Cantinflas – Test Your Cultural Knowledge

Cantinflas: This month celebrates the 107th birthday of Cantinflas, one of Mexico’s most beloved figures. When we originally relocated to Puerto Vallarta, we used the television to learn Spanish; telenovelas (soap operas), dubbed foreign films, and the movies of Cantinflas, produced from 1936 to 1981. To say Cantinflas was prolific in his career is a true understatement. Born Mario Fortino Alfonso Moreno Reyes, he adopted the made-up name Cantinflas to hide from his family while he worked as a circus performer, learning his performance skills as a young man.

Cantinflas sense of humor infected everyone; he was known for countless characters representing many walks of life. As a pelado (vagrant), the foremost costume of Cantinflas was baggy trousers held up with a rope and a flamboyant moustache. He well a self taught acrobat and could take on the persona of multiple identities. Charlie Chaplin called him the best comedian of all time. He was revered in Mexico but also found a home in Hollywood, winning a Golden Globe for his performance in Around the World in Eighty Days. Cantinflas costarred in the film with David Niven, which won several Academy Awards, including Best Picture. This opened doors for Cantinflas and made way for other Latino actors’ acceptance and success.

Cantinflas involved himself with politics on both sides of the border. Like Groucho Marx, he made fun of the rich and authoritative; government at all levels, including police and pompous traffic cops; anyone in a powerful position. Books have been written about him, his personal life, influence on theater and politics, and actual history as it unfolds in Mexico. He was portrayed by artists such as Diego Rivera as a representation of the Mexican everyman. In the early 1960’s, he campaigned in Texas for the Democrats and helped stage an upset in the Texas State Senate that gave a seat to Henry B. González, the first Latino elected, who served from 1961 – 1999.

Cantinflas had the uncanny knack for confusing whomever he spoke, with the ability to obscure an issue to where anyone present lost the meaning of the point of the original conversation. This concept has been adopted into Mexican culture and Spanish dictionaries actually include the term Cantinflear, a manner of speech. If you hear someone in Puerto Vallarta use the term “İestás cantinfleando!” you can be sure it’s an accusation; someone is working very hard to make sure they are not being understood! Whether in a courtroom; on the streets negotiating the price of tamales; or trying to attract a date… cantinflada is common jargon.

Que es cómo es

Thanks to our guest blogger Adam Garcia for this article!  (opionons expressed are his own)

Do You Want To Live The Ultimate Villa Experience? Thinking Of Renting a Puerto Vallarta Luxury Vacation Villa or Condo? Let Our Beston Properties Team Find You The Perfect Luxury Vacation Villa Rental in Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit, Mexico. Try Our ‘Perfect Villa Finder’ Tool Here.

For more information about Puerto Vallarta, Mexico or a Villa for rent contact Beston Properties offers the finest Luxury Villa Vacation Rental Accommodations in the Puerto Vallarta and Punta Mita area.  Our private rental homes and Condos offer a full range of services from a full staff including chef and a concierge to organize any tours, spa services in the home or Car Rental.    We have offices located in Puerto Vallarta and have all the local information from Vallarta weather and maps.  All of their agents are personally familiar with each of the accommodations, amenities and staff to help you find the best rental property in Puerto Vallarta.   Our concierge services will be happy to give you informationon the best restaurants for dining out in Puerto Vallarta we can make reservations and give you directions. We have all the most current information to guide you for your holiday in Puerto Vallarta from our daily weather report to maps and directions..   WE can arrange activities with any tour company including Vallarta Adventures, one of the most popular companies in Banderas Bay.  We represent the best quality of homes for rent by owners who care about your comfort and hope you return for many years of unforgettable Mexican holidays.  For more information check out our luxury accommodations.

Let's Plan Your Next Vacation

Scroll to Top