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Katy Jurado Movies on TCM: First Oscar-Nominated Mexican Actress

Katy JuradoKaty Jurado: As part of TCM’s ongoing “Summer Under the Stars” series, the Mexican actress can be seen in 12 movies on Aug. 16. In the U.S., Jurado received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for the 1954 Western Broken Lance.
  • TCM’s “Summer Under the Stars” schedule – Aug. 16: Turner Classic Movies will be airing 12 titles featuring Hollywood’s Mexican import Katy Jurado.
  • This Katy Jurado article includes a brief overview of three of her TCM films: Broken Lance, Arrowhead, and Under the Volcano.

TCM’s ‘Summer Under the Stars’ schedule on Aug. 16: Focus on Katy Jurado, the first Mexican actress to receive an Academy Award nomination

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Turner Classic Movies’ “Summer Under the Stars” schedule – Aug. 16: TCM will be presenting 12 titles featuring Katy Jurado – a “Summer Under the Stars” first-timer notable as the first Mexican actress to be shortlisted for an Academy Award (in the supporting category for Broken Lance, 1954).

The good: TCM is devoting a whole day to one of the most internationally renowned Mexican performers of the 20th century.

The bad: TCM won’t be presenting any of Katy Jurado’s Mexican movies – unless, that is, you consider Man from Del Rio and Under the Volcano “Mexican.”

The sensuous: An imposing screen presence with large, piercing dark brown eyes, Jurado began her big-screen career in Mexico in the mid-1940s, going on to appear in nearly 20 features (e.g., Rosa del Caribe, El Seminarista), mostly in supporting roles and second leads.

Her Hollywood debut took place in 1951, in a small part as Gilbert Roland’s wife in Budd Boetticher’s Mexican-set romantic drama Bullfighter and the Lady. (The titular lady is Casablanca’s U.S. actress Joy Page.)

From then on, Jurado would work on both sides of the Rio Grande/Río Bravo del Norte. On the south side, she would get the occasional lead or near-lead role, most notably as Pedro Armendáriz’s fiery, amoral lover in one of Luis Buñuel’s best efforts during his “commercial” phase, the 1953 melodrama El Bruto. On the north side, however, Jurado would remain a – admittedly, well-regarded – secondary player but never a star like her Mexican predecessors Dolores del Rio and Lupe Velez.

Landmark latter-day ‘pioneer’?

Now, don’t believe the nonsense that Katy Jurado changed the way Mexican (or even more absurdly, “Latina”) actresses/characters were depicted in American movies. There were coolly “dignified” types before Jurado (del Rio, for one) and there would be lots of spicy, fire-spitting señoras and señoritas after her.

Something else: If Jurado was a Hollywood “pioneer,” as some have described her at various outlets, what does that make of del Rio and Velez, whose U.S. careers began in the mid-1920s?

Below is a brief overview of three Katy Jurado movies: Broken Lance, Arrowhead, and Under the Volcano. (See TCM’s Katy Jurado “Summer Under the Stars” schedule further below. Most titles will remain available for a while on the Watch TCM app.)

Broken Lance (1954)

Just like anything can be turned into a musical (add some songs), just about anything can be turned into a Western (add some cacti). For instance, a samurai actioner (Seven Samurai | The Magnificent Seven), a psychological-philosophical drama (Rashomon | The Outrage), a military comedy adventure (Gunga Din | Sergeants 3), a Shakespearean comedy (The Taming of the Shrew | McLintock!).

Directed by former Hollywood Ten member Edward Dmytryk (he eventually denounced some of his co-workers, so he was let go), the Western Broken Lance is a remake of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s 1949 film noir/family drama House of Strangers. What the former lacks in terms of mood and atmosphere, it (sort of) compensates for by the use of color and CinemaScope.

And whereas Broken Lance doesn’t have either Edward G. Robinson or Susan Hayward, it does have Spencer Tracy at the start of his more restrained phase as the Grand Seigneur of Hollywood actors. A more eye-catching plus: Jean Peters, whose beauty has apparently precluded critics and film historians from acknowledging what a capable actress she could be (e.g., Pickup on South Street, A Blueprint for Murder).

In a role intended for Dolores del Rio, who was denied a U.S. visa because of her purported communist sympathies, eventual Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Katy Jurado is featured as a Comanche woman – brown makeup and all. Robert Wagner is her and Tracy’s “half-caste” son.

Now, if you’re offended by, let’s say, Alec Guinness wearing brown makeup as an Arab in Lawrence of Arabia and as an Indian in A Passage to India, make sure to be consistent and feel deeply offended by the sight of a Mexican national in brown makeup passing for a Native American.

While at it, add insult to injury by reminding yourself that Katy Jurado should have been nominated for an Oscar for Fred Zinnemann’s High Noon (also in the TCM lineup).

Arrowhead (1953)

No, this isn’t the story of a Nestlé-owned Western U.S.-based bottled water company that spent decades siphoning water from California’s San Bernardino National Forest.

Written and directed by Charles Marquis Warren (a godson of [a drunk] F. Scott Fitzgerald), the Technicolor Western Arrowhead stars future Oscar winner Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur, 1959) as a Texas-based Indian scout who is confident that the Apaches are plotting to renege on a treaty that would have them expelled – ahem, transferred – to a reservation in Florida.

Katy Jurado plays a half-Apache, half-Mexican (a nationality, not an ethnicity, but never mind) laundress who becomes the scout’s romantic/sexual interest after he is snubbed by a white widow (Mary Sinclair, who, in photographs, looks like a cross between Ida Lupino and Ruth Roman). But can the “half-breed” – with no U.S. ties – be trusted?

According to the website Once Upon a Screen…, Arrowhead was last shown on TCM in 1998. So don’t miss this chance, as there may not be a TCM – or, for that matter, an inhabitable Planet Earth – in 2048.

Katy Jurado Under the Volcano Albert FinneyKaty Jurado in Under the Volcano, with Albert Finney. In Mexico, Jurado received four Ariel Awards (the “Mexican Oscars”): Best Supporting Actress for El Bruto (1953) and Divine (1998), Best Actress for Fe, esperanza y caridad (1974), and a Special Golden Ariel in 1997.

Under the Volcano (1984)

Following the death of her son Victor Hugo Velázquez (his father was actor Víctor Velázquez) in a road accident in 1981, Katy Jurado took time away from acting.

John Huston reportedly convinced her to return to work, casting the 59-year-old actress in his Mexican-set drama Under the Volcano, based on British author Malcolm Lowry’s 1947 novel about a U.K. consul spending an alcohol-fueled Day of the Dead in Cuernavaca in 1938.

As the permanently inebriated diplomat, Albert Finney – who knew a thing or two about what it feels like to be boozed up – was shortlisted for his fourth Best Actor Oscar. Whatever you may think of Finney’s overall performance, no one can deny that the outrageous cockroach sequence made him deserving of at least a nomination. (The winner that year was F. Murray Abraham for Milos Forman’s Amadeus.)

In Under the Volcano, Katy Jurado has a small role as the off-the-mark local psychic. Also in the cast: Anthony Andrews and Jacqueline Bisset looking fantastic while delivering one of her more nuanced performances.

Immediately below is TCM’s Katy Jurado movie schedule.

TCM’s ‘Summer Under the Stars’ schedule: Katy Jurado

Aug. 15, EDT

6:00 AM A Covenant with Death (1966)
1h 37m | Drama
Director: Lamont Johnson.
Cast: George Maharis, Laura Devon, Katy Jurado, Earl Holliman, Arthur O’Connell, Sidney Blackmer, Gene Hackman, John Anderson, Wende Wagner, Emilio Fernández, Kent Smith.

8:00 AM Barabbas (1962)
2h 24m | Semi-historical Epic
Director: Richard Fleischer.
Cast: Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado, Harry Andrews, Vittorio Gassman, Norman Wooland, Valentina Cortese, Jack Palance, Ernest Borgnine.

10:30 AM Stay Away, Joe (1968)
1h 41m | Musical
Director: Peter Tewksbury.
Cast: Elvis Presley, Burgess Meredith, Joan Blondell, Katy Jurado, Thomas Gomez, Henry Jones, L.Q. Jones, Quentin Dean, Anne Seymour.

12:30 PM Trial (1955)
1h 45m | Drama
Director: Mark Robson.
Cast: Glenn Ford, Dorothy McGuire, Arthur Kennedy, John Hodiak, Katy Jurado, Rafael Campos, Juano Hernandez, Robert Middleton, John Hoyt, Paul Guilfoyle, Elisha Cook Jr.

2:30 PM Trapeze (1956)
1h 45m | Drama
Director: Carol Reed.
Cast: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Gina Lollobrigida, Katy Jurado, Thomas Gomez, Johnny Puleo, Minor Watson, Gérard Landry.

4:30 PM Man from Del Rio (1956)
1h 22m | Western
Director: Harry Horner.
Cast: Anthony Quinn, Katy Jurado, Peter Whitney, Douglas Fowley, John Larch, Whit Bissell, Douglas Spencer.

6:15 PM The Badlanders (1958)
1h 25m | Western
Director: Delmer Daves.
Cast: Alan Ladd, Ernest Borgnine, Katy Jurado, Claire Kelly, Kent Smith, Nehemiah Persoff, Robert Emhardt, Anthony Caruso, Adam Williams.

8:00 PM High Noon (1952)
1h 25m | Western
Director: Fred Zinnemann.
Cast: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney Jr., Harry Morgan (as Henry Morgan), Ian MacDonald, Lee Van Cleef, Sheb Wooley.

9:45 PM Broken Lance (1954)
1h 36m | Western
Director: Edward Dmytryk.
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Katy Jurado, Hugh O’Brian, Eduard Franz, Earl Holliman, E.G. Marshall, Carl Benton Reid, Philip Ober, Robert Burton.

11:45 PM Arrowhead (1953)
1h 45m | Western
Director: Charles Marquis Warren.
Cast: Charlton Heston, Jack Palance, Katy Jurado, Brian Keith, Mary Sinclair, Milburn Stone, Richard Shannon, James Anderson (as Kyle James).

1:45 AM Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid (1973)
1h 46m | Western
Director: Sam Peckinpah.
Cast: James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson, Richard Jaeckel, Katy Jurado, Chill Wills, Barry Sullivan, Jason Robards, Bob Dylan, R.G. Armstrong, Luke Askew, John Beck, Richard Bright, Rita Coolidge, Jack Elam, Emilio Fernández, Paul Fix, L.Q. Jones, Slim Pickens, Charles Martin Smith, Harry Dean Stanton, Rutanya Alda, Elisha Cook Jr., Gene Evans, Dub Taylor.

4:00 AM Under the Volcano (1984)
1h 49m | Drama
Director: John Huston.
Cast: Albert Finney, Jacqueline Bisset, Anthony Andrews, Ignacio López Tarso, Katy Jurado, James Villiers, Emilio Fernández.

“Katy Jurado Movies on TCM: First Oscar-Nominated Mexican Actress” notes

Katy Jurado “Summer Under the Stars” schedule via Turner Classic Movies.

Albert Finney and Katy Jurado in Under the Volcano movie image: Universal Pictures | 20th Century Fox.

“Katy Jurado Movies on TCM: First Oscar-Nominated Mexican Actress” last updated in August 2023.

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