Salón México

Salón México is a 1949 Mexican film noir directed by Emilio Fernández and co-written by Fernandez and Mauricio Magdaleno.[1] It stars Marga López as a dance hall prostitute struggling to support her younger sister at an exclusive upscale school. It earned Lopez the 1950 Ariel Award for Best Actress and a nomination for the Ariel Award for Best Supporting Actor for Rodolfo Acosta.

Salón México
Salón México.jpg
Directed byEmilio Fernández
Produced bySalvador Elizondo
Fernando Marcos
Written byEmilio Fernández
Mauricio Magdaleno
StarringMarga López
Miguel Inclán
Rodolfo Acosta
Music byAntonio Díaz Conde
CinematographyGabriel Figueroa
Edited byGloria Schoemann
Clasa Films Mundiales
Distributed byClasa Films Mundiales
Release date
25 February 1949
Running time
95 minutes

The film is cited as a classic example of the Mexican genre of Cabaretera (Dance Hall film) about "a sympathetic character, a good woman forced into a bad life by circumstances beyond her control."[2] It was remade as a 1996 film of the same title starring María Rojo.

The film's sets were designed by the art director Jesús Bracho.


Mercedes works at the "Salón México" dance hall as a singer, dancer and prostitute. She is secretly supporting Beatriz, her younger sister, at an exclusive all-girls' college. Beatriz does not suspect what Mercedes is doing and dreams of marrying Roberto, a young Air Force pilot, who is the son of her school's principal. A dance contest with a large money prize of 500 pesos is announced and Mercedes enters it with Paco, her pimp. When they win, Paco refuses to share the prize money, giving her only the cheap trophy. A desperate Mercedes steals Paco's wallet while he sleeps. Lupe, a policeman, sees Mercedes discard the wallet.

The next day, Lupe confronts Mercedes who is visiting Beatriz outside the school. Lupe decides to help Mercedes instead of arresting her. Having fallen in love with Mercedes, Lupe pleads with her to marry him, and Mercedes accedes. However, Paco blackmails Mercedes, threatening to reveal her past to Beatriz and Roberto if she does not return with him. Mercedes stabs Paco who, while dying, shoots and kills Mercedes. Roberto and Lupe go together to collect her body from the morgue. Lupe does not reveal her past.


Further readingEdit

  • Arredondo, Isabel (2013). "3. The Qualities of Classical and Third-Wave Mothers". Motherhood in Mexican Cinema, 1941-1991: The Transformation of Femininity on Screen. McFarland. pp. 49–73. ISBN 9781476602387.


  1. ^ Horak, Jan-Christopher (November 2017). "Salón México (Mexico, 1949)". Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles. University of California Los Angeles. Retrieved 26 January 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Hershfield, Joanne (1996). "Cinema of the Cabaretera". Mexican Cinema/Mexican Woman, 1940-1950. University of Arizona Press. pp. 77–106. ISBN 9780816516377.

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