El Chanfle

El Chanfle is a 1978 Mexican sports comedy movie written by and starring Chespirito.

El Chanfle
Directed byEnrique Segoviano
Produced byFabián Arnaud
Written byRoberto Gómez Bolaños
StarringRoberto Gómez Bolaños
Florinda Meza
Ramón Valdés
Carlos Villagrán
Edgar Vivar
Rubén Aguirre
María Antonieta de las Nieves
Angelines Fernández
Raúl 'Chato' Padilla
Music byErnesto Cortázar hijo
CinematographyFernando Colín
Edited byLuis Sobreyra
Release date
January 18, 1979


El Chanfle (Roberto Gomez Bolaños) is a waterboy at Club América who helps the coach, Moncho Reyes (Ramón Valdés) during soccer games, by giving the players water and helping them with shoes and everything else they need during the game. Constantly he daydreams during the games, causing him to accidentally kick the coach during penalty shots. His uptight honesty and good character are such that it constantly irritates Coach Reyes as it interferes with his very loose code of conduct.

He is married to Tere (Florinda Meza), a typical housewife, who's passionate about soccer, mainly because of Chanfle's job. Despite having been married for 10 years, they haven't been able to start a family. This worries both as Tere was already 28 years old and Chanfle was 35. They are also in a rather bad financial situation, to the point that they could not afford fixing an old sofa, which falls to the back when someone sits on it.

One day, Tere was talking to Chanfle about saving, and she said (talking about saving money): "You saw what I bought at the supermarket?". Then Tere showed Chanfle a pair of new shoes. So Chanfle said: "That isn't saving, that is spending!". After that Tere said: "Nope, it's saving, because I bought them in the supermarket and nobody charged me for them", making Chanfle realize that his wife took a pair of shoes without paying them, so he (as a recurring gag) rolls up two imaginary sleeves and returned to the store with Tere.

There, he paid 299 pesos, in order to pay for the shoes, to a nice cashier store clerk (Angelines Fernández), who told them that already their bosses had discounted that amount from her salary, therefore he did not have to pay for the shoes.

Chanfle's kind boss and president of the club, Mr. Matute (Rubén Aguirre) becomes aware of this after Chanfle asks him for a raise. Then, Mr. Matute told Dr. Nájera (Édgar Vivar), who was the physician at the soccer team, about Chanfle and Tere's predicament. After Tere and Chanfle talked with Dr. Nájera, the Doctor told them that he knew some people at a lab, so Chanfle and his wife went there for some lab tests. Incidentally, Dr. Nájera sat on the coach and, due to his overweight figure, he broke the floor making him fall down to Dr. Chapatin's apartment, some floors below.

After that, Tere brought the results to Dr. Nájera, who told her she was going to have a baby. She was nervous and very happy at the same time, then she gave the news to her husband, who also was very happy, to the point of jumping and dancing at the club's patio.

But Tere and Chanfle were still in need of money like they had before. So they decided to sell an old gun, formerly belonging to Tere's father. Chanfle and Tere went down the street and tried to sell the pistol to a drunk man named Paco (Raúl 'Chato' Padilla), who thought that they were trying to rob him, due to Chanfle showing the gun as he was pointing him, and proceeded to give some things from his house to Chanfle (and old lamp, a guitar, etc.). Paco then yelled at a policeman, saying that Tere and Chanfle were trying to rob him, so they began to run and were not successful in selling the pistol.

Later, Chanfle and his wife Tere shop at the same store where Tere took the shoes. They discovered that Paco, the drunk man, was the husband of the cashier who originally had to pay for the shoes. Paco bumps Chanfle at the parking lot of the store, and because Paco was angry because he thought Chanfle was robbing him before, he throws a watermelon at Chanfle and chased him all the way to a city park. As Chanfle gets back to the parking lot, Tere wants to drive home herself and is impatient about it, causing her to become less careful with her driving and to crash with another car.

Due to the aforementioned ethics of Chanfle, he insists on paying for the damage to the car's owner. So he goes to Paco's wife and asks her who is the owner of the car with the license plates: 631-ACJ. After hearing this she realizes it's her own car, and simply says: "Only yesterday, I had my car at the mechanic".

Chanfle and Tere's financial problems were solved when Tere went once again to the supermarket and gave Paco's wife 100 pesos for the car's repair. Then, she confesses that her husband wants to buy a gun. When Tere heard this, she promptly and very happily said: "I'll sell you one!!!". That evening, she sells the gun to Paco's wife and now Tere is debt-free.

The months go by, and Tere was going to give birth. Club América is expected to play the championship game against Atletico Español and Tere is expecting to deliver after the game, so she went to the soccer stadium with Diana (María Antonieta de las Nieves), the soccer club's secretary, who is in love with the most popular player at the team, Valentino (Carlos Villagrán). Tere meets again with Paco and his wife. Paco wonders if they have met before. During the game, Tere begins to have contractions, so with the help of Paco's wife she is taken to the infirmary to be attended by Dr. Nájera.

At the same time, Valentino cheats to provoke a penalty kick which helps América get a goal. In the second half, Chanfle learns that his wife was about to give birth, at the same time that an Atlético defender puts Valentino down to sentence another penalty kick. At that moment, Chanfle daydreams about his son to be, seeing the boy become a famous player for America (with the looks of Chanfle) and is able to be a forward for his team scoring an irrational number of goals for America in that game. But he wakes up after kicking coach Don Moncho again when daydreaming about his son shooting a penalty kick. After this he is kicked off the game intentionally in order to see his wife.

Chanfle bumps into Paco again, who has the gun in his hands, and tries to kill Chanfle. A wild run ensues, causing them to enter the stadium again and both of them cause the game to be suspended. While Tere is suffering with the birth contractions, at the same time Valentino is suffering due to a lesion he get in play.

Paco chases Chanfle down to the medical office, where Tere is giving birth to a girl, to Chanfle's dismay. So, Paco's wife explained to her husband that Chanfle was the honest man who paid his wife's shoes and sold her the pistol. Paco still thought that Chanfle was trying to rob him, until Tere said that her husband's real purpose was to sell the gun when Paco was drunk. Tere then said that Paco couldn't kill Chanfle because the pistol was broken. Then Chanfle, hearing this, asked Paco: "How much do I owe you?".

At the end, Mr. Matute announces that Chanfle will be the Children's team coach. As Chanfle is about to sign his contract, he accidentally breaks all the office furniture and also a glass sign with "The End" symbol.



El Chanfle was premiered in Mexico and Latin America in late 1978 and 1979. The movie had mixed reviews, but it was a huge hit, due to the popularity of Chespirito at that time. The movie was so successful that even rivaled "Superman, the Movie" in the Box Office in Latin America. The film is also highly regarded by Chespirito's fans, because it showcase the first and only time that the entire cast was together in one production. After the movie was premiered, Carlos Villagran left the group due to the constant clash with Gomez Bolaños. Ramón Valdez left the group a few months later, and did a brief comeback in 1981. Raul "El Chato" Padilla was a guest member of the group for almost a year, and became a permanent member of the cast from 1981 until his death in 1994.

A sequel of El Chanfle (El Chanfle 2 or El Chanfle Segundo) was premiered in 1982. It was successful at the box office but not at the level of the first film.


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