Filmography: Sweethearts (1970)

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Basic Information: Directed: Leody M. Diaz; Story, screenplay: Henry Cuino; Cast: Edgar Mortiz, Vilma Santos, Snooky, Arnold Gamboa, Von Serna, Mila Ocampo, Eddie Mercado, Elaine Stuart, Ernie Vega, Scarlet, Cloyd Robinson, Wilma Landicho, Imelda Alonzo, Rico Villa, Carding De Guzman, Eliel Cavestany; Executive producer: Experidion Laxa; Film poster: Video48

Plot Description:  No Available Data

Film Achievement:  Sweethearts was also an music album of Edgar Mortiz and Vilma Santos.

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)

“…Young “Chico” (his nickname from childhood) received his first call sheet from Tagalong Ilang-Ilang (TII) Pictures, run by Ferrer’s brother Espiridon Laxa, one of the most powerful independents at the time that had stamped its mark in the early Sixties promoting Fernando Poe Jr (or FPJ) and Joseph Estrada as the screen’s rough and tough action heroes. The action-ready Chito’s first film however was Sweethearts (1970), a teen weepie with a young star-on-the-rise Vilma Santos, directed by TII’s workhorse Leody M. Diaz. More roles followed with Tony (Agent X44) Ferrer AND with Fernando Poe Jr; on the set of Salaginho’t Salagubang (1972), his debut for FPJ Productions, Fernando himself changed Chito’s screen name from Liwanag (“Light”) to the more warlike Guerrero…” – Andrew Leavold (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Pinagbuklod ng Pag-ibig (1978)

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Basic Information: Directed: Leonardo L Garcia; Story, screenplay: Joeben Miraflor; Cast: Romeo Vasquez, Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Tirso Cruz III, Jessica, Rudolfo Boy Garcia, Zandro Zamora, Odette Khan, Chito Guerrero, Rustica Carpio, Babette Villaruel, Estrella Kuenzler, Romnick Sarmenta, Mary Jane; Executive producer: Experidion Laxa; Original Music: Tito Arevalo; Cinematography: Zossimo Corpuz; Film Editing: Edgardo Vinarao

Plot Description: Mina (Vilma Santos) is a commercial model struggling to provide financial assistance to her ill mother when she meets the arrogant painter Dino (Romeo Vasquez). He offers her to be a model for his work of art which she accepted. This has drawn them closer to each other until Mina learns of Dino’s past relationship that eventually becomes a hindrance to their budding romance. Meanwhile, Mina’s best friend Laura (Nora Aunor) has always been in love with Angelo (Tirso Cruz III). However, due to their parent’s rivalry and Angelo’s mother coercing him to become a priest, they separated. During this time, Laura is raped by her long-time suitor which resulted to unwanted pregnancy. Years after, Angelo who fails to endure being away from his true love, Laura, returns to ask for her hand in marriage. Everything seems well for the couple until the real father of Laura’s first child comes back. Angelo is overwhelmed with jealousy that he starts to ruin the picture-perfect family they had before. Find out how the two friends will resolve their trouble relationships in this classic film you’ll never forget.

Film Achievement: 1978 FAMAS Nomination Best Child Actor – Romnick Sarmenta

Film Review: “Sometime in the mid 70s, matinee idol Romeo Vasquez returned to the movie scene after a long absence, his movie career in limbo after his failed marriage with popular actress Amalia Fuentes. His teamup with Vilma Santos somehow rekindled and revived his career. Their first movie together, Nag-aapoy na Damdamin in 1976 turned out to be a big hit. Despite their age gap, reel and real life sweetheart, Romeo, 34 and Vilma, 23, soon became the hottest love team, doing one hit movies after another…” – Video 48 (READ MORE)

“…Romeo Vasquez is an oddity in Vilma’s life. Hindi akalain ng lahat na ang isang notorious playboy and balikbayan actor would capture the heart of the then elusive Ate Vi. Nagkaroon sila ng affair which lasted for more than a year. Kilala si Bobby sa pagiging bohemyo kaya naman walang kakilala si Ate Vi na bumoto sa aktor. Ate Vi was love struck at talagang na head-over heels in love. Nagsimula ang kanilang affair sa set ng kanilang pelikulang “Nag-aapoy na Damdamin”. True to this title, nagliyab silang dalawa at tunay ngang nag-apoy ang kanilang damdamin. May plano pa nga sila ni Bobby na magpakasal sa Europe. Talagang Ate Vi was ready to give up her life as an actress and would settle with the actor abroad. And with herb relationship with Bobby, nag-surface ang bagong Vilma Santos.Ate Vi realized that she cann’t sacrifice everything for love. Nagising siya sa katotohanan at nagkamali kung kaya nagdesisyon siyang kumalas sa bohemyong aktor…” – Willie Fernandez (READ MORE)

“…But it was with handsome actor Romeo Vasquez that Vilma Santos had her most controversial relationship. Romeo was the former husband of Philippine movie queen Amalia Fuentes. He and Vilma first paired in the movie Nag-aapoy na Damdamin (1976). It was also during this year that they became a couple. They made several movies together, all of which did well at the box-office. Vi and Bobby (Romeo’s nickname) became the most-talked about reel and real love team at the time. The relationship was always on the pages of showbiz magazines and tabloid entertainment section pages because of the intrigues and the personalities who got involved with them…” – Rommel R. Llanes (READ MORE)

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Filmography: Ikaw ay Akin (1978)

“Rex…anong gagawin mo? Ako anong gagawin ko? Ako ba ang nagpapagulo sa otherwise your perfect world?…sure? Rex ang problem ako hindi lang ako eh…si Teresita rin…nasasaktan ko na siya…anong gagawin ko iwasan kita eh de ako naman ang nasaktan? Shit! Bakit? Ewan…nahihiya nako kay Teresita at saka sa’yo eh!…Rex huwag mong sabihin yan, naiintindihan mo ba ako? I need your presence more than anything else. Sabi nila liberated woman raw ako, front lang, kalog raw, front din…alam mo namang kulang-kulang ako eh sinabi ko na sayo nun pa…ninenerbiyos ako kapag hindi kita kasama eh, baka dapuan ako ng kung ano diyan, bery-bery, typoid fever! Pakiramdam ko safe lang ako kapag nariyan ka eh…pag wala ka,huh, nagwawala ako parang manok takbo ng takbo wala namang ulo!…Rex, anong gagawin mo?” – Sandra

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Basic Information: Directed, screenplay: Ishmael Bernal; Story: Jose Carreon; Cast: Vilma Santos, Nora Aunor, Christopher De Leon, Nick Romano , Ellen Esguerra, Zandro Zamora, Odette Khan, Charmie Benavidez, Ernie Zarate, Cris Vertido, Anton Juan, Sandy Andolong; Executive producer: Experidion Laxa; Original Music: The Vanishing Tribe; Cinematography: Sergio Lobo; Film Editing: Augusto Salvador; Production Design: Mel Chionglo; Sound: Teddy Ramos, Rolly Ruta

Plot Description: Botanist, Tere’s (Nora Aunor) long stable relationship with business executive Rex (Christopher Deleon) was shaken when Sandra (Vilma Santos) came into their lives. A pill popping liberal career minded, Sandra made Rex’s monotonous life colourful and exciting. He later realized that both women complete his existence. – RV

An unusual story of three people caught in the unexplainable intricacies of love and need. The five year old relationship of Rex and Tere is put to a test as Sandra, the kooky, talented and aggressive designer rocks the picture perfect and peaceful relationship. The solid and unruffled engagement cracks as Rex is immediately smitten by Sandra’s dynamic persona. The film features the superstar team-up of award winning artists Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos and the drama king, Christopher de Leon. – Database of Philippine Movies

Ang ‘Ikaw ang Akin’ ay tungkol sa isang paboritong paKsa sa ating puting-tabing: ang trianggulo ng pag-ibig. Si Rex (Christopher de Leon) ay batambatang tagapamahala ng isang pagawaan ng dyipni. Limang taon na silang magkatipan ni Tere (Nora Aunor), isang dalubhasa sa paghahalaman. Mapayapa at maayos ang kanilang pagsasama hanggang makilala ni Rex si Sandra (Vilma Santos), isang designer. Nagsimulang magkaroon ng sigalot ang pagsasama nina Rex at Tere. Hindi makapagpasiya si Rex kung sino ang pipilijn sa dalawa na kapwa naging matimbang sa kanya. Sa huli, nataios ni Rex na ang pag-ibig at pag-aangkin sa isang nilalang ay isang masalimuot na damdaming hindi nararapat sarilinin ng isang tao lamang. – Manunuri

Tagalog movie’s traditional love triangle is told in a sophisticated, unconventional way. Stars three of the country’s younger superstars – Christopher de Leon torn between a quiet, conservative type played by Nora Aunor, and a contemporary “free spirit”, Vilma Santos. Excellent performances by the three principal players with fine support by Ernie Zarate, Ellen Esguerra, and Rene Requiestas. Earned the critics Urian nominations for best actress (Aunor and Santos), supporting actor (Zarate), screenplay (Jose N. Carreon), cinematorgraphy, editing, sound, direction and best picture. Urian awardees for best actor (De Leon), production design (Mel Chionglo) and musical score (Vanishing Tribe). Directed by Ishmael Bernal for Tagalog Ilang-Ilang. – Trigon Video

Film Achievement: 1978 Gawad URIAN Best Actor – Christopher De Leon; 1978 Gawad URIAN Best Music – “The Vanishing Tribe”; 1978 Gawad URIAN Best Production Design – Mel Chionglo; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Actress – Vilma Santos; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Actress – Nora Aunor; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Cinematography – Sergio Lobo; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Director – Ishmael Bernal; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Editing – Augusto Salvador; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Picture; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Screenplay – Jose Carreon; 1978 Gawad URIAN Nomination Best Supporting Actor – Ernie Zarate

Film Reviews: “…After 37 years, Ikaw Ay Akin becomes a materialist indictment of the patriarchal deceit cisgender passion must contend with, opening up the queerness that emerges from feminine confidence as zone of alternative feelings. And, of course, Nora still punctures the assault with an imperturbable will to punctuate the sentence, despite the adages of her time failing to utter competitive affection, convincing Vilma that the encounter isn’t just about female rivalry, but also masculine decadence…” – J. Pilapil Jacobo, Young Critics Circle Film Desk, 21 November 2015 (READ MORE)

“Ikaw ay Akin” is the latest addition to Ishmael Bernal’s continuing attempt to portray how people and relationships are at once simple and complex. It is also the most engaging local movie shown this year, once again proving that the marriage of commerce and art can be remarkably fruitful. Those who expect the film to be one of those triangles of the “Sapagkat Kami’y Tao Lamang” variety will be disappointed. Made with taste and finesse uncommon in Pilipino movies. “Ikaw” surveys the interactions of three people caught in the unexplainable intricacies of need and love.

Rex, the young executive of a jeepney-producing firm, has been going steady with Tere, a demure orchid expert, for five years. Theirs is the kind of self-satisfied relationship that results from along, unruffled engagement. That is until he meets Sandra. An artist-designer, Sandra is kooky, talkative, aggressive career girl who is also neurotic, chain-smoking, tranquilizer-gulping, phobia-laden product of a broken family. Rex is immediately attracted to Sandra’s seemingly boundless energy. Compared to her, Tere is a calm, reserved, efficient, level-headed woman who looks totally in control of herself.

The “menage-a-trois” is then sensitively laid out for viewers to look into the hurts and joys, hesitations and decisions, delights and agonies of each character. At film’s end nothing is really resolved. Most loyal viewers will be revolted by this ambiguity. To get their money’s worth, they feel they must be sure “kung kanino talaga napunta si Christopher, kay Nora ba o Vilma?” But Bernal is not so much concerned with fulfilling audience expectations than with putting across his message: that no one can totally, absolutely, fully own another human being. The best thing is to understand the needs of a person and love him according to his limitations. This is evident in the lines of Rex, whose character we completely grasp only as the film nears its conclusion. Rex tells Tere: “Kailangan ako ni Sandra hindi lamang sa pisikal kundi sa emosyonal din. Tulad ng pangangailangan ko sa iyo. Sa kanya, parang nagkaroon ako ng gamit. Kailangan ko kayong dalawa para mabuo ako.” To Sandra, he says later: “Si Tere, tinaggap nang hindi niya ako maaangkin nang buong-buo. Kung sasabihin mong nakuha mo nang buong-buo ang isang bagay, kulang pa rin.”

Unlike other superstar team-ups that fail to exploit the golden opportunity of pulling in sure audiences to watch a serious work, Bernal’s greatest achievement lies not so much in putting his three big stars together but in making use of them to lure their fans and followers intos eeing a mature, sensible film. And his cast serves Bernal very well. In the hands of a capable director, Christopher de Leon proves that his forgettable appearance in such odious films as “Topo-Topo Barega” and “Disco Fever” are mere lapses in judgment that do not entirely discredit his craft. He also shows enough gallantry by not getting into the way of his leading ladies, whose roles are undoubtedly more demanding than his. As the uptight Sandra, Vilma Santos has the script’s choicest, wittiest lines. She makes the most of them and succeeds in giving a fairly accurate portrait of an emotionally insecure young woman. And when she tells Rex: “sabi nila liberated ako, front lang. Kalog daw, front din. Alam mo namang kulang-kulang ako. Pag wala ka, magkakalat ako. Para akong manok, takbo ng takbo wala namang ulo.” She likewise handles her final breakdown exceedingly well. Nora has less lines but she nevertheless manages to conveys her emotions very effectively. In that family reunion-party which is so engrossed in gossip and banter, she remains so detached, speaking nary a word — a triumph for both Bernal and her. The hurt in her eyes continues to build up until that disrupted dinner scene where she rushes to her room and, unable to contain herself, finally cries. The most stable of the three, you could really believe her when she tells Rex: “Galit ako sa ‘king sarili, dahil sinasaktan mo na ako nang todo-todo pero lalo ka namang napapamahal sa akin.”

The film is greatly enhanced by Jose Carreon’s vibrant script, Mel Chionglo’s superb production design, the Vanishing Tribe’s fine musical score, and Augusto Salvador’s brisk editing (few scenes last longer than a couple of minutes). But the lion’s share of credit goes to Bernal. I particularly like his splendid use of meaningful pauses and oppressive silences, as in Sandra and Tere’s accidental first meeting at Rex’s house, Sandra’s soundless dinner with her father that leads to her breakdown, and the long, quiet ending scene where Sandra and Tere never say a word and yet succeed in finally communicating with each other. Our viewers are discomfited by this exhausting process, what with the underdeveloped tastes of our mass audience perpetuated by irresponsible irectors. But one fervently hopes for Bernal, who apparently believes he owes the audience his best even if they are more likely to love his third best more, that they would get the film’s message and, perhaps, even accept and like it. – Mario E. Bautista, Philippine Daily Express, 1978

“…Mas challenging ang role ni Ate Vi rito kumpara kay nora…mas magaganda ang mga dialogues ni Ate Vi na nakakatuwa at magaling ang pagkakadeliver niya ng mga linya. Sexy siya ha at magaganda ang mga damit na ginamit niya rito. Maigsi ang buhok na medyo curly. Bagay na bagay sa kanya. Komento ko lang ay medyo matinis pa ang boses ni Ate Vi rito…Ok din naman si Nora dito kaso nga gaya nga sabi ko, mas malaman ang role na napunta sa kanyang kumareng Vilma. Asiwa rin ako sa wig niya…teka naka wig nga ba siya rito na mahabang makapal? Di ko lang type ang pag-iyak ni nora…ewan ko ha pero wag naman sanang magagalit ang mga Noranians, medyo napapangitan talaga akong umiyak si Nora kahit noong bata pa ako. Pangit na pangit ako sa pag-iyak niya. Parang pinipilit niyang mag emote. Di rin ako sanay na nakikipaghalikan si Nora sa mga movies, sabagay bibihira naman talaga makipaghalikan si Nora sa mga screen partner niya at usually naman si Boyet ang kahalikan niya pero noong pinapanood ko ang halikan scene nila Nora at Boyet, parang naaasi-wa ako. Ewan ko ba…parang nakakadiring tignan ewan…upps, komento ko lang iyan ha…sa sine parang sa tingin ko ay di sabay ito kinunan sa tingin ko lang ay di sila magkaeksena rito bagamat pareho silang nasa sinehan. b) bahay scene – ang ikli ng pagsasama nilang dalawa rito na parang pinasabik ang mga manonood kung may iringan ba or acting sa acting ang magaganap, pero walang naganap na ganun! c) No Dialogue Scene – Grabe!! Ang galing ng eksenang ito. First time kong makanood ng ganitong ending…walang salitaan, sagutan, walang murahan, walang away, wala as in wala except labanan ng facial expression, eye acting ika nga. Kainis lang ang director na ito kasi pinaglaruan lamang ang imahinasyon ng mga manonood at ng mga Vilmanians-Noranians!!! huh… Mas gusto ko pa rin na marami sana silang eksena na magkasama…sayang!…” – Dream Forest, V magazine Nos. 7 2006

“…Makikita sa Ikaw Ay Akin ang dalawang magkaibang estilo ng pagganap na ipinamalas nina Nora at Vilma at kapwa akmang-akma ito sa buong katauhan ng mga karakter na kanilang ginampanan. Sino ang mas mahusay sa kanilang dalawa? Kani-kaniyang opinyon, depende sa mga nakapanood ng pelikula. Maraming nagsabing mas pinaboran daw ni Bernal si Vilma sa dahilang mas maramin itong mabibigat na eksena kaysa kay Nora, ngunit paano makakalimutan ang huling tagpo sa Ikaw Ay Akin kung saan mahabang katahimikan ang naging daan upang higit na magkaintindihan sina Tere at Sandra tungkol sa kanilang pag-ibig kay Rex. Kung totoong mas pinaboran ng direktor si Vilma ay nakabawi naman ito ng husto kay Nora pagdating sa nabanggit na eksena. Kakaiba din ang husay na ipinamalas ni Christopher de Leon, maaring alam niyang ang Ikaw Ay Akin ay pelikula ng dalawang malalaking aktres kung kaya tama lamang ang bigat ng pagganap na ipinamalas ng aktor sa papel ni Rex. Napagwagihan ni Christopher ang Pinakamahusay Na Pangunahing aktor mula sa Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino nang sumunod na taon samantalang kapwa nakatanggap ng nominasyon bilang Pinakamahusay Na Pangunahing Aktres sina Nora at Vilma sa Ikaw Ay Akin ngunit kapawa sila natalo ni Beth Bautista para sa kanyang mahusay na pagganap sa Hindi Sa Iyo Ang Mundo, Baby Porcuna. Hindi matatawaran ang tagumpay ng mga manlilikhang bumuo sa Ikaw Ay Akin na nagtaas ng kalidad ng dramatikong pelikulang Pilipino, nagturong umintindi ng husto sa damadamin ng mga taong tunay na nagmamahalan.” – Jojo Devera, Sari-saring Sineng Pinoy (READ MORE)

“…“Ikaw Ay Akin,” 1978, Ishmael Bernal. A refreshing change of role for the superstar, cast here as a smart and sophisticated horticulturist at odds with best friend and real-life rival Vilma Santos. Notable for its experimental and long closing shot of the two friends’ reunion, with only their eyes talking…” – Mario A. Hernando, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 01 October 2011 (READ MORE)

Silent Confrontation – “…The movie brings together fierce cinema rivals Aunor and Vilma Santos as well as Aunor’s then-husband, Christopher de Leon. Skydiving enthusiast Rex (De Leon) and horticulturist Tere (Aunor) are in a stable relationship until the arrival of Sandra (Santos), a liberal-minded artist. Rex embarks on an affair with her, then becomes overcome with guilt when Tere discovers the relationship. Ikaw ay Akin is best known for the “silent” confrontation scene between Aunor and Santos, where neither speak a single line and communicate by just staring at each other…” – Coconuts Manila, 27 July 2018 (READ MORE)

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