El padrecito

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El padrecito
1964 El padrecito.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Miguel M. Delgado
Produced by Jacques Gelman
Written by Mario Amendola
Renée Asseo
Starring Cantinflas
Ángel Garasa
Rosa María Vázquez
Music by Raúl Lavista
Cinematography Luis Cuadrado
Release date
  • 1964 (1964)
Running time
124 minutes
Language Spanish

El padrecito ("The good Priest") is a 1964 Mexican comedy film produced by Jacques Gelman and directed by Miguel M. Delgado, starring Cantinflas.


The young priest Father Sebastián (played by Cantinflas) is assigned to a parish in San Jerónimo el Alto, where he is not welcomed by the community, particularly the resident priest Father Damián (played by Ángel Garasa). The newcomer gradually earns the trust of the people through humor, but firmly captures their hearts by saving the town fiesta by fighting a bull when the hired torero failed to show.

Father Sebastián counsels the townspeople, lecturing them on their duties in a modern society. He used the collection plate to redistribute the town's wealth more evenly. When accused of communism, he quoted the 1891 socially conscious encyclical Rerum novarum. He even ventured into politics, with a veiled attack on the municipal president couched into a sermon. Eventually, he brokers a deal with the local political boss for some concessions for the poor of his parish.


Critics generally viewed the film as typical of the later Cantinflas films, a moralizing feature slim on originality. But some found the religious themes indicative of the spirit of Latin American Catholicism. Pope John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council only two years earlier, and Moreno seemed to be embracing the reforms it espoused as the remedy for Mexico's poverty.

Some accused Moreno of mocking the faith and the priesthood, but he assured his audience that his "message would be only positive, constructive, happy, human, Christian." The Latin American contingent of seminarians in Rome apparently shared his assessment, and wrote him a grateful letter.


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