Evita Peron (1981)



Director:    Marvin J. Chomsky.

Starring:     Faye Dunaway (Evita), James Ferentino (Juan Peron), Michael Constantine (Jaime Yankelevich), Pedro Armendariz, Jr. (Cypriano Reyes), Bill Baldwin (Radio Announcer), Tony Brande (Tomasso).

Four-hour TV biopic.

Story of the rise of the poor girl Evita to be the first lady of Argentina (married to president of Argentina, the fascist Juan Peron).





Historical Background:


Evita Peron:


1919 (May 7) – Born Maria Eva Ibarguren. The youngest child and illegitimate at that. Her father was Juan Duarte. The children were ostracized. They worked as cooks on the estancias.

Lived in a hick town called Los Toldos on the prairie known as the Argentine pampas.

1926 -- 7 years of age -- her father died. She was very much an ugly duckling. She was known as a girl who kept very much to herself, a quiet, day-dreaming type.

1929 -- 10 years of age; her mother finds another protector. Move to town of Junin.

1933 -- 14 years of age; first part in a student play; she decides she will become an actress.

1934 -- 15 years of age; goes backstage to meet a handsome young tango singer, Agustin Magaldi. The next evening, after his show, they drive through the night to Buenos Aires.

1939-- while stationed in Italy as a military observer, Juan Peron was deeply impressed by the nationalism of the fascists. On his return to Argentina he involved himself deeply in the secret military organization, the GOU (Groupo Obra de Unificacion or Unification Task Force), which was composed of young turks bent on remodeling Argentina’s political system.

She collected a succession of lovers, each one carefully picked to help her career.

1942 -- a wealthy soap manufacturer falls in love with Evita and gives her a radio program of her own.

1943 -- 24 years of age; she begins a radio series that makes her well-known throughout Argentina. It was called My Kingdom of Love and consisted of weekly soap operas.

1943 (June 4) -- a military coup brings a small group of Army generals to power in Argentina. She got to know President Ramirez. (But Peron was the power behind the throne.) She gets a raise at the radui station.

She then hooks up with Colonel Anibal Imbert, the Minister of Communications. She gets another salary increase.

1944 (January 15) -- earthquake. Meets Colonel Juan Domingo Peron at a fund-raising variety show in Luna Park. He was with actress Libertad Lamarque, one of Argentina’s loveliest actresses. When it was Libertad’s turn to take the microphone, Eva slipped into the empty chair beside the colonel. He was 48, double her age.

1944 (July) -- Peron has President Farell appoint him to be Vice-President, a post he held with that of War Minister and Secretary of Labor.

She moves Peron into an apartment next to hers. By mid-1944 she was earning the equivalent of a fortune by Argentine standards.

His fellow officers could not stand his girlfriend. As soldiers, they were supposed to be running a military dictatorship. Yet a woman pulled the strings.

In order to keep him in power, she made him become the leader of the working class; leader of the shirtless ones (descamisados).

Eva had to go.

Attempted coup of Peron, lead by General Avalos. He is arrested but they don’t arrest Eva. She saves the day by calling out the workers to conduct a general strike. Her man was back in power and she put him there.

1945 -- 26 years of age -- Eva marries Peron.

1946 (June 4) -- Peron elected president. Eva Peron becomes the First Lady.

1947 -- 28 years of age. She travels abroad on the Rainbow Tour. Popular tabloid newspapers followed her every move. Time magazine even put Evita on its cover. Visits Franco in Spain. Also visits the Pope.

Her Social Aid Foundation became the country’s biggest single enterprise. A lot of the money went to her, but the people also wanted her to live regally.

1949 (July 26) – Evita brought into being the Peronista Feminist Party.

The Perons stayed in power via a good deal of repression.

Peron bungles the management of the economy.

She tried to become vice-president, but the generals told Peron that they would not accept this. She took ill shortly afterwards.

1951 (Nov. 11) -- Eva votes for her husband from her sick bed in the presidential election.

1952 (June 4) – Peron takes the oath of office. Evita’s last public appearance.

1952 (July 26) -- death of Evita.

Three years later, Peron is out of power.



Return To Main Page

Return to Home Page (Vernon Johns Society)