Sunday, August 06, 2006


Looking back at most of Nora Aunor's films, I came to realize that there were a number of movies that the Superstar made with actors which I wouldn't have thought she'll have great chemistry with on screen Aside from the obvious choices, perennial screen partner Tirso Cruz III, drama king Christopher de Leon, comedy king Dolphy, action star Joseph Estrada and actor Jay Ilagan, there were male stars that I would never have imagined starring in a movie opposite the Superstar. For instance, when she was paired with 70's screen God Orestes Ojeda in 1978's Huwag Hamakin Hostess, I never thought that the two of them would look perfect together, but to my surprise they did! Their pairing was quite unexpected and not a lot of moviegoers went to catch the movie when it was shown in theaters but this Joey Gosiengfiao directed movie is worth a second look. A bit of warning, Nora's voice was dubbed by someone else and was a little distracting but otherwise, Huwag Hamakin Hostess is pure unadulterated fun.

When Vilma Santos was paired with Phillip Salvador in Rubia Servios (1978), I looked forward to the possibility of the actor teaming up with the Superstar in a movie. This came true when they made Nakaw Na Pag-Ibig in 1980 under Lino Brocka's direction. I was shocked to see the Superstar seducing Robert, Phillip's character in the film. Nora was never known for having done scenes similar to this one but she succeeded with flying colors. Her long quiet glances which conveyed sexual charisma was just the perfect emotion for this particular scene. Another actor known for his movies with the Superstar's archrival was Eddie Rodriguez. In the only film they did together, 1977's Pag-Ibig Ko'y Awitin Mo, I was astonished by their onscreen chemistry! Their's was a different kind of team-up and is surely not to be compared with his film outings with Vilma Santos.

While the Superstar's pairing with then matinee idol Gabby Concepcion in the comedy Totoo Ba Ang Tsismis? (1980) was unexpected, the two actors looked extremely comfortable working in front of the camera. Adding to the movie's kilig factor was a scene where Cora Afable, the nurse taking care of mental patient Gabriel Araneta helps him take a shower in one of the film's key scenes. Once again, this only happens in Nora Aunor films. Fans were excited to have seen them together on the big screen. Moviegoers went in droves to watch the movie making it one of Regal Films' biggest hits. Director Maryo J. de los Reyes who was responsible for the success of this movie did the impossible twenty four years later when he paired rising young actor Yul Servo with the Superstar in the May-December film Naglalayag (2004). In the movie Nora played a Dorinda, a menopausal Judge who got smitten with Noah, a young taxi driver almost half her age. The onscreen chemistry was evident in their first scene together which took place one rainy night. One would believe that they're truly in love with each other.

Of course who can forget the movies she made with Ronald Corveau (Atsay, 1978), Mat Ranillo III (Palengke Queen, 1982), Bembol Roco ('Merika, 1984), Miguel Rodriguez (Tatlong Ina Isang Anak, 1987) and Ronaldo Valdez (Banaue, 1975). But one of those special pairings was with Tommy Abuel in Danny Zialcita's T-Bird At Ako (1982). With both actors playing lawyers in the film, Nora matched Tommy's fire in the courtroom scene. A perfect example of great acting! The scene has to be seen to be believed.

As I continue re-visiting the Superstar's films, I'll post more thoughts on her movies with different leading men. It truly inspires me to take a closer look at her films' that made a huge impact in Philippine Cinema.