Easily one of the most beautiful women of her era and one of the most gorgeous people ever to make it to the ranks of film stardom. Del Rio's career in the 1920s and 30s unfortunately suffered from to...
Vantage Point gives us just that--a birds-eyed view of an assassination/terrorist attack on the U.S. president. In Spain at a landmark outdoor summit on the global war on terror President Ashton (William Hurt) is shot and a bomb explodes killing hundreds of people. For the rest of the film we see the same 15 minutes over and over but from different points of view: There’s a CNN-like news producer (Sigourney Weaver) who is the first to witness the events; the Secret Service agents (Dennis Quaid and Matthew Fox) assigned to protect the president; an American tourist (Forest Whitaker) videotaping the historic event; a Spanish cop (Eduardo Noriega) who suspects what’s going down by the surreptitious actions of his girlfriend (Ayelet Zurer) at the rally; and most importantly the head terrorist (Said Taghmaoui) who orchestrates it all. Through each of these individual perspectives we learn the truth behind the assassination attempt--and as far-fetched as it is it still isn’t pretty. This is an all-out action thriller folks--quiet subtle performances are not required. Quaid goes full blast as the veteran Secret Service agent who has already taken a bullet for the president once before and is still a bit skittish about it. But his loyalty to the president never wavers and it’s through his determination to find out what happened that propels the story forward. Fox also plays it to the hilt much like he does as Jack on TV’s Lost but the actor has a certain movie-star quality to him; he could easily transition from TV to film. Whitaker unfortunately has to play the big schlub with a heart--which at this point seems a tad beneath the Oscar-winner--but he still gives it his all. Hurt’s Head of State is another one of those dream presidents we wish we had. Taghmaoui (The Kite Runner) and Zurer (28 Weeks Later) are adequately cold-hearted as the terrorists while Edgar Ramirez (Domino) effectively emotes as a reluctant member of the terrorist cell forced to do their bidding while his brother is being held captive. Did we mention that the terrorists were cold-hearted? Right. Vantage Point’s trio of film editors (Stuart Baird Sigvaldi J. Karason Valdis Oskarsdottir) must have either thought they’d died and gone to heaven or hell depending on how much of a pain it was to cut the film. Whatever the scenario together with newbie director Peter Travis they keep the action taut and suspenseful. Each character’s POV lends itself to more information as the plot unfolds piece by piece culminating with a whopper of a car-chase scene that should leave you clenching your teeth. The use of electronic devices in the attack is also noteworthy as the main terrorist basically accesses his PDA to 1) shoot the president 2) explode bombs and 3) send the pictures of the destruction to all his friends. OK he actually doesn’t do that last part but he certainly could with that handy device of his. The only drawback to the whole scenario is the implausibility of it all--and the lack of back story. Suspending disbelief we can do but in Vantage Point’s case a little explaining would have helped.
Starred in film, "Girl of the Rio", which drew formal protest from the Mexican government for portraying the Mexican system of justice as "a reflection of who could pay the most for the verdict of their liking"
Returned to Mexico; signed contract giving her a percentage of the profits from her films
Beauty ranked second only to Garbo's by famed photographer Baron George Hoyningen-Huene in August issue of Photoplay magazine
One-shot return to Hollywood at John Ford's request; played opposite Henry Fonda in Ford's "The Fugitive"
Journeyed to England to star in "Accused"
Appeared in first American film in nearly a dozen years, opposite Anthony Quinn in "The Children of Sanchez"; also her last
Painter friend Adolfo Best Maugard brought honeymooning director Edwin Carewe and his wife Mary Aiken and married film stars Claire Windsor and Bert Lytell to visit Del Rios; Carewe offered Del Rio a Hollywood contract
Criticized during the McCarthy era of the 1950s for having aided anti-Franco refugees from the Spanish Civil War
Debuted on Mexican stage in Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windemere's Fan", which she had filmed in Buenos Aires in 1948
Selected as one of 13 WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) "Baby Stars" of the year
Arrived in Hollywood August 27
Family fled to Mexico City to escape Pancho Villa
Under contract to RKO in early 1930s
Began taking dancing lessons from noted dancer Felipa Lopez (date approximate)
Made US TV debut in "Old Spanish Custom", an episode of the "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars"
Returned to Hollywood; played Elvis Presley's mother in "Flaming Star"
Debuted onstage in New England summer stock touring production of "Anastasia"
Voice first heard on film in part-talkie, "Evangeline"
After small parts in four films, played first important lead in "What Price Glory?"
Film acting debut in "Joanna"
Easily one of the most beautiful women of her era and one of the most gorgeous people ever to make it to the ranks of film stardom. Del Rio's career in the 1920s and 30s unfortunately suffered from too many exotic, two-dimensional roles designed with Hollywood's cliched ideas of ethnic minorities in mind. Her best-remembered film from this period is "Flying Down to Rio" (1933), which partnered Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for the first time. One of her more interesting parts was her last American lead, in "Journey Into Fear" (1942), set up by and co-starring Del Rio's then paramour, Orson Welles. It took a return to the stage and screen in her native Mexico (where she won that country's equivalent of a Best Actress Oscar four times and was lauded as "the first lady of Mexican theater") and later Hollywood character parts (e.g., in John Ford's "The Fugitive" 1947 and his "Cheyenne Autumn" 1964) for her talent to be fully displayed.
Jamie Martinez Del Rio
married early in 1921 when Dolores was 15; 18 years her senior; divorced in December 1928; died soon thereafter after an operation in Berlin
Antonia Lopez Negrete de Asunsolo
descended from the Toltecs; died 1962
from a prominent Spanish-Basque family in Chihuahua; director of the Bank of Durango; died 1940
had long association with MGM; reportedly was bisexual; married in 1930; divorced in 1941
popular star of 1920s and early 30s; born February 6, 1899; found murdered October 31, 1968; second cousin
Dated Del Rio c. 1939-1942 while she was married to Cedric Gibbons ; acted together in the film, "Journey into Fear" (1942)
Convent of St Joseph
"I tried to interest my producers in stories about Mexico. I wanted to play a Mexican. But they preferred me to play a Frenchwoman or Polynesian ... There was a strong resistance to dwelling on a performer's national heritage." --Del Rio recalling her years in Hollywood, quoted in "Hispanic Hollywood" by George Hadley-Garcia
"As a beauty, Delores Del Rio is in a class with Garbo. Then she opens her mouth and becomes Minnie Mouse." --quoted attributed to John Ford