Forty minutes is more than enough screen time for Spanish director Luis Buñuel to state his case in Simon of the Desert. Claudio Brook portrays fifth-century Christian Simon (later St. Simon Stylites) who dispenses religious sagacity while standing on a tall column in the middle of the desert. Typical of Buñuel's hatred of the Church, the Devil (Silvia Pinal) is a far more entertaining and articulate spokesperson for his point of view than Simon is for Christianity. An abrupt, ill-suited ending suggests that Buñuel either tired of the subject and wanted to move on to other things, or that he ran out of money and had to wrap before the process servers showed up. This Mexican film was originally titled Simon del Desierto. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
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