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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Satur, created by Francisco V. Coching, appeared on the pages of Pilipino Komiks in 1950. It was adapted for the screen by LVN Pictures in 1951 under Lamberto V. Avellana direction. Manuel Conde played the title role of Satur, the devil incarnate and masquerading as a handsome, dapper young man in cape.

Satur/ Katha't Guhit ni Francisco V. Coching/
Pilipino Komiks/ 1950
(click images to enlarge)

click images to enlarge

(Source: Steve Santos' Unang Labas Blog)

Satur (1951)- Stars Jaime de la Rosa, Delia Razon and Manuel Conde/ with Alfonso Carvajal, Rosa Aguirre, Jose de Cordova/ Directed by Lamberto Avellana

Satur (played by Manuel Conde) was a handsome, wealthy, mysterious, young man who will give anything to the woman he loved. It was Cristina (Delia Razon), a pretty barrio lass, whom Satur wanted for his wife, but the young woman was already committed to Sendong (Jaime dela Rosa), a farmer. When Cristina’s mother fell ill and no cure can be found, Cristina went to Satur for help. A written contract or pact was signed and consummated between Satur and the family, wherein Cristina will be forever indebted to Satur. The mother got well. Later, Satur left town and entrusted all his wealth--- the mansion and everything to Cristina and her family. When the family learned that Satur died, they thought that the deal they entered to was already void with his death. Cristina went to Sendong to tell the good news. But Satur was not any ordinary human being; he was the devil incarnate disguising as a man. A deal is a deal--- and Satur insisted that Cristina was his forever. When the contract was not met, a curse was hurled on Cristina turning her into an old woman. Sendong will try anything to save Cristina, even at the expense of his life. The duel to the end with Satur was his only chance. An incredible and impossible task to do! Can he make it?

Here's the duel--- a rare film footage of the movie's final scene---

Courtesy of LVN Pictures


Rodolfo Samonte said...

Amazing story by Coching, plus his illustrations are one of his best, I think I like them better than his later ones, and to think this was done in 1951. Coching had his best illustrations in this time period... and he continued to refer back to his older illustrations, whenever and wherever it fits into the story line he was currently doing.
And the movie clip is great, where in the world did you get this? Must indeed be rare, thanks for sharing.
And of course, refreshing to see the beauteous Delia Razon, one of my favorites of that period.

TheCoolCanadian said...

Simon & Rod:

In the old komiks, the use of Deus ex machina was prevalent. I'm really surprised that Avellana did a film with this element. Let alone, the solution to the main plot point of the story!

Obviously, I missed this one.
He lectured to us in Cinema classes during my FEU days, and he never mentioned this one. Maybe he just did it for the extra income? Lol. I thought that it was only Gerry de Leon who succumbed to the use of Deus ex machina in IBULONG MO SA HANGIN, turned out that Avellana was even ahead of de Leon to use some devices from Greek tragedy.

Very typical of old komiks material. When the conflict seems to be unsolvable, God intervenes.
But the blocking of the scenes are still masterful. I won't mind seeing the whole film.

Is this available in Kabayan Central? I think Kabayan Central is the only one selling LVN films, am I right?

Rodolfo Samonte said...

This Deus ex machina device is still much in use today. Stephen King used it for his epic The Stand, also made into a successful TV miniseries.

TheCoolCanadian said...


Yes, I am aware of it that's why I didn't like The Stand at all. Some of King's books are truly stinkers like IT. Yet, he had written as well, truly brilliant ones such as: DOLORES CLAIBORN, STAND BY ME, CYCLE OF THE WEREWOLF, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and SALEM'S LOT (the original done in 1970s).

And even Francis Ford Coppola's DRACULA utilized the same device, but it's understandable because the material was written in the old days and seemed to be the order of the day.

What surprised me about this AVELLANA film was that, when he was lecturing in our Cinema classes, he always emphasized logic and believability in films. And seeing this one left me tongue-tied (except of course my fingers are now doing the talking). Lol.

But, in this day and age, stories with this device is quite schlock-ish for me. However, in today's bad writing, unaware writers tend to use COINCIDENCES instead of Deus ex Machina, and this is quite a letdown for me as Deus ex Machina.

I don't mind seeing Deus ex Machina in Biblical stories, but for contemporary stories, it's really nice to see the protagonist solve his predicament by using courage and/or intelligence, instead of being acted upon by Divine Power. Creativity always save the day.

Stephen King's SILVER BULLET (based upon Cycle of the Werewolf) is one denouement I would rather see in a movie or read in a novel.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Maybe Avellana is not to blame, maybe he simply followed Coching's story to the letter. I don't know exactly how the komiks ended, but I am sure Avellana would not have deviated from Coching's storyline.

TheCoolCanadian said...

"I don't know exactly how the komiks ended, but I am sure Avellana would not have deviated from Coching's storyline."


Possibly. Maybe Avellana didn't want to disappoint the komiks readers (the ones he called endearingly "bakya crowd" – a term that was misconstrued by the critics as something derogatory later).

In a way, GERRY DE LEON was more daring than Avellana when it comes to artistic license.

In EL FILIBUSTERISMO, for instance, Rizal made Simoun commit suicide while he was being chased by the guardia civiles.

In the film version, Gerry de Leon changed the denoument. He made KABESANG TALES shoot Simoun to death instead.

A very popular novel to the Filpinos, written by their national hero, and here's Manong Gerry CHANGING the scenario!

And I loved it! :)

This was more logical than the book. Kabesang Tales have had enough of Simoun's shennanigans, and after trampling on the old guy, Simoun deserves his comeuppance for his past abuses.

What's more, De Leon made Simoun one heck of a coward with a capital C. As far as this film director was concerned, Simoun Is just TOO COWARD to commit suicide (drink poison! That's the most painful death one can have! Not for the weak of hearts like Simoun, I must say).

That's why, despite the brilliance of both Avellana and De Leon (and they're both my favorites), Manong Gerry definitely weighed heavier than Avellana in the creativity department.

And, based on the posted komiks, Coching had indeed – ended the story with Deus ex Machina, just like the way Avellana ended his film.


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