This year marks the 95th year of Philippine cinema and the centennial is scheduled in 2019. Let us go back to the years before and after the war in the 1940s when the film industry was barely a quarter of a century then.
Three film companies were already churning our films during that decade. These included the Big 3 of Philippine cinema during its initial years—LVN Pictures, Sampaguita Pictures and Premiere Productions.
Hereunder are some of the films produced by one of these studios, LVN Pictures:
Prinsesang Basahan- The film was the first starring role for Tessie Quintana whose leading man was Armando Goyena. It was a costume film set during the swashbuckling era of royal princes and princesses.
Ibong Adarna- The film boasted a star-studded cast headed by Mila del Sol, Fred Cortes, Ester Magalona, Vicente Oliver, Deanna Prieto, and Ben Rubio. Even the supporting cast was formidable with the likes of Miguel Anzures, Canuplin, Cecilio Juaqin, Rosario Lim, Regio Villa and Juan Rodriguez. It was under the technical supervision of Manuel Conde and directed by Vicente Salumbides.
Orasang Ginto- This post-War film retold the heroic deeds and sacrifices of Filipino freedom fighters in Bataan and Corregidor during the Second World War. The film was directed by Manuel Conde and starred Mila del Sol, Rodrigo ‘Bimbo’ Danao, Domingo Prinsipe and Elvira Reyes who was introduced in this film.
Garrison 13- This was another post-War war picture which starred Rogelio dela Rosa, Mila del Sol, Linda Estrella and Jaime dela Rosa. The supporting cast included Jaime Castellvi, Naty Bernardo ,Eusebio Gomez, Salvador Zaragosa, Fidel de Castro, Engracio Ibarra, Rony Santos, Jose Corazon de Jesus, Jack Tuazon and Gil de Leon. It was directed by Gregorio Fernandez.
Prinsipeng Hindi Tumatawa- This costume love-drama film starred Rogelio dela Rosa and Mila del Sol . They ere supported by Elvira Reyes, Erlinda Cortes, Jaime Castellvi and Rey de Guzman under the direction of Manuel Conde.
Sarung Banggi- This film, a musical-drama genre, starred by Rogelio dela Rose, Mila del Sol and Tony Arnaldo. They were supported by Rosa Rosal, Alfonso Carvajal, Citas Gonzales, Engracio Ibarra, Rosa Mia and Lolita Santos. A woman director, Susana C. de Guzman, helmed the film.
Violeta- Another film by Susana C. de Guzman, this starred Jose Padilla Jr., Mila del Sol and Tony Arnaldo.
Sumpaan- The film featured a love triangle story with a cast that included Norma Blancaflor, Tony Arnaldo and Ely Ramos.
Sa Kabukiran- Another musical, this film starred Lilian Velez and Narding Anzures, a popular LVN loveteam during that period.
Huling Dalangin- The studio’s Christmas presentation, the cast featured Norma Blancaflor and Tony Arnaldo, supported by Rosa Rosal and Victor Banadaw Sevilla.
Waling-Waling- This film was shot at the Maria Cristina Falls in Mindanao and starred Jaime dela Rosa and Rebecca Gonzales. It was one of the box office hits of that time.
Tanikalang Papel- The film starred Jaime dela Rosa and Norma Blancaflor with Alfonso Carvajalin a supporting role.
Pista sa Nayon- Another LVN trademark musical film, it was located in a rural setting to show how barriofolks celebrate their town fiesta. It starred Jose Padilla Jr., Rebecca Gonzales, Tessie Quintana and Victor Sevilla. The film was directed by Manuel Silos.
Engkantada- This fantasy film based on a search for a buried treasure starred Jaime dela Rosa, Lilia Dizon, Lilian Velez, Alfonso Carvajal, Pugo and Tugo.
Binibiro Lamang Kita- A romantic drama directed by Carlos Vander Tolosa, this film starred by Ely Ramos, Norma Blancaflor, Narding Anzures, Lilian Velez, Nati Rubi, Florentino Ballecer, Pugo and Tugo.
Gitano- A retelling of the wandering gypsies, the film starred Jaime dela Rosa, Rebecca Gonzales and Delia Razon.
Kuba sa Kiyapo- Apparently inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this film starred Leopoldo Salcedo and Mila del Sol. The hero was a hunchback by day who became normal again by night by a miracle. He sought revenge and justice for the misfortunes of his family . The hero was played by Jaime Castellvi and the film was directed by Nemesio Caravana.
Kampanang Ginto- The film starred Carmen Rosales and Rogelio dela Rosa and tells the love stpry between a novelist and a singer.
Virginia- A love drama during the Japanese Occupatrion, this film starred Tessie Quintana, Armando Goyena and Rosa Rosal .
Heneral Gregorio del Pilar- A bioflick of the youngest Filipino general, this film starred Jose Padilla Jr., in the title role, and Tessie Quintana. The story highlighted the heroism of the young general during the Fil-American war after the end of the Spanish regime.
Batalyon XIII- Another film based on the guerilla days during the War, this starred Jaime dela Rosa and Carmen Rosales as star-crossed lovers. It was directed by Manuel Silos and shot in Ausco-Color by LVN Pictures.