TV Classics: Cuna de Lobos

Cuna de lobos is a Mexican telenovela, which was produced by and broadcast on Televisa from 1986- 1987. The serial, about the struggle for power within a wealthy Mexican dynasty, was enormously popular in its native Mexico, and also as an export to several countries, including the United States and Australia.

The most memorable character in Cuna de Lobos, and central to its storylines and themes, is matriarch Catalina Creel, played by actress María Rubio, a villainess in the grand dramatic tradition of Dynasty’s Alexis Carrington, or Dallas’ J.R. Ewing.

Via Wikipedia

The main character is Leonora, played by Diana Bracho, who portrays the victim of the “lobos”, only to “become” a “loba” herself to seek revenge.

Catalina’s unnatural devotion to her eldest son caused her conceal a healthy eye behind the lie of blindness, commit a series of murders beginning with her own husband, Carlos (his crime: realising how truly evil she was) and finally to participate in the abduction of a child to ensure her son’s inheritance was confirmed.Such is the impact of her performance, that telenovela’s villainess take her as a role model, and when a program parodies a telenovela, the main villain is usually based on her.Popularity

Cuna de Lobos was so popular in its native country that on the night of the final broadcast, the streets of Mexico City – famously choked with traffic – were deserted as the locals were in their homes glued to their TV screens. It has been re-screened several times in the United States and Australia in recent years. Televisa has announced that they’re working on a remake for the end of 2007, a year after the 20th anniversary of this telenovela.Other versions

The storyline of “Cuna de Lobos” is somewhat similar to the story of the movie “The Anniversary” (1968), starring Bette Davis.

There is a version of “Cuna de Lobos” produced in Spain (2002), called “La Verdad de Laura”, with Mónica Estarreado, Mariano Alameda and Mirtha Ibarra.

Awards

The Best Telenovela of the Year”, TVyNovelas Award in 1987. In 2006. TvyNovelas named it the best telenovela ever!

Plot

In the opening episode, Carlos Larios, the head of the international pharmaceuticals giant Lar Creel, tells his cruel wife Catalina Creel, who wears an eye patch, that he knows the terrible secret she has concealed for many years – and that he intends to expose her and change his will.

To protect such a secret and to stop him from changing the will, she poisons Carlos’ orange juice. He drinks it and drives off to work.

Meanwhile, Leonora Navarro (Diana Bracho), a young girl from San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, works in Mexico City and lives in the house of her godmother Esperanza (Carmen Montejo). That morning a car crashes through the glass windows of the offices where Leonora works and she tries to help the driver, who is none other than Carlos Larios, and has had a fatal heart attack due to the poison he drank. After taking his wallet to look for someone to call, Leonora contacts Mr. Larios’ son Alejandro, who is grateful for Leonora’s help and honesty (she returns all the money she found on Mr. Larios). They both like each other and decide to keep in touch.

Carlos Larios however, gets his revenge from beyond the grave. His will stipulates that whichever of his sons – Alejandro (Alejandro Camacho) or Jose Carlos (Gonzalo Vega) – produces a son and heir first, will inherit control of Lar Creel. Catalina is glad because Alejandro has an advantage over Jose Carlos who is unmarried and doesn’t seem to want to either. On the other hand, Vilma (Rebeca Jones) who is Alejandro’s wife, can get pregnant any time. But what Catalina doesn’t know is that Vilma is sterile and only she and Alejandro know it.

To win his inheritance, the evil Alejandro wooes and secretly “marries” Leonora in a false wedding, and she falls pregnant. Some time later, Catalina discovers that Vilma’s pregnancy is false; she doesn’t like it, but when Alejandro tells her about Leonora, she agrees to become Alejandro and Vilma’s accomplice to take Leonora’s son. When Leonora’s godmother accidentally discovers the lie, she confronts Alejandro only to suffer a stroke and Alejandro wants to leave her to die. She survives though, but temporarily loses her speech and motor skills and Catalina and Alejandro lock her up in a nursing home under a different name.

In the meantime, José Carlos is constantly humiliated and taunted by Catalina who blames him for gouging her eye out with a a toy when he was a child. José Carlos, who loves Catalina like a mother, while she in reality hates him with a passion, is full of guilt since that accident. Catalina, alone in her room, takes the patch off and the secret is revealed: that the eye she claims was blinded by Jose Carlos (Carlos’ son from a previous marriage)is in fact healthy, a secret perversely intended to destroy the boy’s self-confidence and allow his little brother Alejandro (Carlos’ and Catalina’s son) to flourish.

The time comes for Leonora to give birth. With lies, Alejandro takes her to San Miguel Allende, to the clinic of a certain Dr. Zíndel, where she is cared for by the sinister nurse Rosalía. When the baby is born, Alejandro and Catalina take the child and leave Leonora in the clinic, instructing Rosalía to tell her that the child was stillborn. When Leonora wakes up from the anesthesia, Rosalía follows the orders but is rebuffed by a resolute Leonora who remembers seeing the baby alive before she passed out. To silence her, Rosalía and Dr. Zindel (following orders from Catalina to get rid of her) plan to kill her. Leonora sees Rosalía coming for her with a gun, hides, and hits her on the head with a statue. Leonora escapes the clinic in the night and arrives at a friend’s house where she finally collapses. The now-insane with grief Leonora is taken to an asylum where after a year she recovers. Alejandro returns to Mexico City and passes the child off as his and Vilma’s, his beloved wife, and they name him little Edgar.

Leonora, meanwhile, rises Phoenix-like from the flames of betrayal, and in a succession of schemes marries herself to Jose Carlos, the slighted brother, and moves herself and her godmother Esperanza into the Larios mansion, the place she calls a den of wolves (hence the title) – all with the clear intention of unmasking Alejandro’s deception, recovering her child and punishing Catalina and Alejandro for their sins. She begins to fight as a wolf herself in order to recover her child. One thing happens that she wasn’t counting on: she and Jose Carlos have fallen deeply in love.

Catalina, of course, is not a woman to take such an attack lying down. She retaliates, protecting the crime and her secret through a series of murders (all perpetrated by Catalina in a disguise).

The story begins to unravel as Catalina’s crimes become known. Her killing spree reaches the climax when, thinking that José Carlos y Leonora will fly in the family’s private jet, she alters the fuel to make the plane explode and kill them both. However, at the last minute, Alejandro begs Jose Carlos to let him use the plane instead to take Vilma, who is now dying with uterine cancer, to Houston for treatment. José Carlos obliges, and it is Alejandro and Vilma who are flying on the plane when it explodes in mid-air.

Catalina, who in the meantime is battling the police that have come to arrest her, and has killed a detective by electrocuting him in her swimming pool, commits suicide with the same poison she used on Carlos Larios when she finds out that she’s accidentaly killed her own son.

Leonora finally recovers her son and changes his name to Braulio, like her father. She is now happy and is expecting a baby from Jose Carlos. She and Jose Carlos, who has inherited everything, move in to the Larios mansion to live their lives happily.

Years later, Braulio and his little brother, sneak into Catalina’s room to play. Their parents had decided to lock it up and never tell the children of the dark past that surrounds that room. They play in that same room where Catalina killed herself. By accident, Braulio finds the box containing all of Catalina’s eye patches. His little brother asks him: “Braulio, let’s go eat!” He turns around to face him, and wearing an eye patch like Catalina, he eerely says: “I’m not Braulio. I am Little Edgar!”

The credits roll for the last time.

One Response to TV Classics: Cuna de Lobos

  1. Pingback: Jardim » Orvalho do Jardim sem nome e da Rosa Dourada For

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