FILM REVIEW: LOVE LETTERS


The Plot: Film-Am Edgar falls in love with Vilma. The two had a set back that ended with Edgar returning all Vilma’s love letters that he regreted and wanted it back. He went to Vilma’s house to retrieve it but was caught and accused of stealing. The whole misunderstanding ended up in court but was settled eventually. Edgar left the country but returned for Alona Alegre’s wedding to Victor Wood. He also reunited Vilma. – RV (READ MORE)

The Reviews: Love Letters started with Vilma entering a living room and Baby De Jesus started playing the piano.  Suddenly, Vilma started singing and after finishing her song, she left the room, while a very young Alona Alegre sitting beside her appeared to be in her own world, as if she heared, nothing.  There were no interaction between the three, no dialouge, making this opening scene quite irritating.  The next scene, we found out that Edgar, played by Edgar Mortiz is a Filipino-American. We assumed that he is vacationing and taking some course. Next scene, Victor Wood is singing on the telephone while Alona Alegre is listening on the other line. Then it Edgar turn to sing.  This time, in the men’s dormitory followed by Baby De Jesus.  Her limited dialouge: she wanted to sing  “to entertain Vilma.”  Then Edgar and Vilma are set to meet in a park but because Vilma was so late, Edgar decided to leave. When she arrived and found no Edgar, she started to cry and ofcourse, she sings!  Not to be outdone, its Romy Mallari’s turn to sing!  Then its Edgar turn to sing again.  Edgar got so mad with Vilma and decided to return all of Vilma’s love letters.  In protest, Vilma returned his gift, a ring and bracelet.

Afterwards she sings the theme song, “Love Letter.” She followed this up with her day dreaming scenes, remeniscing the time when the two of them are singing in the park. She then fell asleep but was awaken by an intruder! Presto! It was Edgar! Stealing their love letters! He escaped when Vilma’s parent caught them talking. The next scenes was a courtscenes. Vilma and Edgar plus Vilma’s parent testified in front of a judge. A phone call from the mayor who is connected to Edgar postponed the judge’s decision.  As turned out, Vilma’s parent also owned some love letters which made them understand what their daughter is now going through. At the breakfast table the next day, Vilma all of the sudden proclaimed that she doesn’t care about Edgar anymore. Then they discovered that Edgar and his friends decided to have a picket line in their house (ala-“Occupy Wall Street”???).  They decided to remained in the picketline over night with more singing.  Sleeping outside, the girls headed by Alona Alegre, decided to join the picketline. Vilma’s parent confronted them and Victor Wood all of the sudden declared that he wanted to marry Alona Alegre! And to add to the drama, Edgar decided to leave the country. The next scenes was Vilma receiving love letters over time. Then finally the promised wedding of Victor Wood and Alona Alegre, Edgar then seranade Alona and Victor.  When Vilma heard and saw Edgar, she run to the church’s balcony.  They reunited with a duet!  The End.

Love Letters is a musical films specially made for the fans of “teeny-bopper” stars – Vi and Bot.  The film was probably shot with improvisations, which means, without a written script.  This was noticeably clear as the film’s main characters and the actual names of the actors were not change at all.  The film’s main plot was the the stealing of love letters that ended in court,  followed by picket line (ala-“Occupy” Wall Street) that was hard to believe.  And also the one-after the other testimonies of Edgar, Vilma and both parents that were irritatingly funny. Although we are used to Vilma’s tolereable singing, we’re more surprise to see a singing Alona Alegre!  She looked more like Eugene Domingo (clearly before her sexy films/image).  One more thing, Alona’s wedding gown was worth a second look, its not like your ordinary wedding gown.  The head piece was a beaded hood that covers her hair and neck.  With so much singing, Baby De Jesus’s voice stands out among the girls but her piano playing acting was over the top. Victor Wood’s duet with Edgar Mortiz, “Beautiful Dreamers” is worth downloading. Danny Subido was responsible for inserting all the musical numbers that was quite a tasks particularly without a well written musical screenplay.  The film was shot in Baguio City and cinematographer, Avelino Peralta’s did a wonderful job showcasing the city on Vilma’s day dreaming except for the akward courtscenes.  Love Letters was produced by Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production and directed by Abraham Cruz, a forgettable film that only a die hard Vi and Bot fans (and those who loves film nostalgia) can only appreciate. – RV

RELATED READING:
IMDB: Love Letters (1970)
IMDB: Abraham Cruz
IMDB: Edgar Mortiz
IMDB: Esperanza Fabon
IMDB: Romy Mallari
Vilma Santos From Wikipedia
Edgar Mortiz From Wikipedia
Vilma and Edgar Duet (Video)
Clips – Love Letters (Video)
Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz Love Team Circa 1970

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The Bernal-Santos Collaborations

Considered the number one director of Vilma Santos, National Artist, Ishmael Bernal contributed significantly to her success. Their collaborations as actor and director spanned three decades. Eight films in total, almost a dozen best actress for Santos and a several best director for Bernal not including nominations both locally and internationally. He was quoted saying: “In Ikaw ay Akin, Vilma was already conscious of her own particular style of acting…which can be described as minimal, less is more. The fewer and simpler gestures, the greater effect…(Working in Pahiram Ng Isang Umage, Bernal said)…she had become an artist, no longer a movie star and just following the director’s instructions..” Their films are still relevant, timeless and to this day, being celebrated by many.

The early seventies brought a new phase in Vilma Santos’ career. Now 18 and after a successful stints as a child actress, she faced the musical trend dominated by singing teen sensations like Perla Adea, Esperanza Fabon, Eddie Perigrina, Edgar Mortiz, Tirso Cruz III and rival, Nora Aunor. She was successful enough that she made nine films (including the film adaptation of the television musical variety show, The Sensations) in 1971, the year Ishmael Bernal started his film career as director. Fresh from film school and at a young age of 33 (he received a Film Directing diploma in Film Institute of India in 1970) directed two full length feature films, “Daluyong!” and “Pagdating sa Dulo.” Daluyong starred Rossana Ortiz, Alona Alegre and Ronaldo Valdez while Pagdating featured the late Miss Rita Gomez and Vic Vargas. Pagdating earned Bernal his first award for best screenplay and a nomination for best director from FAMAS, the local equivalent of OSCAR during that time. Both films, Pagdating sa Dulo and Daluyong were critically acclaimed and commercial success.

The following year, Santos made fourteen films, mostly forgettable musicals. It was also a year where her benefactor started to positioned her as more of a film actress than a singing film star. The results was successful experiments that showcased her comedic ability (Ang Kundoktora), screaming action stunts (Takbo Vilma Dali) and dramatic capability (Dama De Noche). Her followers was delighted when she earned her first acting recognition the next year receiving the FAMAS best actress via Dama De Noche. Most of her films in 1972 were directed by Emmanuel Borlaza however, she was able to do one film with Ishmael Bernal, “Inspiration” with the late Jay Ilagan, one of her regular film partner. According to Bernal, the film wasn’t as successful as what he expected, as the film flopped. Aside from Inspiration, Bernal did two other films, El Vibora (starring Vic Vargas and Boots Anson Roa) and Till Death Do Us Part (starring the young Hilda Koronel and Victor Laurel).

1973 turned out to be a banner year for Vilma Santos as she emerged on top with box office hits one film after another. Nine films altogether that featured her in different genres (comedy – “Tsismosang Tindera;” fantasy – “Maria Cinderella,” “Dyesebel at ang Mahiwagang Kabibe” and ”Ophelia at Paris;” action/fantasy – “Wonder Vi,” “Lipad, Darna, Lipad,” and “Darna and the Giants;” horror – “Anak ng Aswang” and teenybopper – “Carinosa” and “Now and Forever”). While Vilma was productive Bernal, like the past two years did only two films, one was the comedy fantasy starring television host and comedian Ariel Ureta in a spin off of Superman, “Zoom, Zoom, Superman!” and his film wih Vi, “Now and Forever” with Edgar Mortiz.

Vilma’s box office dominance continued the next year with twelve films mostly comedy, horror and action/fantasies. It also gave her the chance to work with veteran actors such as Charito Solis in “Mga Tigre ng Sierra Cruz,” Joseph Estrada in “The King and I,” Fernando Poe Jr. in “Batya’t Palu-palo” and international action star, Meng Fei in “Twin Fists of Justice.” Bernal and Santos will not do any films for a few years as he started directing Vilma’s rival, Nora Aunor in her television drama series Ang makulay na daigdig ni Nora. Aside from his TV work, he did “Pito ang asawa ko” and the film reuniting him with Ariel Ureta, “Si Popeye, atbp” after the success of Zoom Zoom Superman.

1975 was another productive year for Vilma Santos as she did nine films mostly title roles like Vilma Viente Nueve, Darna Vs the Planet Women, and Ibong Lukaret. It was the “prep” stage for the years to come as she was given more mature roles like the local festival entry, “Karugtong ang Kahapon” and Celso Ad Castillo’s “Tag-ulan sa Tag-araw.”  Tagulan was the first film of Vilma and Christopher De Leon. While Vilma was testing the water for more serious mature projects, Ishmael Bernal decided to return to his original forte, drama, after years of doing light comedies and television work. He came up with “Mister Mo, Lover boy Ko” and “Lumapit, Lumayo Ang Umaga.” Both films featured sexy star, Elizabeth Oropeza.

By mid decades, Vilma Santos’ career was gradully moving into dramas catering the adult audience and films with social-adult issues. She did the sequel “Hindi Nakakahiya” and “Nagaapoy na Damdamin” about the affair of a young woman with an older man and “Mga Rosas Sa Putikan” about the lives of prostitutes.  Aside from these films, she also did four light comedies and two notable ones: “Mga Reynang Walang Trono” a comedy with movie queen Amalia Fuentez and “Bato Sa Buhangin,” the box office hit that reunited her with the late Fernando Poe Jr. Bernal on the other hand, cemented his reputation as one of the most serious director with critically appreciated hit films, “Ligaw Na Bulaklak” staring the young sexy star, Alma Moreno and the drama film that featured two dramatic stars, Daria Ramirez and Elizabeth Oropeza in “Nunal Sa Tubig.”  He also directed a light comedy, “Tisoy,” Christopher De Leon in title role.

A turning point in Vilma Santos career came in 1977.  She was no longer the teen idol that Bernal directed in 1972.  She’s now 24 and ready for more serious film projects.  Her film load has dramatically decrease from nine/ten films a year to mere five.  But the films she did were noticeably heavy in terms of relevance and roles.  Aside from the light action, “Susan Kelly Edad 20” her other films were all heavy dramas. One reunited her with Christopher De Leon in “Masarap, Masakit ang Umibig” directed by Elwood Perez.  Another one was the box office hit and critically acclaimed, “Burlesk Queen” directed by Celso Ad Castillo.  The other two films paired her with off screen sweetheart, Romeo Vasquez in “Pulot-gata, Pwede Kaya?” and “Dalawang Pugad, Isang Ibon.” The last film, was directed by Bernal. “Dalawang Pugad” earned Bernal the 1977 best director from Gawad Urian, the Filipino critics’ award giving body. Aside from Dalawang Pugad Bernal also directed “Walang Katapusang Tag-araw” that featured veteran drama queen, Charito Solis.

While the previous year was less productive in terms of quantity, Vilma Santos came back with a big bang the following year with twelve films.  Most of these films were adult dramas.  Three notable films were the critically acclaimed “Pagputi ng Uwak, Pag-itim ng Tagak” directed by Celso Ad Castillo and produced by Vilma herself.  The local film festival entry, “Rubia Servios” directed by the late Lino Brocka. And lastly, “Ikaw ay Akin” directed by Bernal. “Ikaw ay Akin” reunited Vilma with rival, Nora Aunor. The film also featured Christopher De Leon, who won the local critics’ best actor and best actress nominations for Aunor and Santos as well as best director nomination for Bernal.  Aside from Ikaw, Bernal also did two other films, both starring Alma Moreno, “Lagi na lamang ba akong babae?” and “Isang gabi sa iyo Isang gabi sa akin” with Elizabeth Oropeza.

The end of the decade gave Vilma eight more films. Mostly light dramas/comedies.  Some showcased her dancing talents like “Swing it Baby,” “Rock, Baby, Rock” and “Buhay Artista Ngayon.” In terms of notable projects, only four stands out. “Pinay, American Style” filmed in the USA and “Magkaribal” both directed by Elwood Perez. “Halik sa Kamay, Halik sa Paa” directed by the late Eddie Rodriguez. And the smash hit and local festival entry “Modelong Tanso.” Modelong Tanso paired Vilma with drama queen, Charito Solis. Bernal did not direct any Santos film this year instead he did the Nora Aunor film, “Bakit may pag-ibig pa?,” “Menor de edad” and “Salawahan” both films starring Rio Locsin, “Aliw” starring Amy Austria and Lorna Tolentino and “Boy Kodyak” starring Bembol Rocco.

Vilma Santos did seven films in 1980. Mostly light dramas. Two notable films were “Miss X,” the film was shot in Amsterdam and “Langis At Tubig” the local festival entry directed by Danny Zialcita. She also did “Darna at Ding” her fourth and last film as the comic hero, Darna, Filipino version of Wonder Woman/Superman. Despite the lack of serious projects, Vilma did a film with Bernal, the comedy/musical, “Good Morning Sunshine.” In addition to Good Morning, Bernal did the critically acclaimed ensemble film starring Lorna Tolentino, Alma Moreno and Rio Locsin’s “City After Dark,” “Girlfriend” starring Cherie Gil and “Sugat sa Ugat” starring Hilda Koronel and Christopher De Leon.

Bermal and Santos didn’t do any film together the following year. Now 28 and married, Santos has reduced her film projects. She did four films, all showcased her acting talents. “Ex-Wife” directed by Eddie Rodriguez paired her with local critics’ favorite, Beth Bautista. “Pakawalan Mo Ako” a drama directed by Elwood Perez earned her one of her five FAMAS best actress. “Hiwalay” teamed with Eddie Rodriguez this time, as her leading man. Romy Suzara directed the film. Then the local festival entry, “Karma,” the Danny Zialcita film that earned her the festival best actress. While Vilma reduced her film output to four, as usual, Bernal did only two films. Both were not as critically received. “Bihagin: Bilibid Boys” starred the late Alfie Anido “Pabling” the comedy starring teen idol, William Martinez.

Like 1972 of the previous decade, 1982 turned out to be a repeat in terms of success for Vilma Santos. If critics took noticed in 1972, her performance in Dama De Noche, a decade after, the critics went gagah over her performance in ”Relasyon,” directed by Bernal. The film earned Vilma all the local best actress trophies from all award-giving bodies. Aside from this success, she will also be crowned as the box office queen of 1982 (the next year for her body of work this year) because of the financial success of her six films notably, “Sinasamba Kita” a film directed by Eddie Garcia and “Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan?’ directed by Danny Zialcita. Bernal on the other hand not only was credited for Vilma success for “Relasyon” he also received accolades for “Himala” a film by Nora Aunor, Vilma’s rival. Both “Himala” and “Relasyon” were considered two of Bernal’s signature films. In addition to this, he did two Marecel Soriano films, the comedy “Galawgaw” and the drama, “Hindi Kita Malimot” and finally another Cherrie Gil film, “Ito Ba Ang Ating Mga Anak.”

The following year, as Vilma Santos received honors/awards from her works from previous year, she continued her winning streak with four adult dramas: “Ayaw Kong Maging Kerida,” “Paano Ba ang Mangarap?,” “Minsan pa Natin Hagkan Ang Nakaraan,” and “Broken Marriage.” The last one was directed by Ishmael Bernal. The only film he did in 1983. Broken Marriage gave Vilma her second consecutive local critics’ best actress. It also earned Bernal her second best director from the critics and third overall.

The next year Bernal and Santos went separate ways with Vilma doing three films with three equally talented directors: Lino Brocka for “Adultery: Aida Macaraeg,” MiKe De Leon for “Sister Stella L.,” and Marilou Diaz Abaya for “Alyas Baby Tsina.” Meanwhile, Bernal did two films, an episode of the original horror trilogy, “Shake, Rattle & Roll” and the critically acclaimed comedy, “Working Girls.”

The next four years came with both Santos and Bernal in steady film works. In 1985 Santos did the hit “Muling Buksan ang Puso” and the disappointment, “Doctor, Doctor, We Are Sick” while Bernal did the Marecel Soriano melodrama “Hinugot sa langit” and the film starring the unknown Stella Suarez with veteran Rita Gomez “Gamitin mo ako.” Then in 1986 Vilma Santos did three commercial hit films: “Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow,” “Palimos Ng Pag-ibig,” and “Asawa ko, Huwag Mong Agawin.” Bernal did his only film, “The Graduates” starring Regal babies – Snooky Serna, Gabby Concepcion, Maricel Soriano, William Martinez, and Dina Bonnevie.

Another three films for Vilma Santos in 1987, all commercial success. “Tagos ng Dugo” directed by Maryo De Los Reyes was a smash hit and critically well received. Vilma received her fourth FAMAS best actress for this film. “Ibigay Mo Sa Akin Ang Bukas” the last film directed by Emmanuel H. Borlaza before his retirement was a mild hit that paired Vilma with new drama actors, Richard Gomez and Gabby Concepcion. “Saan Nagtatago Ang Pag-ibig?” directed by Eddie Garcia was a big hit. Bernal on the other hand did two films the drama”Pinulot ka lang sa lupa” starring Lorna Tolentino and Marecel Soriano and the sequel comedy “Working Girls 2” The next year, both Bernal and Santos did one film each, both a box office hits, Elwood Perez’ drama, “Ibulong Mo Sa Diyos” was a big hit and at the same time earned Vilma her fifth FAMAS best actress that elevated her to their hall of fame recipient category. Bernal’s only film was “Nagbabagang luha,” another Lorna Tolentino starrer.

The last time Bernal and Santos collaborated was in 1989. Santos, still active with her musical variety television show, did three films, all were commercial success. “Imortal” directed by Eddie Garcia was a local festival entry that earned Santos another local festival best actress. “Rizal Alih, Zamboanga Massacre” was directed by Carlo J Caparas. And “Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga” directed by Bernal. The film earned Santos the local critics best actress and Bernal the best director. Vilma her very first Star best actress, considered the Golden Globe local equivalent at that time. Pahiram also received nominations for best actress for Vilma and best director for Ishmael both from FAP, now the local equivalent of OSCAR.

In 1991, Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal closest rival and friend died of car accident. It was a sad event both locally and internationally as Brocka was not only popular locally but in the international festival circuit. It wasn’t clear if his decision was related to the lost of his rival Brocka but Bernal retired his directing chair for the next two years. He went into acting and was the lead role in stage plays like “Kamatayan Sa Isang Anyo Ng Rosas” (Death in the Form of a Rose) in 1991 and “Bacchae” in 1992.  Vilma on the other hand, did “Hahamakin Lahat” in 1990 with Brocka, a year before his untimely death.  She also did “Kapag Langit ang Humatol” directed by Laurice Guillen.  She then reunited with Guillen in “Ipagpatawad Mo” the next year.  By 1992, Bernal and Santos did one film each, unfortunately not together, “Sinungaling Mong Puso” reunited Vilma with her Tagos Ng Dugo director, Maryo De Los Reyes while Bernal directed “Mahal kita walang iba” starring Kris Aquino.

Bernal went back to his semi-retirement the next year (except for a short film as himself in “Truth and Dare”) while Vilma did two films, both commercial hits and critically acclaimed. Chito Rono’s “Ikaw Lang” and the local festival entry, “Dahil Mahal Kita The Dolzura Cortez Story” directed by Laurice Guillen. Dolzura Cortez will earned Santos numerous best actress awards. By 1994, Santos did three films: “Relaks ka Lang, Sagot Kita” with Bong Revilla; “Nag-iisang Bituin” with Aga Muhlach and Christopher De Leon; “Lipa: Arandia Massacre” a film that reunites her with director Carlo J. Caparas. Meanwhile, Bernal did “Wating” his last film. “Wating” starred Richard Gomez.  The next year, Both artists, Santos and Bernal, went on hiatus.

In 1996 Vilma Santos did “Ikaw Ang Mahal Ko” with the late FPJ. The film did not do well, both critically and commercially. This year also was a bad year for the local entertainment industry as Ishmael Bernal died on June 2nd. It was reported that he was scheduled to direct a film about the life story of Lola Rosa Henson, the comfort woman during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines. The project was also reportedly offered to Vilma Santos. From 1997 to 2009, Vilma Santos completed 6 full featured films, two were considered record breaking films and almost all gave her acting recognitions including two international best actress recognitions.

HIGHLIGHTS: Bernal gave Vilma Santos her first grandslam best actress awards and consecutive Gawad Urian best actress (1982 and 1983). Their first film together was Inspiration (1972) and last was Pahiram Ng Isang Umaga (1989).

Writing Credits: 11 – Galawgaw (1982); Relasyon (1982); City After Dark (1980); Girlfriend (1980); Pleasure (1979); Ikaw ay akin (1978); Walang katapusang tag-araw (1977); Dalawang pugad, isang ibon (1977); Lumapit, lumayo ang umaga (1975); Pito ang asawa ko (1974); Reaching the Top (1971)

Directing Credits: 46 and Total Number of Films with Vilma Santos: 8 (Broken Marriage, Dalawang Pugad Isang Ibon, Good Morning Sunshine, Ikaw ay Akin, Inspiration, Now and Forever, Pahiram ng Isang Umaga, Relasyon)

RELATED READINGS:
Wikipedia: Bernal
Ishmael Bernal (1938-1996)
The Films of Ishmael Bernal Circa1971-79, Part One The Films of Ishmael Bernal Circa1980-96, Part Two
Tribute to Ishmael Bernal
The new ‘Working Girls’ front and center
Remember The Face: BERNAL FILM DIRECTOR
Vilma Santos’ Top 10 Film Directors

Filmography: My Pledge of Love (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed: A. Gregorio; Story: Oskee Salazar; Screenplay: Henry Cuino; Cast: Edgar Mortiz, Vilma Santos, Esperanza Fabon, Romy Mallari, Victor Wood, Pauline Sevilla, Fred Panopio, Ven Medina, Inday Jalandoni, The Blinkers; Original Music: Danny Subido; Theme Songs: “My pledge of love” performed by Edgar Mortiz; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description:  No Available Data

Film Achievement:  No Available Data

Film Reviews; “…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

“…Noong Dekada ’70, ang mga young stars ay kailangang marunong kumanta dahil yun ang uso kaya naman nagtayo ng sariling recording company ang nasirang manager ni Vi na si William Leary dahil ayaw niyang pahuhuli sa uso ang kanyang alaga. Ilan sa mga naging recording artists ng WILEARS RECORDS bukod kay Vi ay sina Edgar Mortiz, Ed Finlan, Sahlee Quizon, Hilda Koronel at Esperanza Fabon. According to Vi, kapag nagrerecord siya ng kanta ay nakatalikod siya sa dingding ng recording company at si Bobot ang umaalalay sa kanya. Ang SIXTEEN, na sinulat ni Danny Subido ang unang recording na ginawa ni Vi at ito ay flipsided by It’s So Wonderful To Be In Love. Ang SIXTEEN ay agad naging gold record at dahil dito ay gumawa ng pelikula ang Tagalog Ilang Ilang Productions, ang home studio ni Vi at ito ay ginawa nilang pamagat katambal si Edgar Mortiz. Hindi nyo naitatanong, muntik nang manalo si Vi bilang most promising singer sa AWIT AWARDS noong early ’70s…” – Alfonso Valencia (READ MORE)

“…The loveteam of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos endured a stiff competition from teeny bopper love team of Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III and came up with equal success with string of hit films during the musical era of the 70s. Together they did forgettable but commercial hits and also some hints of the years to come to Vilma Santos’ long career. The most notable one: Dama De Noche. Total Number of films with Vilma Santos – 25 (Young Love, Teenage Jamboree, Songs and Lovers, Renee Rose, My Pledge of Love, Mga Batang Bangketa, Love Is for the Two of Us, I Love You Honey, From the Bottom of My Heart, Baby Vi, Love Letters, The Wonderful World of Music, The Sensations, The Young Idols, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Leron-Leron Sinta, Edgar Love Vilma, Don’t Ever Say Goodbye, Dama de Noche, Anak ng Aswang, Because You Are Mine, Kampanerang Kuba, Kasalanan Kaya, Karugtong ang Kahapon…” – RV (READ MORE)

“…Si Edgar Mortiz ang unang nakapareha ni Vilma Santos as a teen star. Nakilala sila as the “Subok na Matibay, Subok na Matatag” loveteam called Vi and Bot at naging magka-steady sila sa tunay na buhay. Marami silang ginawang pelikula as teen stars in the early 70s…” – Showbiz Portal (READ MORE)

Filmography: Love Letters (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed: Abraham Cruz; Story: Felipe Baron; Screenplay: Felipe Baron; Cast: Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon, Romy Mallari, Baby De Jesus, Bobby Roldan, Alona Alegre, Victor Wood, Baby Alcaraz, Cloyd Robinson, Ernie Vega, Dell Martin, Wilma Landicho, Azucena Guevarra, Imelda Alonzo, Norma Blancaflor; Original Music: Danny Subido; Cinematography: Avelino Peralta; Film Editing: Teofilo de Leon; Art Design: Greg Alcid Jr.; Sound: Flaviano Villareal; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: Film-Am Edgar falls in love with Vilma. The two had a set back that ended with Edgar returning all Vilma’s love letters that he regreted and wanted it back. He went to Vilma’s house to retrieve it but was caught and accused of stealing. The whole misunderstanding ended up in court but was settled eventually. Edgar left the country but returned for Alona Alegre’s wedding to Victor Wood. He also reunited Vilma.

An early Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz romantic musical also featuring the old gang – Romy Mallari, Esperanza Fabon, Baby de Jesus, Bobby Roldan, Alona Alegre and jukebox king Victor Wood. The story is about young love, with all its anxieties and conclusion. It dramatizes the pains of growing up and the need to follow romantic ideals. An infectious trip down memory lane, with the original D’Sensation gang the way they were! Directed by Abraham Cruz for Tagalong Ilang-Ilang Productions. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: An Entry to the 1970 Manila Film Festival

Film Review: Love Letters is a musical films specially made for the fans of “teeny-bopper” stars – Vi and Bot. The film was probably shot with improvisations, which means, without a written script. This was noticeably clear as the film’s main characters and the actual names of the actors were not change at all. The film’s main plot was the the stealing of love letters that ended in court, followed by picket line (ala-“Occupy” Wall Street) that was hard to believe. And also the one-after the other testimonies of Edgar, Vilma and both parents that were irritatingly funny. Although we are used to Vilma’s tolereable singing, we’re more surprise to see a singing Alona Alegre! She looked more like Eugene Domingo (clearly before her sexy films/image). One more thing, Alona’s wedding gown was worth a second look, its not like your ordinary wedding gown. The head piece was a beaded hood that covers her hair and neck. With so much singing, Baby De Jesus’s voice stands out among the girls but her piano playing acting was over the top. Victor Wood’s duet with Edgar Mortiz, “Beautiful Dreamers” is worth downloading. Danny Subido was responsible for inserting all the musical numbers that was quite a tasks particularly without a well written musical screenplay. The film was shot in Baguio City and cinematographer, Avelino Peralta’s did a wonderful job showcasing the city on Vilma’s day dreaming except for the akward courtscenes. Love Letters was produced by Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Production and directed by Abraham Cruz, a forgettable film that only a die hard Vi and Bot fans (and those who loves film nostalgia) can only appreciate. – RV, (READ MORE)

“…The filmfest saw the entry of neophyte Lino Brocka into the Philippine movie mainstream with his first directorial assignment under Lea Productions’ Wanted Perfect Mother. It introduced for the first time child sensation Snooky (Serna). Teen superstars Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos have their respective entries: Nora had two entries, Nora in Wonderland (with Manny de Leon) for Tower Productions and Young at Heart (with Tirso Cruz III) for Sampaguita Pictures, while Vilma with his lone entry, Love Letters with Edgar Mortiz for Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions. Capping the list were 4 action movies— Tony Ferrer as Tony Falcon, Agent X-44 in Crisis, Zaldy Zshornack and Vic Vargas teamed up in Mga Batong Buhay, Rex Lapid in Shotgun Kid and Jun Aristorenas in Dimasalang; two comedy films, Up, Up and Away with Dolphy and Servillano Zapata with Chiquito, the Jukebox king Eddie Peregrina with his entry Your Love, bombshell Rossana Marquez in Modelong Ginto and Eddie Rodriguez with another dramatic performance in Bakit Pa Ako?…” – Video 48 (READ MORE)

RELATED READING:

Filmography: Songs and Lovers (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed: A. Gregorio; Story: Felipe Baron, Henry Cuino; Screenplay: Felipe Baron, Henry Cuino; Cast: Eddie Perigrina, Alona Alegre, Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon, Fred Panopio, Thelma Kennedy, Romy Mallari, The Blinkers, Pauline Sevilla; Original Music: Danny Subido; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews; “…Peregrina’s popularity was high, particularly among masses. Jukebox, the coin-operated machine which plays selected music, was said to have attained much popularity as well because of continuous requests of Peregrina’s songs. His fame surge even more among the Filipino masses when he became movie star, cast with the leading ladies of the 1970s, including Esperanza Fabon and Nora Aunor, with whom he had a TV show entitled The Eddie-Nora Show on Channel 9 in the 1960s. Among his movies included Mardy, Memories of Our Dreams with Esperanza Fabon. He co-starred with his wife Lyn Salazarin in Batul of Mactan in 1974. He was also the leading man in Dito sa Aking Puso (1970) with Nora Aunor and with Vilma Santos in Mardy. Most of his films were produced by JBC Productions, which invariably paired him with Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon, and directed by Bebong Osorio. When not busy attending show business commitments, he managed his own business, including Edviper Records and the Pervil Photo Studio…” – Wikepedia (READ MORE)

“…During the early 60’s, a singer’s popularity was practically determined by the jukebox, a coin-operated machine that can play specially selected songs from self-contained media. It was a period when fans dropped 20 centavos in a jukebox to listen to Timi Yuro’s “Crazy” or Matt Monro’s “Walk Away” and “Before You Go.” Of course, Eddie’s songs like “Together Again,” “Two Lovely Flowers,” “Mardy” and “I Do Love You” were such national anthems and outdid their foreign counterparts not only in the jukebox market but also on the airwaves, in restaurants and well…the local cabarets…” – Gypsy Baldovino (READ MORE)

“…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

Filmography: I Do Love You (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed, story, screenplay: Consuelo P. Rosario; Cast: Eddie Perigrina, Vilma Santos, Esperanza Fabon, Bebong Osorio, Perla Adea, Rebecca Rocha, Ben David, Mary Walter, Betty Mendez, Tommy Angeles, Jose Padilla Jr., Joey Alvarez, Dolly Favorito, Nick Aladdin, Armando De Guzman, Edgar Orda, Romy Mallari, The Bunkers; Original Music: EVP; Cinematography: Enrique Rosales; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description: No Available Data

Film Achievement: No Available Data

Film Reviews; “…Peregrina’s popularity was high, particularly among masses. Jukebox, the coin-operated machine which plays selected music, was said to have attained much popularity as well because of continuous requests of Peregrina’s songs. His fame surge even more among the Filipino masses when he became movie star, cast with the leading ladies of the 1970s, including Esperanza Fabon and Nora Aunor, with whom he had a TV show entitled The Eddie-Nora Show on Channel 9 in the 1960s. Among his movies included Mardy, Memories of Our Dreams with Esperanza Fabon. He co-starred with his wife Lyn Salazarin in Batul of Mactan in 1974. He was also the leading man in Dito sa Aking Puso (1970) with Nora Aunor and with Vilma Santos in Mardy. Most of his films were produced by JBC Productions, which invariably paired him with Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon, and directed by Bebong Osorio. When not busy attending show business commitments, he managed his own business, including Edviper Records and the Pervil Photo Studio…” – Wikepedia (READ MORE)

“…During the early 60’s, a singer’s popularity was practically determined by the jukebox, a coin-operated machine that can play specially selected songs from self-contained media. It was a period when fans dropped 20 centavos in a jukebox to listen to Timi Yuro’s “Crazy” or Matt Monro’s “Walk Away” and “Before You Go.” Of course, Eddie’s songs like “Together Again,” “Two Lovely Flowers,” “Mardy” and “I Do Love You” were such national anthems and outdid their foreign counterparts not only in the jukebox market but also on the airwaves, in restaurants and well…the local cabarets…” – Gypsy Baldovino (READ MORE)

“…By late 1969, movie producers had been tapping a Vilma Santos-Edgar Mortiz love team. Edgar was a Tawag ng Tanghalan winner. They started to be together in the movies, My Darling Eddie (1969) and The Jukebox King (1969)…In 1970, the love team of Vilma Santos and Edgar “Bobot” Mortiz was officially launched in the movie Young Love, together with the another popular love team during that time, Nora Aunor and Tirso Cruz III. The Vi and Bot love team went on to do 14 more movies in 1970—The Young Idols, Songs and Lovers, Sweethearts, Sixteen, Love Letters, Love is for the Two of Us, Mga Batang Bangketa, My Pledge of Love, Renee Rose, Baby Vi, Because You Are Mine, Edgar Loves Vilma, From the Bottom of My Heart, and I Love You Honey. All did well at the box-office…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

Filmography: Mardy (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed, story, screenplay: Consuelo P. Osorio; Cast: Eddie Peregrina, Vilma Santos, Esperanza Fabon, Bebong Osorio, Perla Adea, Joe Alvarez, Dolly Favorito, Nick Aladdin, Ben David, Betty Mendez, Tommy Angeles, Danilo Jurado, Danny Boy; Original Music: Demet Velasquez; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description:  No Available Data

Film Achievement:  No Available Data

Film Review: “…Ipinanganak nga marahil si Ma. Rosa Vilma Tuazon Santos sa show business dahil sa pagitan ng taping ng “Larawan..” ay nagkasunod-sunod na ang kanyang mga pelikula…“My Darling Eddie” ng JBC (Disyembre 16 – 23, 1969, “Mardy” ng JBC (Disyembre 31 – Enero 6, 1969)…hanggang “Young Love” ng VP Enero 1 – 21, 1970) ng lumikha ng rekord sa takilya….Makalipas ang mga tatlong buwan, nakatanggap ng maikling sulat si Mama Santos muka lay G. Agra. Naghahanap ang Sampaguita Picutures ng batang babae na gaganap ng mahalagang papel sa “Anak, Ang Iyong Ina!” at isinali ng amain ang pangalan ni Vi. Hindi puwedeng lumiban si Papa Santos sa pinpasukang government office, at ayaw naman nilang mapahiya ang kamag-anak, kaya napilitan si Mama Santos na humingi ng day=off sa opisina (Aguinaldo’s). Pagdating sa studio, wala si G. Agra at nasa location shooting, ngunit totoong naroroon ang pangalan ni Vi, kaya’t pinapasok sila sa tanggapan. Napadaan sa harapan ni Mama Santos si Bella Flores na dala ang script ng “Trudis Liit.” Nagulumihanan si Mama Santos. Binasa niyang muli ang liham ni G. Agra. Mali yata ang napuntahan nila! Akma niyang tatawagin si Vi na noon ay nkikipaglaro sa iba pang mga bata upang yayain na itong umuwi, nang pumasok sina Mommy Vera, Dr. at Mrs. Perez, at Eddie Garcia. At doon nagsimula ang movie career ni Vi na magpahanggang ngayon ay batbat pa rin ng iba’t ibang panunuri, opinyon at konklusiyon…” – Ched P. Gonzales (READ MORE)

“Eddie Peregrina was another OPM (Original Pilipino Music) legend. While he sang with The Blinkers in Japan, he also became the first jukebox king in his homeland where Filipinos thronged around the coin-operated machines to drop 20 centavos to listen to their favorite singing idol. With the band, Eddie Peregrina gave us memorable hits like Blue Eyes and Together Again. During his prime, Eddie Pergrina was also doing TV (like the popular The Eddie-Nora Show) and acted in movies with leading ladies (like Vilma Santos, Espie Fabon, Nora Aunor). Eddie died from a car accident at the age of 32 in 1977. He was survived by his wife, Lyn, and two daughters, Edlyn and Michelle. He left a legacy of evergreen songs like Alaala ay ikaw and Nabubuhay ako dahil sa’yo…” – Questing Bandstand (READ MORE)

“…Peregrina’s popularity was high, particularly among masses. Jukebox, the coin-operated machine which plays selected music, was said to have attained much popularity as well because of continuous requests of Peregrina’s songs. His fame surge even more among the Filipino masses when he became movie star, cast with the leading ladies of the 1970s, including Esperanza Fabon and Nora Aunor, with whom he had a TV show entitled The Eddie-Nora Show on Channel 9 in the 1960s. Among his movies included Mardy, Memories of Our Dreams with Esperanza Fabon. He co-starred with his wife Lyn Salazarin in Batul of Mactan in 1974. He was also the leading man in Dito sa Aking Puso (1970) with Nora Aunor and with Vilma Santos in Mardy. Most of his films were produced by JBC Productions, which invariably paired him with Vilma Santos, Edgar Mortiz, Esperanza Fabon, and directed by Bebong Osorio. When not busy attending show business commitments, he managed his own business, including Edviper Records and the Pervil Photo Studio…” – Wikepedia (READ MORE)

“…During the early 60’s, a singer’s popularity was practically determined by the jukebox, a coin-operated machine that can play specially selected songs from self-contained media. It was a period when fans dropped 20 centavos in a jukebox to listen to Timi Yuro’s “Crazy” or Matt Monro’s “Walk Away” and “Before You Go.” Of course, Eddie’s songs like “Together Again,” “Two Lovely Flowers,” “Mardy” and “I Do Love You” were such national anthems and outdid their foreign counterparts not only in the jukebox market but also on the airwaves, in restaurants and well…the local cabarets…” – Gypsy Baldovino (READ MORE)

“…If you don’t even get one answer right, you are, if not a foreigner, either a hopeless bourgeois or an incurable egghead. But if you guess that (a) “Mardy” is an Eddie Peregrina top tune and the title of one of his movies; (b) Orasyon na naman is the standard opening line of Johnny de Leon’s afternoon radio program, Lundagin Mo, Baby; (c) Nora Cabaltera Villamayor is the real name of Nora Aunor; (d) Pilyo, nguni’t clean fun is the slogan of Pogi; Ricky Na, Tirso Pa is the movie that brings together for the first time those real-life first cousins, Ricky Belmonte and Tirso Cruz III, congratulations: you are true connoisseur of bakya…” – Pete Lacaba (READ MORE)