Thunder Among the Leaves

Last updated
Thunder Among the Leaves
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Armando Bó
Produced byNicolas Bó
Written by Augusto Roa Bastos
Based onLa hija del ministro
by Augusto Roa Bastos
Music by
CinematographyEnrique Walfisch
Edited byRoselino Caterbetti
Distributed byFilms AM
Release date
October 2, 1958
Running time
99 minutes

Thunder Among the Leaves (Spanish : El trueno entre las hojas) is a 1958 Argentine drama film directed by Armando Bó, starring himself, Isabel Sarli, Ernesto Báez and Andrés Laszlo. The screenplay by Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos was based on his short story La hija del ministro. [1] [2] Set in Paraguay, the story is about a strike at a sawmill. [3]


The first film to feature full frontal nudity in Latin American cinema, Thunder Among the Leaves scandalized audiences and became a major box office success on the continent. It rocketed Sarli to stardom and is now considered a cult classic. [4]


The arrival of the boss's young wife unearths laborer tensions accumulated after many years of deprivation and maltreatment. The story is a social drama about the exploitation of man. [5]



Sarli's inclusion in the film was inspired by Brigitte Bardot's role in And God Created Woman . [6] Thunder Among the Leaves was filmed with the same camera used in Leopoldo Torres Ríos' Pelota de trapo in 1948 and Leopoldo Torre Nilsson's Días de odio in 1954. [7]

During principal photography, Bó convinced Sarli to get naked in a scene in which she bathed in a lake though he had told her earlier that she would wear a flesh-colored bodystocking. [8] [9] Although Bó told Sarli they would shoot from afar, the camera lens had magnification. [8]


Isabel Sarli in a film still of Thunder Among the Leaves Isabel Sarli en El trueno entre las hojas.jpg
Isabel Sarli in a film still of Thunder Among the Leaves

Critic Gustavo J. Castagna felt that the aesthetic of Thunder Among the Leaves was reminiscent of the social commentary films by Hugo del Carril and Mario Soffici. [6] Critic Sergio Wolf described Bó's films during this time as serial and each followed the generic pattern described by Arnold Hauser: the exaggerated and sharp, the harsh and exotic. Wolf said that Thunder Among the Leaves exhibits this pattern when Julio, who has nothing to lose, lets his passion boil over and rapes Flavia. [6]

The film was a highly controversial box-office success. [10] [11] Argentine newspaper La Nación wrote in 1969 that the film left an extraordinary international mark and was one of Argentina's biggest blockbusters over recent years. [12] In November 1958, The News and Courier reported that "a saucy Latin lass has smashed South American box office records with the most daring dunking since Hedy Lamarr disrobed to fame in Ecstasy." [13] The movie's premiere in Montevideo, Uruguay, broke box office records, and Sarli's bath scene "rocked some Latin American capitals". [13] In April 1959 Brian Bell of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote, "There was nothing particularly exciting about the movie except Miss Sarli, in a birthday suit swimming scene. It was a box office smash in South America." [14] However, Sarli was panned by fellow filmmakers for the nude scene. [13]

Cultural impact

Movie audiences have discovered that a dip in the nude can be extremely refreshing. ... Bathing sequences in Isabel's first movie, The Thunder Among the Leaves, made the film an instantaneous box-office smash and Isabel a star. In pointed contrast to the Bardot school of scenery, it is interesting to note that there is virtually nothing childish about Isabel's charms.

Playboy Magazine , April 1960 [15]

The film featured Isabel Sarli in her first starring role and made her a sex symbol. It also marked the beginning of her partnership with Armando Bó. The partnership spanned almost three decades and made numerous sexploitation films. [10] [16] [17] Now considered a classic, [8] [10] the bath scene was the first one to feature full frontal nudity in Argentine cinema, [9] [17] and in all of Latin America. [18] The News and Courier wrote "the opening in Buenos Aires was hailed as the start of a new era for Argentina's movie industry" after the end of Juan Perón's service as president and his propaganda techniques. [13] Thunder Among the Leaves was the star vehicle for Sarli and made her and Bó internationally renowned. [19] The nude scene, particularly, is said to have "[sparked] her star phenomena". [16] The scandal caused by it attracted the international press and Sarli soon appeared in publications such as Time and Life . [20] The film made her popular and at the premiere of her second film with Bó, Sabaleros (1959), a crowd of young fans mobbed her as she got to the cinema, ripped her dress and broke through a police cordon, which caused Sarli to faint twice. [21] The Star-Banner reported "Buenos Aires moviegoers could not remember a more surprising and delirious reception for an Argentine movie actress." [21]

See also

Related Research Articles

Augusto Roa Bastos Paraguayan writer

Augusto Roa Bastos was a Paraguayan novelist and short story writer. As a teenager he fought in the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia, and he later worked as a journalist, screenwriter and professor. He is best known for his complex novel Yo el Supremo and for winning the Premio Miguel de Cervantes in 1989, Spanish literature's most prestigious prize. Yo el Supremo explores the dictations and inner thoughts of José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, the eccentric dictator of Paraguay who ruled with an iron fist, from 1814 until his death in 1840.

Cinema of Argentina

Cinema of Argentina refers to the film industry based in Argentina. The Argentine cinema comprises the art of film and creative movies made within the nation of Argentina or by Argentine filmmakers abroad.

The cinema of Paraguay has historically been small. However, this has begun to change in recent years with films like El Toque del Oboe (1998); María Escobar (2002); O Amigo Dunor (2005), which competed for Best Movie in the Rotterdam International Film Festival; Hamaca Paraguaya (2006), which was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, gaining critical acclaim both in Paraguay and abroad; 7 cajas (2012); Latas Vacías (2014); and Luna de Cigarras (2014).

Armando Bó Argentine actor, director and screenwriter

Armando Bó was an Argentine film actor, director, producer, screenwriter and score composer of the classic era. He is mostly known for his sexploitation films in the 1960s and 1970s starring his favorite actress and romantic partner, sex symbol Isabel Sarli. His works include the first nude scene in an Argentine film.

La Diosa impura is a 1963 Argentine-Mexican film, directed by Armando Bó and directed by Carmelo Santiago.

<i>La Leona</i> (film) 1964 film by Armando Bó

La Leona is a 1964 Argentine film directed by and starring Armando Bo with Isabel Sarli.

Desnuda en la arena is a 1969 Argentine comedy film written and directed by Armando Bó. It stars sexploitation icon Isabel Sarli and comedian Jorge Porcel.

<i>Fiebre</i> (film) 1971 film by Armando Bó

Fiebre, also known as Fever, is a 1971 Argentine sexploitation film directed, produced and written by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli.

<i>Furia infernal</i> 1973 film by Armando Bó

Furia infernal, known in English-speaking territories as Ardent Summer, The Hot Days or, in the Carne Sobre Carne: Intimidades de Isabel Sarli documentary rendering, The Horny Days, is a 1973 Argentine drama film directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli.

<i>Intimacies of a Prostitute</i> 1974 film by Armando Bó

Intimacies of a Prostitute is a 1974 Argentine sexploitation drama film directed by Armando Bo and starring Isabel Sarli, Jorge Barreiro, and Sabina Olmos. Various dates of the release have been given, some as early as 1971 or 1972.

<i>Insaciable</i> 1976 film by Armando Bó

Insaciable is a 1976 Argentine erotic drama film written and directed by Armando Bo. It stars Isabel Sarli as a "worried nymphomaniac in search of satisfaction or cure". The film was highly controversial in Argentina due to its nudity and sexual content and lesbianism. This was played upon with a film poster documenting extracts from the Argentine press condemning the film and documenting those calling for it to be banned or censored.

Isabel Sarli Argentine actress and glamour model

Hilda Isabel Gorrindo Sarli, nicknamed Coca, was an Argentine actress and glamour model, known for starring in several sexploitation films by Armando Bó, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. She began her career as a model and beauty queen, becoming Miss Argentina and reaching the semi-finals of Miss Universe 1955. She was discovered by Bó in 1956 and made her acting debut the following year with Thunder Among the Leaves, in which a controversial nude scene featuring Sarli made it the first film to feature full frontal nudity in Argentine cinema.

Eladio Martínez Paraguayan musician

Eladio Martínez was born in Paraguarí, Paraguay, on May 19, 1912, son of Lorenzo Martínez and Nicolasa Benítez. He belonged to a family of musicians. His father was a bandleader of a group formed entirely by his relatives in Villarrica.

<i>Fuego</i> (1969 film) 1969 film by Armando Bó

Fuego is a 1969 Argentine sexploitation film written, produced and directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli. It is one of the many erotic films that the couple made between 1959 and 1980.

<i>A Butterfly in the Night</i> 1977 film by Armando Bó

A Butterfly in the Night is a 1977 Argentine comedy-drama film directed by and starring Armando Bo alongside Isabel Sarli.

El trueno entre las hojas meaning may refer to:

<i>Palmera</i> (film) 2013 film

Palmera is a 2013 Argentine independent film directed by Leo Damario and starring Micaela Breque, Ceci Barros, Macarena Del Corro, Alina Jaume, Geraldine Guillermo and Érica García. The plot revolves around a group of six girlfriends who go to a large house in Tigre experimenting with psychoactive drugs, until one of them has a stroke.

<i>La señora del intendente</i> 1967 film by Armando Bó

La señora del intendente is a 1967 Argentine comedy film directed by Armando Bó and starring Isabel Sarli and Pepe Arias. The film had a sequel "Una Viuda descocada" (1980), which was Bó last film.

<i>Carne</i> (1968 film) 1968 film by Armando Bó

Carne is a 1968 Argentine sexploitation film written and directed by Armando Bó. It stars Isabel Sarli as Delicia, a worker in a meat-packing factory where she becomes the victim of rapists.


  1. Marín, Ricardo (12 June 2007). "Roa Bastos: su obra cinematográfica". La Nación (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  2. "Augusto Roa Bastos y la literatura de América latina" (in Spanish). 28 April 2005. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  3. Sadoul, Georges (1983). Historia del cine mundial: desde los orígenes. Siglo XXII. p. 386. ISBN   978-9682305337 . Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  4. "La Coca Sarli y Armando Bo vuelven al cine". 26 Noticias (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  5. El trueno entre las hojas (1958) (in Spanish), archived from the original on 2018-08-14, retrieved 2019-01-10
  6. 1 2 3 Arnaud, Charlotte; Collectif; Courtemanche, Philippe; Fernandes, Carla; Morsch Kihn, Eva (1999). Cinémas d'Amérique latine N° 7/1999. Presses Univ. du Mirail. ISBN   978-2858164479 . Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  7. Curubeto, Diego (Director) (2007). Carne sobre carne (Documentary film) (in Spanish). Buenos Aires, Argentina: Produced by Javier Finkman and Flesh & Fire SRL.
  8. 1 2 3 Papic, Diego (1 October 2008). "La noche en que nació el mito". Clarín (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  9. 1 2 "La saga de los Bó". Rolling Stone Spain (in Spanish). 24 July 2013. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  10. 1 2 3 "A 50 años del debut de Isabel Sarli en el cine". Perfil (in Spanish). 1 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  11. Vallejos, Soledad (2001). "La Coca y nada más". Página/12 (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  12. "La belleza y talento de Isabel Sarli". La Nación (in Spanish). 14 December 1959. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  13. 1 2 3 4 Summerlin, Sam (9 November 1958). "Stardom Follows Nude Movie Bath". The News and Courier . Retrieved 26 October 2013.[ dead link ]
  14. Bell, Brian (9 April 1959). "Girls Chase Him; He Chases Them". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette . Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  15. "The Wild Belle of the Pampas". Playboy . 7 (4): 64–67. April 1960.
  16. 1 2 Ruétalo, Victoria; Tierney, Dolores (2009). Latsploitation, Exploitation Cinemas, and Latin America. Routledge. pp. 201–213. ISBN   9780203878927 . Retrieved 26 October 2013.
  17. 1 2 Papic, Diego (26 October 2008). "El tronar de la Coca en Mendoza". Estilo (in Spanish). Los Andes. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 19 October 2013.
  18. Schroeder Rodríguez, Paul A. (2016). Latin American Cinema: A Comparative History. University of California Press. p. 317. ISBN   978-052-028-863-8.
  19. "Mar del Plata Fest gears up for new edition". Buenos Aires Herald . 28 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  20. Diego Curubeto (2007). Carne sobre carne (film) (in Spanish). Argentina: Flesh & Fire SRL.
  21. 1 2 Giraldez, Veronica (8 April 1959). "Argentine Finds Answer To Brigitte". Star-Banner . Retrieved 10 November 2013.