Jose here with a dose of religious controversy, Mexican divas and whippin' fun...
Even if it's dated, slightly campy and a very minor entry in Luis Buñuel's filmography, 1951's Susana contains some wonderful elements that would resonate throughout the Spanish auteur's entire career.
The plot centers around Susana (Rosita Quintana pictured above) a mysterious woman who escapes jail with help from-gasp- God! She is locked up in a cell with rats, bats and scorpions and prays for the Lord to help her out of there. Before you can be shocked Buñuel is already giving us a cross symbol after which Susana acquires superhuman force, breaks the bars and escapes.
She finds shelter in an hacienda where she lowers her cleavage, bounces her blonde hair, pouts her lips and seduces all the men-including the owner and his son- and causes the otherwise God fearing wife (Matilde Palou pictured below) to go all devil like...
...but not before she also prays and asks the Lord to give her strength to whip Susana and find a way to kick her out of her home.
Buñuel always had issues with Catholicism and whatnot, but what intrigued me about this film was how he implies religion isn't always used for rightful deeds. Not only that, it's exclusively the women in the film who use God to their convenience as if he was another man they could flirt with and get their way. Chauvinism? Social satire? or plain old scandal-seeking behavior from his part? You be the judge. Buñuel himself was never pleased with how Susana turned out (too happy for his taste) but like everything he made it's quite worth the look.