The Pedro Infante Museum in Mazatlan - El Rincón de Pedro Infante Learn about the art and history of Mexican singer and actor Pedro Infante, a native of Mazatlan and Sinaloa, at one of the best house museums in Mazatlan!
Whether you are a huge Pedro Infante fan or barely aware of his work, a visit to the Pedro Infante Museum in Mazatlan will open your eyes to one of the great film and music stars of the mid 20th century.
If you're not familiar with the astounding career of Pedro Infante, here's a little background before you go to the museum...
Born in Mazatlan on November 18, 1917, Pedro Infante -- formally Pedro Infante Cruz -- is arguably the most important star of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, a period that is generally defined as starting in the mid 1930s and lasting to the late 1960's.
Pedro Infante's first film credits are in El Organillero (The Organ Grinder), a lost short film, and En Un Burro Tres Baturros (Three peasants from Aragon on a Donkey), both from 1939.
After playing a minor role in Puedes Irte De Mí (You Can Leave Me) in 1940, Infante was given the starring role of Valentín Terrazas in the comedy Jesusita En Chihuahua (Jesuit in Chihuahua) in 1942, and Mexican audiences fell in love.
Three male superstars emerged in 1940s and early 1950s Mexican cinema: Jorge Negrete, Infante and the slightly younger Javier Solis.
Collectively known in the press as the Tres Gallos Mexicanos (Three Mexican Roosters), all died young within a decade spanning the late 1950s and 1960s.
Pedro Infante made an astounding 62 films in his 18 year career, nearly all of which he starred in. Extremely versatile, his performances encompass dramatic roles to slapstick comedy -- and everything in between.
Infante was a natural actor who worked perfectly with all of his co-stars and other actors, whether they were male or female, young or old.
The extraordinary quality and range of his acting, his beautiful singing and an unquantifiable charisma made Infante unique in Mexican cinema history.
In his prolific film career Infante played the loyal friend, the good son, the young romantic in love, the wise caring father, the sexy singer, the macho-man with a soft heart. His acting moved Latin audiences, who found in his characterizations truths about their own lives.
His relationship with the older Mexican actress Sara Garcia in a number of the films -- she is often referred to as Mexican Cinema's Grandmother -- is particularly touching, and often very funny.
Pedro Infante in El Inocente (complete)
Infante's fame -- not only in Mexico but throughout Latin America -- and the phenomenon of his stardom is unmatched by any Latin actor since. Virtually all of Infante's films were box-office hits and many continue to be broadcast daily on television in Latin America.
Infante was loved by the critics as well as the people.
He received an Ariel (the Mexican Academy Award) for Best Actor in 1956 for La vida no vale nada and, after his death, was awarded the Silver Bear at the 1957 Berlin Film Festival and Hollywood's Golden Globe in 1958, both for his performance in the drama Tizoc.
The most popular of Infante's many hits were the dramas Nosotros, los pobres (1948), Ustedes, los ricos (1948) and Pepe El Toro (1953) and the comedies Los tres Garcías (1947), ¡Vuelven los Garcia! (1947), Los tres huastecos (1948), A.T.M. ¡A toda máquina! (1951), ¡¿Qué te ha dado esa mujer?! (1951) and Dos tipos de cuidado (1953).
If you want to stage a Pedro Infante film festival in your home, the video rental stores in Mazatlan carry DVDs of his films, and the Pedro Infante Museum will no doubt sell them as well.
Infante's career as a singer was as prolific as was his acting career. In just 13 years -- 1943 to 1956 -- Infante recorded a remarkable 366 songs, many of which are classics such as:
Amorcito Corazón (My Little Love and Heart), Así Es La vida (Life Is Like This), Carta a Eufemia (Letter to Eufemia), Corazón (Heart), Dicen Que Soy Mujeriego (They Say I Am A Womanizer), Dulce Patria (Sweet Fatherland), El Durazno (The Peach), La Que Se Fue (She Who Left), Maldita Sea Mi Suerte (Cursed Be My Luck), Mañana Rosalía (Tomorrow Rosalía), Mi Cariñito (My Little Darling), Nocturnal, Cien Años (Hundred Years), Te Quiero Así (I Love You Like This) and ¿Qué Te Ha Dado Esa Mujer? (What Has That Woman Given You?).
Pedro Infante infuses Mazatlan and all of Sinaloa State: born in Mazatlan, Infante lived much of his adult life in Guamuchil and El Rosario.
He was, without a doubt, a risk-taker who performed dangerous stunts for his films himself, rather than having stunt-doubles perform them for him -- as producers, co-stars and friends begged him to do.
Infante was also clearly fascinated with fast vehicles, whether it was a motorcycle, a sports car or a airplane and the last of these -- airplanes -- would lead to his untimely death.
As a wealthy and beloved Mexican film and recording star, Infante had many opportunities to play with very adult toys.
By the time of his fatal accident, Infante had become an experienced pilot -- he'd gotten his pilots' license in 1947 at Guamuchil, Sinaloa -- and had owned many aircraft including a Bellanca, an Aeronca 7AC Champion, a Cessna T-50, a Taylorcraft, a DC-3 and a DC-47 -- and more.
By the decade of the 1950s Infante was a Captain Pilot Aviator (CPA) license holder, with more than 2000 logged hours of flight time.
But there had been several crashes and his second -- in 1949 in the Cessna T-50, near Zitacuaro, Michoacan State -- was a real brush with death: Infante sustained a severe head wound that could only be closed with a metal plate.
The airplane crash that killed Pedro Infante took place just after take-off at the Manuel Crescencio Rejón International Airport at Merida in Yucatan State.
Early on the morning of April 15, 1957, Pedro Infante, along with Captain Víctor Manuel Vidal and mechanic Marciano Bautista boarded a Consolidated B-24J Liberator (registration XA-KUN) owned by the Mexican airline TAMSA.
The World War II bomber had been converted for use ferrying air freight -- and was known to have a history of mechanical problems. The plan was to fly to Mexico City, and regular Command Pilot Edgardo Alatorre was told that he could have the day off: Captain Víctor Manuel Vidal would be in the left seat and Infante would serve as co-pilot.
The plane took off before 8am carrying six tons of cargo and at little more than 300 feet altitude began to experience problems, first banking steeply to the right, then climbing steeply, then banking steeply to the left.
Over the heart of Merida boxes of fish and rolls of fabric, the cargo, began flying out of the plane, either because the load had broken free or as an intentional attempt by Bautista and either Infante or Captain Vidal -- its not clear who was at the controls -- to lighten the load as they struggled to control the aircraft.
The B-24 crashed in a residential Merida neighborhood and burst into flames, killing all aboard and three on the ground.
The shock of Infante's death shook all of Mexico, and nowhere more so than in Mazatlan and other communities in Sinaloa where so many knew him personally.
The El Rincon de Pedro Infante museum in Mazatlan evokes the triumph and tragedy of Infante's rich life, and includes numerous personal items donated by many of his friends.
Once you have enjoyed all of the museums' treasures, walk over to the malecon and stroll up the hill at the south end of Olas Altas beach.
Not far up the hill you will find the bronze Pedro Infante motorcycle sculpture (GPS N 23°11"67' W 106° 25" 65') serenely watching the waves roll on to the shore of his home town.