. Syndell and even Alejandro each taunt Esperanza by telling her of their sinister plans. When the time comes for Leonora to be taken to the clinic to deliver her baby, Catalina abandons Esperanza in a senior care facility in order to get rid of her. There, Esperanza begins a slow and painful recovery process. Catalina also destroys Jose Carlos’ relationship with Paulina whom he intended to marry.
At the clinic, Leonora has her baby under severe complications, and while coming in and out of consciousness she overhears the discussions between Dr. Syndell, Rosalia, and Alejandro and painfully realizes the truth of what they want to do to her. The baby is given to Vilma, who once she has it in her arms takes it as her own in spite of nearly calling everything off after a chance encounter with Leonora, and realizing Leonora is not selling her baby, but is simply being fooled. Alejandro and Vilma leave with the child and Alejandro orders Dr. Syndell to kill Leonora on his mother’s orders. He in turn decides to leave the deed to Rosalia and leaves the clinic. Leonora sees Rosalia approaching with a gun to kill her and defends herself by hitting Rosalia in the head and then takes the gun from her. She runs off and is chased by the guard dogs. She shoots at them when they attack her. She arrives at a gas station bleeding and with her hospital frock torn and dirty asking for help. She is picked up by Elena Cifuentes (Margarita Isabel), a good Samaritan who upon hearing her story drives her back to Mexico City and drops her off at Dr. Teran’s (Miguel Gomes Checa) house, an old family friend. Seeing that Leonora is severely traumatized, Dr. Teran arranges for Leonora to be admitted into a psychiatric hospital where she remains for an entire year while she recovers and plans her revenge.
Nearly at the same time, after months of being pressured and threatened by Escudero, Catalina overhears a phone call from Escudero to Jose Carlos asking him to meet him in a dark parking structure at night so he can tell him something extremely important. Realizing that Escudero would tell Jose Carlos her secret, she dresses in her blonde wig costume and goes to the rendezvous place first, where she kills him in cold blood and purposely leaves the gun near the body in order to frame Jose Carlos. She is successful as he takes the gun in his hand upon discovering the crime scene, and thus is promptly taken into custody and jailed for the murder. He stays incarcerated for a year. A year later, Leonora is released from the hospital and announces to her family and friends that she will do whatever it takes to recover her son and get revenge on the “wolves” as she now calls the Larios-Creel family. She is reunited with Esperanza who was rescued by Dr. Teran and can now speak though she is still in the wheelchair. Jose Carlos is also released since the police can’t prove he’s the killer and vows to find out who is to blame for his year in prison.
Alejandro, Vilma and Catalina celebrate the baby’s first birthday, whom they have named Edgar Larios in honor of Vilma’s father. Leonora, who had been following the Larios’ lives through the newspapers and knows of Jose Carlos’ incarceration and release, decides to use him as the key to her revenge. She arranges an accidental meeting and begins to flirt with him in order to make him fall in love with her and marry her so she can enter the Larios house as his wife and recover her son. Leonora confronts the Larios’ during a Lar-Creel celebration and in order to get rid of her, Alejandro gives her a very large check which she accepts and puts in the bank under little Edgar’s name, but not before reminding them that she will still seek to recover her son. Several serious confrontations occur between Leonora and the “wolves” as she repeatedly tries to get close to her son. At one point she even tries to steal him from his swimming school and is stopped by Alejandro. They end up fighting ferociously and fall into the pool where Alejandro tries to drown her before being separated by the lifeguard.
Leonora and Jose Carlos eventually marry and she enters the Larios mansion much to the surprise and horror of Catalina, Vilma and Alejandro. She confronts them all and tells them that now she’s as much a wolf as they are and openly challenges them. She also brings Esperanza who has now fully recovered and can walk and who also challenges Catalina. Catalina is furious not only because Leonora entered her home, but because she can no longer control Jose Carlos’ inheritance since he’s now married. She vows she will do everything in her power to destroy that marriage and get rid of Leonora.
Catalina shows herself in front of society as a respectable educated, rich and powerful woman. But ever since the murder of Escudero a year before, she has been receiving anonymous notes containing a picture of an eye and calling her a killer, something that disturbs her deeply. One day, she decides to get rid of her blonde costume but is accidentally discovered by her secretary, Berta. So Catalina coldly and calmly reveals everything to her, including the secret of the eye in order to control her through fear. Catalina eventually finds out that the author of the anonymous notes is Reynaldo Gutierrez (Carlos Camara), the vice president of Lar-Creel who was Carlos Larios’ friend and confidant and who was initially blamed and shortly detained for his death when Catalina tried to frame him for the murder. She had also confessed to him that she killed her husband, just to taunt him and put fear in him. It turns out he was the mysterious ally and informant of Escudero, and he knows Catalina’s eye secret as well. Catalina manages to discover Gutierrez’s hiding place, and has Berta help her dress in the costume which she does fearfully. She tells her she’s going to kill him.
Catalina arrives at the hotel where Gutierrez is hiding and he confronts her with a gun, having been tipped off by Berta. She gets the best of him when she pepper-sprays him and then murders him by injecting him with the same poison that she used to kill her late husband. She then dresses the scene to make it appear that he committed suicide by placing the syringe in his hand, putting a typed suicide note on the desk and putting away the gun. She had typed the note using Berta’s typewriter so she could blame her in case the police got too close, and had rehearsed his signature repeatedly on a piece of paper, which Berta eventually finds and conceals as evidence to be used later. The police begin to investigate this crime and begin to get suspicious that both this and Escudero’s murder are tied. Jose Carlos gets heavily involved in the investigation as he is desperately trying to clear his name.
Alejandro suddenly arrives to the hotel as Catalina was leaving and they run into each other in the elevators. Gutierrez had called Alejandro and had asked him to come over in order to tell him everything he knew. Alejandro is shocked and disturbed to see Catalina with a healthy eye so she is forced to reveal to him that she killed both Escudero and Gutierrez in order to protect her secret (but she doesn’t tell him that she killed his father as well). He becomes a silent accomplice to his mother’s crimes as he can’t bear turning his own mother in. He confides everything to Vilma who is horrified, especially a few days later when Catalina shows herself to Vilma without the eye patch. So Vilma begins to insist to flee the country with the child so they can be away from Catalina, and also so they take the child away from Leonora forever. However, Leonora constantly frustrates Vilma’s travel plans in order not to lose her son, much to Vilma’s disdain and desperation. Alejandro and Vilma’s world begins to fall apart with the knowledge that Catalina is a psychopath.
Berta’s only living relative is her beloved grandmother, who lives out of town. Since Berta knows too much and Catalina is weary that she could report her, she has Berta’s grandmother secretly flown to Dr. Sydell’s clinic which now operates as a geriatric clinic. When Berta tries to speak to the police, Catalina threatens her by mentioning that she had her grandmother taken there for her health. Understanding the hidden threat and knowing what it means, Berta immediately goes to the clinic where she tries to rescue her grandmother. Having been tipped off by Catalina, Dr. Syndell and Rosalia lock them both up. Syndell is strongly attracted to Berta and makes several sexual advances which she rejects. Catalina then calls Rosalia and orders her to burn the clinic in order to kill Berta and the grandmother and erase all evidence related to the birth of little Edgar. That same night, after constant rejection, Syndell finally rapes Berta and Rosalia accidentally witnesses it. Blinded by jealousy as she is Syndell’s wife, she locks the room up with him inside and proceeds to follow Catalina’s orders and burn the clinic. The fire destroys the clinic and dozens of patients die. Among the dead are Dr. Syndell and Berta’s grandmother. Berta is missing. Rosalia escapes and goes to Catalina’s house asking for help. Catalina allows her to stay for a few days in order to hinder the investigation of the fire. She fears Berta is alive and vows to find her and kill her. Jose Carlos begins to put the pieces of the investigation together and repeatedly questions Rosalia.
In the meantime, Leonora tightens her grip on the family. She begins revealing the truth to Jose Carlos little by little without telling him that her child’s father and the man who used her and nearly destroyed her is his own brother Alejandro. Slowly, Leonora realizes that she’s falling deeply in love with Jose Carlos and feels guilty for using him. Their relationship solidifies as the confrontations between Leonora and the “wolves” continue. Catalina repeatedly makes threats and has several confrontations with Esperanza. The police continue to investigate the murders and get closer to unraveling the case as several clues begin to pop up. Knowing that Rosalia is staying at the Larios mansion, the police let Catalina know that they confirmed that the fire in the clinic was caused by Rosalia and that they will arrest her. Catalina lets Rosalia overhear, and Rosalia becomes desperate to flee. Seizing the opportunity to get rid of her, and at the same time frame her for her own crimes in order to close the investigation, Catalina dresses her up in the blond costume and sends her away with a case full of money and tells her to take the train as the airports will be under surveillance. When she leaves, Catalina tips off the police and frames Rosalia for all the murders. The police pursue Rosalia at the station, and she is killed in the exchange of gunfire. Seeing her in the costume, the police think they may have the killer, though not all of them are convinced.
Berta reappears shaken and somewhat wounded by the fire and seeks Leonora who she had befriended before leaving the Larios mansion. Leonora hides Berta in Elena Cifuentes’ vacant apartment. It is there that Berta reveals everything from the murder of Carlos Larios to the secret of the eye to Leonora and Esperanza, much to their horror. Berta knew that Catalina killed her husband because Gutierrez had revealed this to her shortly before Catalina killed him. The women vow to work together to stop Catalina and bring her to justice, and to restore Jose Carlos’ life and heal his emotions. Berta is fearful of her life. She hides out in the apartment for a while and eventually her hiding place is discovered by Alejandro who had Leonora followed by Mauricio. He shows up with a gun to kill Berta but since Leonora happens to be there at the time, she drives him off by threatening him with the police. Berta is now more afraid than ever since she realizes they now know where to find her, even though Leonora repeatedly denies that fact to them.
Having been told about the eye-shaped brooch by Berta, Leonora slips into Catalina’s bedroom in order to find it and use it as evidence for Jose Carlos. However, she is caught in the act by the sudden arrival of Catalina. In the resulting confrontation, Leonora reveals to her that she knows she has a healthy eye and she knows about all of her crimes. Feeling threatened and desperate to silence her, Catalina tries to choke Leonora but stops cold when Leonora tells her that if she hurts her, Berta will speak. Catalina, always the one to take matters into her own hands and having been told of Berta’s whereabouts by Alejandro, arrives one night to Berta’s apartment and shoots at the bed where she thinks Berta is sleeping in order to eliminate her for good. Thinking her dead, Catalina leaves but fails to notice that there is a note with Leonora’s name on the nightstand: Berta had fled earlier that day fearing for her life, and had placed pillows on her bed. No one hears from her again for a long time.
The police get closer and closer to discovering the whole truth. Leonora joins forces with the lead investigator named Suarez (Humberto Elizondo) and becomes his most important informant since she knows everything that Berta told her, and even has the evidence that Berta had concealed. In spite of that they keep searching for Berta as her testimony is crucial to the case. Suarez informs Leonora that the police can’t arrest Catalina until all the evidence is gathered and until Berta is found and she testifies. Meanwhile, and in order to keep appearances, Catalina organizes a costume party in order to celebrate her birthday. In a bold move, Leonora shows up at the party dressed in the blond costume (which she had taken from Suarez’s office). Alejandro takes her away to a room to confront her and Leonora ends up revealing that Catalina poisoned his father. This is the only crime that Catalina had kept from Alejandro and Vilma. This revelation shatters him emotionally and completely destroys his world. Leonora also finally reveals to Jose Carlos the entire truth about her child and Alejandro’s involvement. Jose Carlos violently confronts his brother in a fit of rage and vows vengeance. Catalina takes the opportunity to get rid of Leonora for good by calling a family meeting and instructing Alejandro and Vilma (under threats) to follow her lead and tell Jose Carlos that Leonora sold the child and they show him the check stub as proof. Jose Carlos takes the bait and confronts Leonora who ends up leaving him and leaving the house at being disgusted at his doubts. She also begins to experience strange symptoms.
At the same time Vilma, being fed up with Leonora and eager to get little Edgar away from Catalina, secretly has a friend take him to San Diego to live for a while with her parents. When Leonora finds out, she is devastated and furious. With nothing to lose, she makes the decision to go to San Diego and tell the truth to Vilma’s parents about Edgar’s birth and that she is his real mother in hopes that they will force Vilma to return the boy to her. Vilma’s parents are so shocked and disgusted that they immediately travel to Mexico to set things straight. Meanwhile Vilma also begins to experience strange symptoms and theorizes she may finally be pregnant and that her sterility was not true after all. So she consults the family doctor and has several tests done. Leonora consults the same doctor and gets tested as well.
Meanwhile, Berta reappears with a new identity under the pretense of running a travel agency, wearing a wig and different color contact lenses. She calls herself “Michelle Alban” and poses as a French travel specialist. She stays at the apartment of her friend and co-worker Lucero Espejel (Magda Karina). Lucero is Berta’s confidant and knows everything about her and about Catalina’s crimes. Mauricio is arrested when the police discover that he had been taking Lar-Creel medications to Dr. Syndell’s clinic. He had been doing this clandestinely on orders from Catalina and Alejandro as payment to Dr. Syndell for his services during the birth of little Edgar. Catalina orders him to blame Reynaldo Gutierrez and Berta in order to divert the investigation, and hires an attorney for him that quickly gets him out of jail. As a reward, she promises him a Caribbean cruise with his parents, and has him go to her usual travel agency in order to purchase the tickets for the trip. This turns out to be the same travel agency that Berta is now running as Michelle Alban. Upon seeing him there, she concocts a plan to bring Catalina down.
First, she has Lucero flirt with Mauricio in order to get information from him. She dislikes him at first but gradually begins to fall form him and they end up getting engaged. Then, Berta reveals herself to Mauricio and urges him to join her in her plans. Because of his love for Lucero and fed up with being used by the Larios family for their dark purposes, he agrees to help them gather evidence against Catalina. The opportunity comes when Catalina (suspecting that Michelle Alban is Berta due to Mauricio’s earlier comment that in the agency works a woman identical to Berta), invites him and Lucero to the mansion for tea in order to get information. Berta seizes the opportunity to get evidence that Catalina typed Gutierrez’s suicide note on her own typewriter by having Lucero type something while Catalina is not watching, as the typewriter has a unique flaw. Catalina however, being always alert, spies on them and discovers the maneuver. So she decides to teach them a lesson. She swipes the keys of Lucero’s apartment which Mauricio had carelessly left lying around and makes a mold of them with soap which she later uses to make copies.
Meanwhile, when the results of her medical tests are in, Leonora is told surprising news: she is once again pregnant. Happy but disturbed at being the vessel to bring forth all of the Larios’ heirs, she hides the truth from Jose Carlos. Vilma goes to pick up her own results and because the hospital clerk gives her Leonora’s results by mistake, as they are both named “Mrs. Larios”, she is overjoyed when she reads that the pregnancy test is positive. However the truth is much different. Vilma’s doctor had called Alejandro in to tell him Vilma’s real diagnosis: She has an aggressive form of cervical cancer and is condemned to death. They decide to keep this terrible truth from Vilma who shows up at the doctor’s office and finding Alejandro there, informs him of the “good news”. He tries desperately to hide how crushed he really is.
Jose Carlos tries to seek out Leonora when he realizes that what his family told him cannot possibly be true. She is still hurt but she explains everything to him about the circumstances of little Edgar’s birth and the reasons she took that check, and what she did with it. She also tells him of Catalina’s crimes, but does not yet tell him the secret of the eye. He is shocked, however, and vows that he will make Catalina pay for everything she had done, and rightfully begins to take control of Lar-Creel. In the meantime, Vilma’s parents arrive and angrily confront Alejandro and Vilma and demand that the child be returned to Leonora. They of course flatly refuse and Vilma tells her parents that she’s pregnant, much to their joy. However, when Vilma steps out of the house one day, Alejandro calls a private meeting between him and his in-laws and tells them the truth about Vilma’s condition. They fail to notice that Vilma has returned and has heard everything while concealing herself. She is crushed to learn she will die and begins to see things in a different light and to question her own life. She seeks out her closest friends and her priest for support. She hides from Alejandro and her parents the fact that she knows the truth. Alejandro tells his in-laws that he will take Vilma to Houston for treatment, so they fly over there in order to prepare everything and wait for them, not before reminding Alejandro that they must return the child to Leonora.
Meanwhile, Catalina puts her plan into action. She goes to Lucero’s apartment at night and enters using the copies of the keys she had made. She then murders Lucero by strangling her mercilessly with a phone cord, and leaves to her car. Berta, who had left for a few minutes in order to mail the evidence to the police returns to find her friend dead and runs off in fear. She calls the police to report the crime but is spotted in the phone booth by Catalina who immediately gives chase in her car in order to get rid of Berta for good. Berta manages to make it to Lucero’s car and a high speed chase ensues, which ends when Catalina smashes her car into a truck at an intersection. Berta manages to get away and goes to the police to seek protection and eventually tells them everything she knows. She is placed under protective custody.
Catalina is left unconscious in the accident due to a concussion, and is taken to the Red Cross for treatment. They inform the Larios family of the accident and Jose Carlos rushes to the hospital. There, the doctors inform him of the concussion and ask him if his mother was going to a costume party because of the eye-patch she was wearing. He tells the doctor that she wears it because she lost the eye and has a glass eye. The doctor is bewildered and tells him that they removed the eye-patch, and that Catalina has a perfectly healthy eye. It is here that Jose Carlos realizes the terrible truth about his stepmother. He has the doctor put the eye patch back on he, in order to have her not discover that he knows the truth just yet.
Now that they have the evidence and Berta’s testimony, the police chief wants to proceed and arrest Catalina. However Suarez convinces him to leave everything in his hands and give him a little more time to gather the final evidence as they are not dealing with a common criminal and he knows Catalina better than anyone as he was a longtime employee of Lar-Creel. He argues that because of whom Catalina is and because of her unique type of psychosis, he can convince her to surrender peacefully. The chief reluctantly complies.
Catalina returns home from the hospital and asks to speak to Alejandro. She tells him she killed Lucero in order to show everyone who the Larios clan is, and that no one should dare to mess with them. Showing clear evidence of her insanity, she suggests to him that she, Alejandro and little Edgar flee the country and start new businesses elsewhere while leaving Vilma behind as she thinks she will hinder them. Alejandro is so disgusted that he finally rebukes his mother and tells her that Vilma is dying and that he doesn’t want anything more to do with her, and that he can’t forgive her for killing his father. He then leaves and Catalina is left alone and abandoned by the son she always loved so much. She is crushed and bitterly cries for the first time in her life.
She quickly recovers from this and plans to kidnap little Edgar and flee with him. She goes to Alejandro and Vilma’s house and takes little Edgar and begins to play with him to get his confidence. However, Vilma returns from a visit to her priest to find Catalina with little Edgar and realizes what her mother-in-law is up to. She manages run Catalina off. Because of her health condition and realizing that there’s only one place where little Edgar would be safe, she finally makes a decision. She calls Jose Carlos for help and after revealing to him everything that they had told him about Leonora and the money they had given her, and that Leonora is expecting his child, asks him to take her to see Leonora. Upon arriving, Vilma then finally returns little Edgar to Leonora. They share an emotional moment of gratitude and apologies and after all that happened between them, reconcile with a warm embrace. Vilma then returns to her house and informs Alejandro of what she has done much to his fury and disgust. However, she has an acute pain attack and is rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. The doctor informs Alejandro that the cancer has spread and that there’s nothing he can do and that Vilma will die within a few days. Alejandro refuses to accept this as he deeply loves his wife and can’t bear to lose her, so he decides to take her to Houston right away and proceeds to try to find an urgent flight.
Jose Carlos is overjoyed and finding out about Leonora’s pregnancy and they reconcile. Later at the mansion, he dismisses all the servants and when they are left alone, he finally confronts Catalina at dinner and tells her he knows everything about her crimes. She mocks and taunts him that she is a genius for doing all that without being found out, and reminds him that when the police finally exhumed Carlos’s corpse sometime before, they found nothing as the poison she used does not leave traces. He replies that he also knows the terrible secret she has used to control and destroy him all these years: that she never lost the eye. He warns her that soon she will face justice and he leaves and suggests to her that only way to avoid jail is to take her own poison, if she dares. She is furious and decides that it’s time to kill him, and then she would flee. She calls her private pilot to have her jet ready for her, but he informs her that the jet would be used the next day by Jose Carlos who is planning to leave the country for a while with Leonora. She seizes the opportunity and goes to the airport where she manages to pour sugar in the plane’s gas tank in order to cause the plane to explode and crash and finally kill Jose Carlos and Leonora. She doesn’t realize that Leonora has little Edgar and that he would be travelling as well.
The police finally make their move and surround the house. Suarez takes Berta along to the Larios mansion for a final confrontation with Catalina in order to get her to sign a confession. Catalina tells him to send Berta away and she will stay only with him and give him what he wants. He complies and Berta leaves but not before warning him that she is cunning and extremely dangerous and that although she is unarmed, she could kill him by any other means. He dismisses her and returns to the house where he tries to negotiate with Catalina and convince her to surrender. She tells him to accompany her across the yard to Alejandro’s house (as both houses are next to each other) and as they reach the swimming pool, she pushes him in and electrocutes him by throwing in a running electrical lawnmower that was left nearby earlier by the gardener. She then ponders out loud about when Jose Carlos would finally blow up. The police outside is unaware of what happens, and they wait all night outside the house for Suarez to come out with Catalina as they think he is negotiating with her.
The next morning, Jose Carlos and Leonora board the plane along with little Edgar. Leonora is uneasy because she’s been having recurring nightmares about a plane crashing. Jose Carlos assures her that everything would be fine and that the plane is in excellent condition, and they prepare to take off with Jose Carlos flying, as he is an accomplished pilot. Suddenly, an ambulance shows up on the tarmac and Jose Carlos is shocked to see Alejandro get out with Vilma in tow on a gurney. Alejandro begs Jose Carlos to let him use the plane to take Vilma to Houston as he was unable to find any flights. Jose Carlos complies and he, Leonora and little Edgar deplane, while Alejandro and Vilma board, along with medical and police escorts as Alejandro is under police surveillance due to his involvement in all the crimes surrounding the family. Alejandro warns Jose Carlos that upon his return and after all the mess with the police is cleared, he will fight for little Edgar. Jose Carlos responds that it’s so sad that not even in these terrible circumstances he can forget his hate. They part ways and the plane takes off for Houston. A few minutes later, the plane explodes in the air killing everyone on board including Vilma and Alejandro. Upon hearing that Catalina had been at the airport the day before, Jose Carlos and Leonora are horrified to realize that she is undoubtedly responsible for the explosion and that they were the intended targets.
At the mansion, fed up with the delay the police chief has his officers break in to arrest Catalina and they discover Suarez’s body in the pool. As for Catalina, she has locked herself in her room and is awaiting word that Jose Carlos and Leonora are dead. Amazingly she still ponders a way to escape. When the phone rings Catalina answers and is told that her plane exploded and that her son and daughter-in-law are both dead. She asks for confirmation that Jose Carlos is dead and to her horror she is told that it was Alejandro and Vilma who had been killed because they switched places with Jose Carlos and Leonora at the last minute. She realizes that she has killed her only son and her world falls apart, a single tear cascading down her face. She goes to her dressing table and takes out a small bottle of the poison she had used so many times and she pours the entire contents into a glass of orange juice while she stares at it coldly.
Downstairs, the police have run out of patience so they go up to get Catalina in her room. When they enter, they find that she has committed suicide by poisoning herself. She is lying on the bed dressed in the black cloak and blond wig costume she had used when committing her crimes, her clothes and eye patches strewn on the floor. Jose Carlos and Leonora arrive and upon seeing her dead body, Jose Carlos says that if she hadn’t done it herself, he would’ve killed her with his own hands.
Five years later, Jose Carlos is happily living at the mansion with Leonora. Esperanza lives with them to help them raise the children, both boys. Little Edgar is now 7 and his little brother Jose Carlos Jr. is 5. They seem to be happy boys and are seen playing in the swimming pool. Esperanza comments some of the past events with the mansion’s head maid and nanny, and they sadly remember Alejandro and Vilma. At the dinner table, Jose Carlos, Leonora and Esperanza discuss the events as well and Leonora mentions that she has never told little Edgar (who they have renamed “Braulio” in honor of Leonora’s own father) the truth of his origin because he doesn’t need to know anything about his evil grandmother and all the crimes that happened. They all agree to conceal this from him forever.
Unknown to them, Braulio and his little brother Jose Carlos Jr. have managed to obtain the key to Catalina’s bedroom which had remained locked up ever since she died there on Jose Carlos’ orders. Wanting to satisfy their curiosity and looking for an adventure (as they are forbidden to enter that room) they sneak in to play in there. They begin to look through pictures, clothes, and letters and Braulio finds Catalina’s eye patches strewn on the ground. He sits at Catalina’s dressing table while staring in a mirror. Jose Carlos Jr. calls to him saying: “Braulio, let’s get out of here. We have to go to dinner.”
Braulio turns around to reveal he is wearing one of Catalina’s eye patches on his right eye, the same eye as Catalina, and with a cold look in his other eye, says the memorable last line of this story: “I am not Braulio. My name is little Edgar!”
A “The end?” title appears.
The ending raised the question that this story might have had a sequel. However, producer Carlos Téllez died in 1994 and writer Carlos Olmos died in 2003, and a sequel was not made by them.
|Maria Rubio||Catalina Creel de Larios||Main villain - serial killer, killed 7 people, commits suicide|
|Gonzalo Vega||José Carlos Larios Creel|
|Diana Bracho||Leonora Navarro de Larios|
|Alejandro Camacho||Alejandro Larios Creel||Villain, killed by Catalina|
|Rebecca Jones||Vilma de la Fuente de Larios||Villain, killed by Catalina|
|Roberto Vander||Mr. Julio Sifuentes|
|Raúl Meraz||Don Carlos Larios||Killed by Catalina|
|Margarita Isabel||Mrs. Sifuentes|
|Carmen Montejo||Esperanza Mandujano|
|Rosa María Bianchi||Bertha Moscoso|
|Carlos Cámara||Reinaldo Gutiérrez||Killed by Catalina|
|Enrique Muñoz||Lic. Curiel|
|Lilia Aragón||Rosalía Mendoza||Villain, killed by police|
|Angelica Aragón||Amelia Larios|
|Humberto Elizondo||Inspector Suárez||Killed by Catalina|
|Magda Karina||Lucero||Killed by Catalina|
|Ramón Menéndez||Dr. Frank Zindel|
|José Ángel Espinosa "Ferrusquilla"||Don Braulio Navarro|
|Miguel Gómez Checa||Doctor Augusto Terán|
|Carlos Pouillot||Edgar de la Fuente|
|Mercedes Pascual||Olga de la Fuente|
|Ana Bertha Espín||Mayra|
|Enrique Hidalgo||Esteban Gamboa|
|Humberto Valdepeña||Doctor Mendiola|
|Maricruz Nájera||Gutiérrez's widow|
|Wally Barrón||Comandante Luna|
|Carlos Bonavides||Leonardo Sánchez|
|Santiago Gil Ontiveros|
|Jorge Fegan||Escudero||Killed by Catalina|
|1987||Premios TVyNovelas||Best Telenovela of the Year||Won|
|Best Lead Actress||Diana Bracho|
|Best Lead Actor||Gonzalo Vega|
|Best Female Antagonist||María Rubio|
|Best Male Antagonist||Alejandro Camacho||Won|
|Best First Actress||María Rubio|
|Best Female Revelation||Rosa María Bianchi|
|Best Male Revelation||Humberto Elizondo|
|Best Original Story or Adaptation||Carlos Olmos||Won|
|Best Direction||Carlos Téllez
The central character in Cuna de lobos is matriarch Catalina Creel, played by actress María Rubio, a villain in the grand dramatic tradition of Dynasty's Alexis Carrington, Dallas' J. R. Ewing, or Knots Landing's Abby Cunningham.
The main character is Leonora, played by Diana Bracho, who portrays the victim of the "wolves", only to "become" a "wolf" herself to seek revenge.
Catalina's unnatural devotion to her only son caused her conceal a healthy eye behind the lie of blindness, commit a series of murders beginning with her own husband, Carlos (his crime was realizing how truly evil she was), and to participate in the abduction of a child to ensure her son's inheritance was confirmed.
Such is the impact of her performance, that soap opera's villain take her as a role model, and when a program parodies a soap opera, the main villain is usually based on her.
Cuna de lobos was so popular in its native country that on the night of the final broadcast, the streets of Mexico City - infamously choked with traffic - were deserted as the locals were in their homes glued to their TV screens. It has been re-screened several times in the United States and Australia in recent years. A remake has been in talks for several years, with one finally surfacing in 2010.
The first DVD of Cuna de lobos came out in 2002. It was a single-disc DVD that contained the entire novela edited down to a little over 230 minutes. A second DVD release came on March 8, 2006. While it expanded the novela to over 11 hours played on three DVDs, the original instrumental music and soundtrack had been erased and substituted by new music. According to Televisa, this was due to a disagreement with Mexican actress and producer Carmen Salinas, who now owns the music rights after her deceased son Pedro Plascencia Salinas, producer of the music of the novela.
- Cuna de lobos at the Internet Movie Database
- Cuna de Lobos
- Beyond soap - BBC embraces villains, plot twists and Latin style of telenovela at The Guardian contains a significant mention of Cuna de Lobos