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Wednesday, May 8, 2013


"Higit sa Lahat"(1955)
LVN Pictures
Release Date April 30- May 9, 1955/ Life
Story Mario Mijares Lopez
Music S.S. Suarez
Direction Dr. Gregorio Fernandez
Cast Rogelio dela Rosa, Emma Alegre, Ike Jarlego, Jr., Oscar Keese, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Vic Silayan, Eddie Rodriguez, Cynthia Gomez

Stills/ LVN Pictures

Higit sa Lahat tells of a father’s love for his family, making a supreme sacrifice to give them a new lease on life. Directed by Dr. Gregorio Fernandez, the movie won numerous awards--- five Famas awards (best picture, actor, story, editing and sound) and two awards in the 1956 Asian Film Festival (director and actor).
Screen legend Rogelio dela Rosa is Roberto, a principled man and scion to a wealthy family, who inherits nothing when he defies his father’s wishes and marries Rosa (Emma Alegre). Not enough money to support his wife and two kids (Cynthia Gomez and Ike Jarlego, Jr.), Roberto ends up as a hired help in a laboratory factory. An explosion occurs in the factory and Roberto is believed to have perished in it, together with the other workers. Fortunately, at the time of the accident, he is in a province on an errand and learns of the insurance money, a P10,000 death benefit enough for his family to get a better chance at living--- a new home, education for the children, among others. He decides to stay away from his family and assumes a new identity. It’s a supreme sacrifice on his part. But not for long--- the family is first and foremost in his mind. When he read of his wife‘s engagement to another man, he finally comes home. Here’s that concluding part---

Courtesy of LVN Pictures

Literary Song-Movie Magazine/April 1955


TheCoolCanadian said...


You seem to have a complete collection of Gregorio Fernandez' films.

I didn't realize that even him, like Gerardo de Leon, was also influenced by Douglas Sirk’s expressionistic style and visual technique (a school of thought in German cinema which was championed by the likes of Murnau and Wiene) of his raw and down-to-earth characters, giving life to delicate subjects in the so-called “romantic heavy dramas".

Even the contrivances in some parts, i.e., the train scene where, of all places, Rogelio finds the newspaper announcing the wedding of his wife – are indeed truly and deliberately Sirkian. When he left after being discovered at the house and Miss Alegre runs after him, looks quite Sirkian as well, something Joey Gosiengfiao would do by literally making the scene "plastic" where the characters parade on stage like fashion models. But, I totally agree with Mr. Fernandez that the family reconciliation looks more cinematic (a big scene, so to speak, in the middle of the road), with all the Christmas decors enhancing the melodrama, than ending it lamely inside the house.

And just like most Sirk's films, the happy ending (or the suggestion of it) is present, though analyzing deeper, the viewer realizes that this outward display of hope is actually the reverse of what is really going to happen: Rogelio will now face prosecution for insurance fraud.

Fernandez' films are actually quite reminiscent of Gosiengfiao's. And both filmmakers were brilliant, I must say.

Video 48 said...

Nice observation, JM! Films like "Magnificent Obsession" and "Written on the Wind" come to mind. Thanks for the inputs!

Rodolfo Samonte said...

This is my favorite Tagalog movie, just ahead of Hanggang Sa Dulo ng Daigdig, the Pancho Magalona starrer where he also won best actor. I saw this movie just once (at Center), and has stayed in my consciousness for a long time. I don't even remember the story (well, now I do), but I remember feeling good after watching it, and same as Pancho, I predicted both Rogelio and Emma would win the Famas, as well as best picture (well, 2 out of 3 is not bad as Emma didn't win but she was I believe nominated). Thanks for showing the clip.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Oh, Rosa Rosal won the Best Actress Award that year. Just curious who won so I googled it. Do you know if Emma Alegre was nominated for Higit sa Lahat, and who were the other nominees?

Video 48 said...

Rod, Emma Alegre was nominated for the movie. The other nominees were Leila Morena (Pandora), Rosita Noble (Torpe), Lolita Rodriguez (Rosanna) and Rosa Rosal (Sonny Boy). Yes, Ms. Rosal won the award.

Rodolfo Samonte said...

Thanks for the list of nominees. Somehow I couldn't find in Google. I think I remember the movie and Rosa Rosal's performance, but I was rooting for Emma Alegre. Looks like veterans (Leila Morena, Rosita Noble, Rosa Rosal) against the younger upcoming generation(Emma, Alegre and Lolita Rodriguez). This may have been Lolita's first nomination (just guessing). BTW, Lolita Rodriguez lives here in Southern California, she's alive and well. I just met her daughter and son-in-law. She lives in Hemet, out there in the desert, not far from Los Angeles.


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