Gabriel Figueroa's evocative photography makes the Mexican-American co-production The Pearl seem a more significant piece of filmmaking than it really is. Based on John Steinbeck's short novel, The Pearl is the tragic fable of a simple Mexican fisherman (Pedro Armendariz) who finds a valuable pearl and begins fantasizing about untold wealth and luxury for himself and family. His more sensible wife (Maria Elena Marques) is uncertain as to whether the pearl is an omen of good luck, but soon she, too, falls under its spell. The couple's naivete leads to their being exploited and brutalized by sharpsters and thieves. Before the fisherman angrily hurls the pearl back into the sea, the gem brings about nothing but death and despair. Co-scripted by Steinbeck, director Emil Fernandez, and Jack Wagner, The Pearl was filmed on location in Mexico, using the facilities of the RKO-owned Churubusco Studios.
by Hal Erickson synopsis