Filmography: Susan Kelly, Edad 20 (1977)

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Basic Information: Directed: Maria Saret; Story, screenplay: Jun Posadas, Cecille Larrizabal; Cast: Vilma Santos, Dante Rivero, Anthony Alonzo, Romeo Enriquez, Chito Ponce Enrile, Cloyd Robinson, Sandy Garcia, Laila Dee, Ramon Zamora; Cinematography: Vic Anao

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Review: “…Alonzo was one of the busiest actors during that time and made a long list of true-to-life movies based on factual events and police records. Stardom came late for Alonzo. He was already 30 when he was given an important role in Hindi sa Iyo ang Mundo Baby Porcuna in 1978 for which he was nominated for the URIAN Best Supporting Actor. He was nominated in the FAMAS the following year for Dakpin si Junior Bombay (1979). In 1972, he won the FAMAS Best Actor for his role in Bambang. He also won the Best Actor awards in the 3 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) he participated in— for Bago Kumalat Ang Kamandag (1983), The Moises Padilla Story: The Missing Chapter (1985) and Anak Badjao (1987)…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig (1977)

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Basic Information: Directed: Elwood Perez; Story: Orlando Nadres; Screenplay: Elwood Perez, Orlando Nadres; Cast: Vilma Santos, Christopher De Leon, Mat Ranillo III, Amado Cortez, Lilibeth Vera-Perez, Anita Linda, Ma-An Hontiveros, Lillian Laing, Sandy Garcia, Cloyd Robinson, Laila Dee; Executive producer: Marichu Vera Perez; Original Music: Lutgardo Labad; Cinematography: Gener Buenaseda; Film Editing: Jose Tarnate; Production Design: Bobby Bautista

Plot Description: A wealthy couple’s sacrificing adopted son, Alonso (Christopher de Leon) and wayward biological son, Alvaro (Mat Ranillo III) vie for the love of the same woman, Estella (Vilma Santos).

Film Achievement: Official Selection – 1981 ASEAN Film Festival, Sydney Austarlia; 1978 Asia-Pacific Film Festival, Taipei Taiwan; 1978 FAMAS Best Supporting Actor – Mat Ranillo III; 1978 FAMAS Nomination Best Actor – Christopher De Leon

“…Elwood Perez and Vilma Santos colloborated in seven films. The first one was the trilogy that he co-directed with two other director, Borlaza and Gosiengfiao (these three are the most underrated and under appreciated directors in the Philippines), the remake of Mars Ravelo comic super hero, Darna in Lipad Darna Lipad. The film was a record-breaking hit Box-office Film. They follow this up with a more mature projects as Vilma started to switched her image from sweet to a mature versatile actress, pairing her with Christopher DeLeon in five films starting with Masarap Masakit Ang Umibig in 1977. The Perez-Santos-DeLeon team produced seven blockbuster hits that gave Vilma two FAMAS best actress awards that secured her elevation to FAMAS highest honour, the FAMAS Hall of Fame award. She won in 1979 for Pakawalan Mo Ako and 1988 for Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos…Total Number of Films with Vilma Santos: 7 (Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos 1988, Lipad Darna Lipad 1973, Magkaribal 1979, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig 1977, Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali 1978, Pakawalan Mo Ako 1981, Pinay American Style 1979)…” – RV (READ MORE)

Film Reviews: “…Walang ipinagkaiba ang pelikula sa ibang mga sineng tinalakay ang mga suliranin ng pag-ibig at pamilya. Makikitang pinagtuunan ng pansin ni direktor Elwood Perez ang disenyo ng pelikula ngunit hindi naging epektibo ang paggamit nito upang maiusad ang kuwento. Kahit sa pagganap ng mga pangunahing tauhan, animo sila’y nasa entablado. Nanlilisik ang mga mata, walang katapusang pagsisigawan, pagtutulakan at pagbubugbugan. Sa pelikulang ito, unang ipinamalas ang senswalidad ni Vilma Santos. Maraming eksenang sekswal ang aktres at maaari talaga siyang makipagsabayan sa mga tulad nina Alma Moreno at Trixia Gomez. Karamihan ng mga sitwasyong ibinigay sa kanyang karakter ay hindi kapani-paniwala. Nariyang gawin siyang modelo, sa ilang piling tagpo ipinakita din ang pagiging estudyante ni Estella ngunit hindi naman tinahak ang mga ito sa kabuuan ng pelikula. Hindi rin maikakaila ang husay ni Christopher de Leon bilang aktor ngunit sa pelikulang ito ay nasayang lamang ang kanyang pagganap. Hindi nabigyan ng tamang direksyon ang aktor kung kaya’t lumabas na sabog ang kanyang karakterisasyon. Si Mat Ranillo III naman ay tila hindi na natutong umarte. Kadalasa’y pinaghuhubad siya ng direktor sa mga eksena upang mabigyang pansin. Masyadong mahaba ang pelikula dahil na rin siguro sa panghihinayang ni direk Elwood na masayang ang magagandang eksenang kanyang nakunan ngunit hindi naman nakaapekto ang mga ito sa takbo ng istorya. Kadalasa’y nakababad lamang ang kamera at nakatanghod sa susunod na gagawin ng mga artista. Hindi ito nakatulong upang mapabilis ang takbo ng pelikula, nakakainip panoorin ang ganitong mga eksena. Ang Masarap, Masakit Ang Umibig ay basurang nababalot sa kinang ng makintab na sinematograpiya, disenyo at musika na nagbabalatkayong masining na pelikula.” Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…Her metamorphosis began in late 1976 when she agreed to be kissed by Rudy Fernandez in Makahiya at Talahib. It was a “feeler” of sort and when the public clacked its tongue in obvious approval, Vilma shelved her lollipops-and-roses image and proved that she, too, could be a woman – a wise move indeed because at that time her career was on a downswing and her movies were not making money. Then she did Mga Rosas sa Putikan for her own VS Films where she played a country girl forced into prostitution in the big city. The movie did fairly well at the tills. Good sign. And came her romance with Romeo Vasquez, boosting both their stocks at the box office (thier two starrers, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin and Pulot-Gata where Vilma did her own wet style, were big moneymakers). The tandem, although it did help Vilma, actually helped Vasquez more in re-establishing himself at the box office (without Vilma, his movies with other leading ladies hardly create any ripple). In Susan Kelly, Edad 20, Vilma played a notorious-woman role that required her to wear skimpy bikini briefs in some scenes, following it up with two giant sizzlers (Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon and Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig) that catapulted her as the newest Bold Queen. Then came Burlesk Queen…” – Ricardo F. Lo, Expressweek Magazine January 19, 1978 (READ MORE)

“…Elwood Perez and Vilma Santos colloborated in seven films (Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos 1988, Lipad Darna Lipad 1973, Magkaribal 1979, Masarap Masakit ang Umibig 1977, Nakawin Natin ang Bawat Sandali 1978, Pakawalan Mo Ako 1981, Pinay American Style 1979). The first one was the trilogy that he co-directed with two other director, Borlaza and Gosiengfiao (these three are the most underrated and under appreciated directors in the Philippines), the remake of Mars Ravelo comic super hero, Darna in Lipad Darna Lipad. The film was a record-breaking hit Box-office Film. They follow this up with a more mature projects as Vilma started to switched her image from sweet to a mature versatile actress, pairing her with Christopher DeLeon in five films starting with Masarap Masakit Ang Umibig in 1977. The Perez-Santos-DeLeon team produced seven blockbuster hits that gave Vilma two FAMAS best actress awards that secured her elevation to FAMAS highest honour, the FAMAS Hall of Fame award. She won in 1979 for Pakawalan Mo Ako and 1988 for Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos…” – RV (READ MORE)

Filmography: Amorseko Kumakabit Kumakapit (1978)

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Basic Information: Directed: Maria Saret; Story, screenplay: Ruben Arthur Nicdao; Cast: Vilma Santos, George Estregan, Ernie Garcia, Rez Cortez, Beth Bautista, Cloyd Robinson, Dick Israel, Laila Dee, Brenda Del Rio, Angie Ferro, Mary Walter, Odette Khan, Jarro Joaquin, Anita Linda; Original Music: Totoy Nuke; Cinematography: Vic Anao; Film Editing: Edgardo Vinarao

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Revies: No Available Data

Film Achievement: “…Estregan won critical acclaim for many of his performances. In 1972, he was named FAMAS Best Actor for Sukdulan, and would win two other FAMAS Awards for Best Supporting actor for Kid Kaliwete (1978) and Lumakad Kang Hubad sa Mundong Ibabaw (1980). He was nominated for the FAMAS Award three other times, as Best Actor for Lumapit, Lumayo ang Umaga (1975) and Lalake Ako (1982), and for Best Supporting Actor in Magkayakap sa Magdamag (1986). He also received a nomination from the Gawad Urian as Best Actor for Hostage: Hanapin si Batuigas (1977)…” – Wikipedia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Buhay Artista Ngayon (1979)

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Basic Information: Directed: Frank Gray Jr.; Story: Roy Vera Cruz; Screenplay: Tony Cruz; Cast: Dolphy, Vilma Santos, Freddie Quizon, Panchito, Babalu, Eddie San Jose, Cachupoy, Bayani Casimiro, Metring David, Georgie Quizon, Amay Bisaya, Danny Catindig, Pons De Guzman, Tatlong Itlog, Ellen Esguerra, Moody Diaz, Odette Khan, Cloyd Robinson, German Moreno, Ike Lozada, Florante, Joe Quirino; Executive producer: Rodolfo V. Quizon; Original Music: Dominic Salustiano; Cinematography: Amado De Guzman; Film Editing: Efren Jarlego; Sound: Gabby Castellano; Theme Songs: “Buhay Artista” performed by Dolphy, Music by Dominic Salustiano Lyrics by Florante

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: Dolphy and Vilma Santos did four films together. The first one was in her first year in show biz and in a Dolphy-Chichay film. After six years, the two reunited in one of early films of Nida Blanca and Dolphy. The film was sort of about family planning and birth control. Vi was in minor role and one of the child actors featured in the film. They followed this up with minor roles in the Cirio Santiago’s all-star-cast film. By later part of 1970s, both Dolphy and Vilma became a regular staples in award shows receiving several trophies as box office king and queen. Finally, after almost a decade from their last outings and no longer his film daughter, Dolphy and Vilma did their last film (to this day), this time, Vilma played the leading lady, in a film, ironically, about show business. Also, that year, Doply became the only male actor who portrayed Darna, the female comic-super-heroine in Darna Kuno. Not to be undone, Vilma will reprise the role the following year in her fourth and final film as Darna in Darna at Ding. At present time, both superstars made headlines as contenders for Philippines’ National Artists honors. Vilma respectfully and publicly asked for Dolphy to confer the title ahead of her. – RV (READ MORE)

Film Review: “…Dolphy and Vilma Santos were honored Dec. 28 by the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) and the Department of Education (DepEd). The King of Comedy and the Star for All Seasons received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 1st Lingkod TV Awards held at the Rajah Sulayman Theater in First Santiago in Intramuros, Manila…” – Crispina Martinez-Belen, Manila Bulletin, December 29, 2010 (READ MORE)

“…Talagang poor second lang noon si Vilma kay Nora Aunor, subali’t nang gawin niya ang trilogy film ng Sine Pilipino na Lipad Darna Lipad ay talagang lumipad ng husto ang kanyang box office appeal. Sinundan pa ito ng mga pelikulang Takbo Vilma Dali at Hatinggabi Na Vilma. Anupa’t itinambal din si Vilma sa mga matured leading man na katulad nina Eddie Rodriguez sa mga pelikulang Nakakahiya, Hindi Nakakahiya Part 2 kung saan nagkamit siya ng Best Actress Award sa 1st Bacolod City Film Festival at Simula Ng Walang Katapusan, Dante Rivero sa Susan Kelly Edad 20, Chiquito sa Teribol Dobol, Dolphy sa Buhay Artista Ngayon, Joseph Estrada sa King Khayan & I, Fernando Poe Jr. sa Batya’t Palu Palo at Bato Sa Buhangin, Jun Aristorenas sa Mapagbigay Ang Mister Ko, Dindo Fernando sa Langis at Tubig at Muling Buksan Ang Puso at Romeo Vasquez sa Nag-aapoy Na Damdamin, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Pulot Gata Pwede Kaya at Pag-ibig Ko Sa ‘Yo Lang Ibibigay…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

Filmography: Darna at Ding (1980)

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Basic Information: Directed, story, screenplay: J. Erastheo Navoa, Cloyd Robinson; Cast: Vilma Santos, Niño Muhlach, Celia Rodriguez, Marissa Delgado, Veronica Jones, Max Alvarado, Panchito, Angie Ferro, Bayani Casimiro, Rez Cortez, Teroy de Guzman, Moody Diaz, Paquito Diaz, Ike Lozada, Lily Miraflor, German Moreno, Palito, Don Pepot, Jimmy Santos, Al Tantay, Tsing Tong Tsai, Donna Villa; Cinematography: Hermo Santos; Film Editing: Eduardo Jarlego Jr.; Production Design: Ruben Arthur Nicdao; Sound: Luis Reyes

Plot Description: Darna at Ding, Vilma’s fourth and final portrayal of Darna, takes her to another wild adventures, this time with her younger brother Ding. When a mysterious rock falls into the hands of Narda, she has no idea that it will change her life forever. Later, she finds out that the rock is an amulet that gives her super power. This is the start of the many adventures of Darna, that have her battling with the evil sorceress Lei Ming and Hawk Woman. A whole new adventue with the popular Philippine heroine, Darna at Ding is another classic worth watching! – Kabayan Central (READ MORE)

Narda (Vilma Santos) and her young brother Ding (Niño Muhlach) find a glowing stone that has fallen from that sky and when swallowed by Narda turns her into a superwoman. From then on, the tandem of Narda and Ding embark into adventures of saving the world from evil. Together they fight the avenging German woman scientist (Marissa Delgado) who turns healthy people into zombies by injecting them with microbes that is transmittable through their saliva. Then Narda and Ding stay with their aunt in Chinatown, Manila where a Chinese witch is kidnapping children. But Ding is made ill by the witch’s sorcery. Will Darna’s power be effective to save her brother against black magic? – TFC Now (READ MORE)

Film Achievement: The last of the four Vilma Santos Darna films; Official Selection: 11th FilmAsia (2015) Czech Republic

Film Review: “…The climax of this “Darna vs. the Dragon Lady” part of Darna At Ding sees Lei Ming conjure up an evil double of Darna to keep our heroine busy while, elsewhere in her lair, a towering robot bears menacingly down upon Ding. It’s a suitably whiz-bang finale to this loopy, kitchen sink confection, and one that makes the long, strange and circuitous route that we’ve taken to get to it seem perhaps less arduous in retrospect. Still, at a solid two hours, Darna At Ding is an example of a movie that pulls out all the stops, but perhaps shouldn’t have. While it’s combination of horror movie chills, superhero thrills and slapstick spills might have been catnip for the Filipino audience of its day, for the rest of us it might prove mildly exhausting. Nonetheless, I find Vilma Santos so appealing in her role that it’s hard for me to imagine hating any Darna movie that she appears in, and this one’s no exception.” – Todd of “luchadiaries” (READ MORE)

The movie started on how Narda got her power as Darna. As soon as Narda transformed into Darna, she quickly started her adventure with Ding fighting the Hawk Woman. And soon after Darna and Ding found a giant and both lost the fight to Darna. As the story unfold Dr. Vontesberg pretended as a good samaritan with an evil plan to destroy the towns people who killed her grandfather mistakenly accused as a devil worshipper. Dr. Vontesberg summoned the dead and terrorized the townspeople. Narda was captured by the mad Dr. Vontesberg and showed her how she operates her plans. Ding got on time to rescue her helpless sister and they both stopped Vontesberg evil plans. Then, Darna and Ding flew their way to the city. And on their way, they captured a bunch of loose prisoners, after this scene was a long lots of talking non-action scenes. Finally, Lei Ming and Darna measured their strength and powers. Lei Ming created an evil Darna to destroy the real Darna. At the end Lei Ming lose and took her own life. – Super Heroes Lives (READ MORE)

“Due to the Internet, one day soon I’m sure information on all of the cinematic obscurities of the world will be available to us, but at the moment it’s still wonderful to uncover a country’s hidden pop culture hitherto unnoticed by the rest of the planet. Take Video48, a mind-shattering trip into the uncharted realms of Filipino cinema, featuring a menagerie of stills, posters and articles from films I never even dared to dream existed! I stumbled across home-grown super-heroes such as Mars Revelo’s Darna a few years back, and Eric Cueto’s fansite provided a wealth of information on her cinematic adventures, (whilst also revealing tantalising glimpses of her on-screen contemporaries), but I certainly hadn’t realised the extent to which comic book characters pervaded the Philippine big-screen. Chances are the country was second only to Turkey when it came to cinematic Super-heroes – Darna herself has starred in 14 films and two TV series, which certainly puts Wonder Woman to shame…Sadly most of these fantasy films are unlikely to have survived – the condition of the Vilma Santos’ early Darna movies is supposedly so wretched that a DVD release has been permanently canned, and ancient VHS copies of Darna & the Giants and Darna & the Planet Women are jealously guarded by the few collectors who salvaged them from rental shops. Just as in Turkey, these films were probably considered to be as disposable as the comic books on which they were based – but I for one would go ga-ga for a double bill of this years The Dark Knight with 1973’s Fight Batman Fight (fair enough, my brain might melt out of my ears afterwards, but what a way to go…” – Poptique (READ MORE)

Most Popular Darna “…Ding, ang bato!” yells Narda, the adolescent country lass, to her younger brother. Ding obligingly hands over a shiny pebble which Narda swallows to turn herself into the vivacious super-vixen, Darna. Mars Ravelo’s superheroine, clad in crimson bikinis and knee-high stiletto boots, may perhaps be the most famous local fantasy character given life on the silver screen. Though not actually considered a career-defining role, portraying Darna is, nonetheless, highly-coveted. Darna has been portrayed by no less than nine actress in 12 feature films. Rosa del Rosario first wore the scarlet two piece in May 1951. She reprised the role after three months. Liza Moreno, Eva Montes and Gina Pareno followed her. The inter-galactic pebble found its way to Vilma Santos’ throat in 1973 via the flick “Lipad, Darna, Lipad!” Santos, now a two-term mayor of Lipa City in Batangas, is probably the most popular Darna, with a total of four movies in a span of seven years. Some of these were made known to younger generations through afternoon airings on television in the late ’80s. Maybe RPN 9 should do that again so that even younger generations can marvel at Darna’s greatness, albeit antiquated, in such movies as “Darna and the Giants” and “Darna vs. the Planet Women…” – Armin Adina, Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 06, 2003 (READ MORE)

“…That’s not to say that there aren’t fun moments to be had in this twelfth Darna outing – quite the contrary. The opening is fantastically absurd [I really dig those forced perspective giant effects], as is the Darna-versus-Darna battle that serves as the climax. But for every moment of overt glee there are twenty or so more in which nothing happens at all. It’s a pity, really, as the potential for entertainment is certainly there, but remains woefully un-tapped. From a production standpoint Darna at Ding was better than I anticipated, and there was obviously at least a little money put behind it. Special effects were about as good as I expected, and work well enough without becoming entirely embarrassing. The cast is quite good too, paltry as the material they have to work with is. Vilma Santos is always a pleasure to have on screen, and Nino Mulhach never becomes tiresome or annoying as Ding. The giant who sees such little action is familiar as well – Max Alvarado, who would go on to play Columbus, one of the multitude of villains in for y’ur height only. The soundtrack is groovy but of dubious legality. I recognized much of what was played, but could only pin down Pink Floyd’s Time for certain…” – Kevin Pyrtle, WTF-FILM (READ MORE)

Darna is Not a ‘Rip-off” of Wonder Woman – “…Because of the character’s immense popularity, several other studios would license the character and produce more Darna movies throughout the next several decades. After Rosa Del Rosario, Vilma Santos (who first played Darna in 1973’s “Lipad, Darna, Lipad”) would be the most well known and the most in demand to play the character. She starred in a total of 4 Darna movies. Her 4th and final one being in 1980. For years after that, no more Darna movies were produced…” – Raffy Arcega, Comic Book Movie (READ MORE)

Intergalactic Warrior – “…There were comic-inspired franchises that never travelled beyond their own borders, such as the Darna series from the Philippines in the 1970s – she was an intergalactic warrior disguised as an earthling – and which helped actress Vilma Santos turn the fame she achieved into a political career that still sees her serving as governor of Batangas province…” – Matt Scott, South China Morning Post, 20 April, 2014 (READ MORE)

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