Mexico Movies

Mexico movies

Mexico, along with Argentina, has one of the biggest movie industries in Latin America.

This dominance was prevalent for the first half of the last century when both countries had comparable screen presence to both Europe and Hollywood within the Latin American market.

The cinematic history of Mexico dates back to 1896, when Guadalajara and Merida, later followed by Mexico city, were some of the first Latin American cities to see exhibitions of moving images.

Some of the first minute long films viewed in Mexico include 'The Magic Hat' and 'Arrival of a Train', both of which had queues of people waiting to view the filmed pieces.


By 1906, Mexico city had already opened 16 cinema theatres, such was the success of film in the capital.

1908 saw a rise in the popularity of propaganda films, as battles of the Mexican Revolution were filmed by enthusiasts, igniting the Mexicans movie interest further.

Mexico movies

Documentaries proved to be the most popular initially. The Mexican government at the time was pushing for censorship to 'save the lower classes from immorality' and as documentaries paved way for entertaining movies, 1913 saw a decree issued that morality had to be upheld and crimes could not be portrayed unless the guilty party be punished in the film.

1920's saw few films produced both in part due to the censorship and partly because of continued cuts in government budgets for Mexico's movies. A great many of the films produced up until this point were lost and have no records made of their production.

The first 'talkie' of the Mexico movies came in 1931, just 4 years after 'The Jazz Singer' had wowed audiences around the world with its sound. This was the decade when Mexico movies really gained their momentum as Hollywood was unable to match the pace and quality of Spanish language films for Latin American audiences.

Mexico continued its domination over Hollywood in Latin America throughout the 40's, the war in Europe proving to be in the movie industry's favour. Many actors and directors gained celebrity status. In 1943 alone, 70 Mexico movies were produced. The film Maria Candelaría, the first Mexican movie to appear at Cannes, won the Grand Prix and the films's cinematographer won an award for best cinematography.

The decade also saw the Rumberas genre of film produced which was highly successful with Latin Americans. The 1960's and 70's saw the rise of action and horror movies, many of which were successful internationally, followed by Sexicomedias towards the end of the period.

The Mexico film industry at the end of the 20th century was one of the most prevalent of Spanish speaking countries and continues to be so today.