During the years before the war up to the end of the 1950s, many local films were adapted from komiks and serialized novels and the father of Filipino komiks, Mars Ravelo, had a hefty contribution to this genre.
Hereunder is a compilation of such films, led by seven films from the fertile imagination of Mars Ravelo.
Baby Bubut—First alphabetically but the last in terms of date released, this Ravelo komiks-based film starred Amalia Fuentes (the original Miss Number 1) in the title role with Juancho Gutierrez (the original Mister Number 1) as her leading man. It was produced in 1958 by Sampaguita Pictures.
Bondying—Fred Montilla portrayed the popular man-boy character of Ravelo with Myrna Delgado as his leading lady. The film was produced
by Sampaguita Pictures in 1954.
Buhay Pilipino—This film starred the reel and real-life loveteam of Pancho Magalona and Tita Duran as the lead performers. This 1952 film, also based on a komiks series by Ravelo, was also produced by Sampaguita Pictures.
Darna—The most popular and immortal komiks heroine of all time, this Ravelo superhero was first portrayed by Rosa del Rosario. In this initial dana film, the cast also included Mila Nimfa as Narda, Manuel Ubaldo as Ding and Cristina Aragon as Valentina. It was directed by Fernando Poe Sr. under his film outfit Royal Productions.
Diyosa—Based on another Ravelo komiks, this 1957 fantasy film starred Rita Gomez in the title role with co-star Ric Rodrigo (who later became her husband) and again produced by Sampaguita Pictures of the Vera Perez Clan.
Inspirasiyon—One of Ravelo‘s few dramatic stories, this film starred Carmen Rosales, Norma Vales, Van de Leon and Katy dela Cruz. Produced in 1953 by Sampaguita Pictures .
Jack and Jill—A hilarious komiks story of a gay brother and his tomboyish sister, this film starred Rogelio dela Rosa, Lolita Rodriguez and Dolphy. Produced in 1954 by the Vera Perez Clan of Sampaguita Pictures.
Following are films adapted from komiks and serialized novels by renowned novelists of that time:
Among Tunay—Based on a novel of Liwayway Arceo, this film starred Mario Montenegro and Delia Razon. Produced in 1956 by LVN Pictures.
Anino ni Bathala—Based on a story penned by another komiks great, Pablo Gomez, this film starred Paraluman, Ric Rodrigo, Marlene Dauden and Eddie Garcia. It is a love triangle involving two sisters fighting over the love of one man. Serialized in Pilipino komiks, the film was directed by Conrado Conde for Sampaguita Pictures.
Black Beauty—Adapted from the Pilipono komiks novel of A. S. Tenorio and Manuel Dante, this film starred Charito Solis, Bernard Bonnin, Robert Campus, Perla Bautista, Carolina Herranz, Arturo del Castillo and Maria Miranda. It was directed by Susana de Guzman for LVN Pictures.
Bulaklak na Walang Pangalan—Based on a 1948 novel by Hilaria Labog, this film starred Tita Duran and Pancho Magalona as a reel and0 produced by Sampaguita Pictures.
Cofradia—Based on a noved written by Dominador Ad. Castillo (the father of Director celso Ad. Astillo), this film starred Gloria Romero in the title role of a black-skinned beauty with Ramon Revilla Sr. and Myrna Delgado as her co-stars. This 1953 fantasy movie was produced by Sampaguita Pictures.
Guerrero—Based on a Hiwaga Komiks novel by Cirio Santiago, this costume swashbuckling flick starred Johnny Monteiro, Arsenia Francisco, Eddie del Mar, Edna Luna and Ramon D’ Salva. It was produced by People Pictures under the direction of Teodorico Santos.
Ha-Cha-cha—Adapted from a Liwayway magazine novel of Nemesio Caravana, this film starred Jose Padilla Jr., Olivia Cenizal, Corazon Rivas and Jose Romulo. The film was also directed by its writer, Nemesio Caravana, for a Premiere Productions presentation of a People’s Pictures.
Hiyasmin—Written by Gemiliano Pineda, this film featured Nida Blanca in the title role of a Muslim woman wo was the target of affection of a military officer played by Nestor de Villa. This love story against the background of Christian and Muslin mis-understanding was produced by LVN Pictures.
Hokus Pokus—Written by the tandem of Pilipino Komiks novelists Carlos Gonda and Rico Bello Omagap, this film starred Jose Padilla Jr., Efren Reyes, Anita Linda and Edna Luna. It was directed by Cesar Gallardo in the early 50’s for People Pictures of Premiere Productions.
Leron-Leron Sinta—Based on a story written by Teodoro Virrey, this film starred Lucita Goyena, Fernando Poe, Sr. and child star Angelito Nepomuceno. It was produced in 1939 was by Nepomuceno Productions.
Lihim ng Kumpisalan—Written by venerable writer Dr. Fausto Galauran of Bulaklak magazine, this film starred Pancho Magalona who portrayed the role of a priest jailed for not revealing the secrets of the confessional with Linda Estrella as his lead actress. It was produced in 1952 by Sampaguita Pictures.
Margarita—Adapted from another Bulaklak novel written by Artemio Marquez, this film starred Pancho Magalona, Olivia Cenizal, Carol Varga and Elvira Reyes. It was also dircted by its writer for Peoples Pictures of Premiere Productions.
Sumpaan—Written by poet-novelist Inigo Ed. Regalado, this film starred Norma Blancaflor, Tony Arnaldo and Ely Ramos. It was produced in 1948 by LVN Pictures.
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