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Friday, August 29, 2008


Efren Reyes, Sr. was a popular action star of the 50s appearing mostly in action and costume epic movies. Efren’s grandfather was the celebrated Lola Basyang author, Severino Reyes, also the author and producer of Walang Sugat, the most popular of local zarzuelas. He started his career at an early age doing supporting roles in such movies as Hiram na Pangalan (1948) and Wala na akong Luha (1948). Kumander Sundang (1949) was his first break and biggest hit. He became Premiere Productions’ top contract star turning in memorable performances in Kapitan Bagwis (1951), Kapitan Berong (1953), Paltik (1954), Abenturera (1954), Pedro Penduko (1954), Ander Di Saya (1954), Mag-asawa’y di Biro (1954), Ifugao (1954), where he was awarded the Asian Film Festival Best Actor Award in 1955 and Kadenang Putik (1960), where he won the FAMAS Best Actor award. Two of his movies, Salabusab (1954) and Kalibre 45 (1957) were adjudged Famas Best Pictures. Known for his fencing skills, he appeared in many swashbuckling movies--- Prinsipe Don Juan (1950), Carlos Trece (1953), Prinsipe Villarba (1956), Haring Espada (1956), Prinsipe Alejandre (1957) and Eskrimador (1957). His sword duels with Johnny Monteiro in many movies they made together were a big treat to their legions of fans.

Reyes, according to his son, Efren Jr. in a recent article, pioneered the so-call Pinoy Western in Philippine movies, when his dad did Bandido in 1950. His colleagues then were reluctant and were not sold to the idea of doing the said movie because they saw it unrealistic as there were no cowboys in this country. The movie later turned out to be a big box-office hit that started the western genre in Philippine cinema.

He was also into film directing. His first directorial job was Haring Espada in 1956 using the pen name of Severino Reyes III. He likewise excelled in this field, gaining wide recognition and being nominated several times--- for Albano Brothers (1962), Sigaw ng Digmaan (1963), Pilipinas Kong Mahal (1965) and Dugo ang Kulay ng Pag-ibig (1966) He directed the legendary Fernando Poe, Jr. in many memorable movies, among them, Sigaw ng Digmaan (1963), which won the Famas Best Picture that year, Ito ang Maynila (1963), Daniel Barrion (1964), Baril na Ginto (1964), Ang Daigdig Ko’y Ikaw (1965), Pilipinas Kong Mahal (1965), Zamboanga (1966).

Reyes was married to actress Virginia Montes. They had six children, two of them; Cristina Reyes and Efren Jr. were also in show business.

He died of heart attack (see details) on February 11, 1968.

Kumander Sundang (1949)- Starring Rosa del Rosario, Efren Reyes, Fernando Royo/Directed by Gerardo de Leon

Hindi Ako Susuko (1949)- Starring Leila Morena and Efren Reyes/Directed by Alex M. Sunga

Bandido (1950)- Starring Efren Reyes, Virginia Montes, Enrico Pimentel,Fred Santos/ Directed by Ramon A. Estella/ Regarded as the first Pinoy western movie

Taga-ilog (1951)- Starring Efren Reyes, Nena Cardenas, Lopito, Helen Grace Prospero, Ruben Rustia/Directed by Consuelo P. Osorio

Kapitan Bagwis (1951)- Starring Efren Reyes, Anita Linda, Lopito, Oscar Keesee, Patria Plata/Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Paltik (1954)- Stars Jose Padilla, Jr., Efren Reyes, Arsenia Francisco, Virginia Montes, Mario Barri, Nello Nayo/ Directed by Cirio H. Santiago

Abenturera (1954)- Starring Efren Reyes, Corazon Rivas, Carol Varga, Jose Romulo/Directed by Nemesio Caravana

Ander Di Saya (1954)- Starring Efren Reyes, Leila Morena, Lopito, Ramon D' Salva/Directed by Nemesio Caravana

Salabusab (1954)- Starring Efren Reyes, Leila Morena, Juan 'Johnny' Monteiro, Fernando Royo/Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Pedro Penduko (1954)- Starring Efren Reyes, Edna Luna, Lopito, Ramon D' Salva, Ruben Rustia, Lito Anzures/Directed by Gerardo de Leon

Align Center

Ifugao (1954)- Starring Efren Reyes, Leila Morena, Juan 'Johnny' Monteiro, Gloria Sevilla, Fernando Royo/Directed by Gerardo de Leon

Sagrado (1955) Stars Efren Reyes, Leila Morena, Lopito, Lauro Delgado, Carol varga, Ruben Rustia, Nello Nayo, Cynthia Zamora/Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Eskrimador (1955)- Starring Efren Reyes, Edna Luna, Juan 'Johnny' Monteiro, Corazon Rivas, Lauro Delgado/Directed by Teodorico C. Santos

Desperado (1956)- Starring Efren Reyes, Olivia Cenizal, Lopito, Ramon D' Salva, Ligaya Lopez, Jose Garcia/ with Max ALvarado, Bino Garcia Tony Palomer/Directed by Ramon Estella

Prinsipe Villarba (1956)- Starring Efren Reyes, Olivia Cenizal, Jose Romulo, Cynthia Zamora, Lauro Delgado, Ramon D' Salva/Directed by Nemesio Caravana

Haring Espada (1956)- Starring Efren Reyes, Cesar Ramirez, Olivia Cenizal, Lopito, Marita de Leon, Ramon D' Salva/Directed by Severino Reyes III (Efren Reyes)

Espadang Umaangil (1957)- Starring Efren Reyes, Olivia Cenizal, Lauro Delgado, Melita De Leon, Nello nayo, Jose Garcia/Directed by Nemesio Caravana

Probinsiyana (1957)- Starring Efren Reyes, Olivia Cenizal, Jose Romulo, Cielito Legaspi, Vicente Liwanag/Directed by Josefino Cenizal

Kalibre .45 (1957)- Starring Efren Reyes, Danilo Montes, Edna Luna, Cynthia Zamora, Amado Cortez/ Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Ang Maton (1959)- Starring Efren Reyes, Zaldy Zshornack, Lani Oteyza, Miriam Jurado, Ronald Remy/Directed by Cesar Gallardo

Kadenang Putik (1960)- Starring Efren Reyes, Alicia Vergel, Leonor Vergara, Bob Soler, Ronald Remy, Lily Marquez and Tessie Quintana/Directed by Cesar Gallardo

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