Released in 1950, Los Olvidados (The Forgotten Ones, aka The Young and the Damned), is a film by Spanish-Mexican director Luis Buñuel. It tells the story of a group of extremely poor children, and their struggles to survive in the slums of Mexico City.
Unlike other films of the same period it makes not attempts to idealize its characters as "poor but with a good heart"; and instead shows how the misery surrounding said characters actually contributes to the development of corruption and evil in the young minds.
The story begins when "El Jaibo" escapes from the juvenile jail and reunites with his gang, which consists almost entirely of children. He leads them in criminal activities in order to earn money, but he's also seeking revenge from the person he thinks is responsible of sending him to jail, a young man named Julián. After luring him out of his job, El Jaibo comfronts Julián directly but then attacks him from behind and beats him savagely. Pedro, a young boy part of El Jaibo's his gang, witness the incident and is forced to keep the secret means guilt, as El Jaibo gives him part of Julián's money. Later, its revealed that Julián died as result of his injuries, and this sets the start of Pedro's spiralling down into fear and tragedy.
The film was not well received by the government and nationalist critics, and had to be taken out of the theaters after only four days. Later, when Buñuel had won the best director award at the 1951 Cannes Film Festival, the film was re-released in the Mexican teathers, lasting over 2 months this time.
This movie provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents - Pedro's mom.
- Based on a True Story - The movie claims to be based on "real life facts".
- Byronic Hero - Pedro.
- Crapsack World
- Dirty Old Man - Don Carmelo, the blind in; and pedophile to booth.
- Downer Ending: And HOW.
- Executive Meddling - Buñuel was forced to make an alternative "happy ending", which fortunately(?), was not included in the final cut.
- Kids Are Cruel - The "Trunk Man" scene, where a legless man is robbed, and to top it, deprived of his cart, apparently just for fun.
- Mind Screw - Pedro's dream to some extent, El Jaibo's death, more definetively.
- Mrs. Robinson - It's strongly implied that Pedro's mom plays this role to El Jaibo.
- No Name Given - "Ojitos"
- Parental Abandonment - Ojitos, Pedro's mother.
- Shoot the Shaggy Dog
- What Could Have Been - Buñuel originally conceived this movie as a melodramatic series about a kid who sold lottery tickets.