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El Topo (1970)

El topo (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 15 April 1971 (Mexico)
A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.


(as Alexandro Jodorowsky)


(as Alexandro Jodorowsky)

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2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Brontis Jodorowsky ...
José Legarreta ...
Bandido 1
José Luis Fernández ...
Bandido 2
Alf Junco ...
Bandido 3 (as Alí Junco)
Gerardo Zepeda ...
Bandido 4 (as Gerardo Cepeda)
René Barrera ...
Bandido 5
René Alís ...
Bandido 6
Federico Gonzáles ...
Bandido 7
Vicente Lara ...
Bandido 8
Pablo Leder ...
Monje 1
Giuliano Girini Sasseroli ...
Monje 2
Cristian Merkel ...
Monje 3
Aldo Grumelli ...
Monje 4


El Topo decides to confront warrior Masters on a trans-formative desert journey he begins with his 6 year old son, who must bury his childhood totems to become a man. El Topo (the mole) claims to be God, while dressed as a gunfighter in black, riding a horse through a spiritual, mystical landscape strewn with old Western movie, and ancient Eastern religious symbols. Bandits slaughtered a village on his path, so El Topo avenges the massacred, then forcibly takes their leader's woman Mara as his. El Topo's surreal way is bloody, sexual and self-reflective, musing of his own demons, as he tries to vanquish those he encounters. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Definitive Cult Spaghetti Western


Drama | Western


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 April 1971 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

The Gopher  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


After decades of speculation, a sequel to the film, titled "The Sons of El Topo", was finally released in 2016, not as a film, but as a graphic novel, published in France by Glenat BD. See more »


[first lines]
El Topo: [to his son] You are seven years old. You are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother's picture.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits in the English-dubbed version of El Topo state that ABKCO Films copyrighted the film in 1967; however, ABKCO didn't purchase (any rights to) it until June of 1971! See more »


Featured in Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

incredible stuff
10 May 2004 | by (London - UK) – See all my reviews

Truly astonishing film from writer/director/composer Alejandro Jodorowsky. This is one of the most hypnotic films you'll ever see and is one that stays in the mind for days afterwards. Think Leone, Fellini and Peckinpah joining forces to make a mystical, existential and spiritual western and you're someway close to Jodorowsky's masterpiece. There are so many things to like and admire in this film from the sometimes purposely jarring editing and the beautiful music to the gorgeous vistas inhabited by a plethora of interesting and unusual characters. Track down a copy (Italy's Raro video currently has a decent dvd on release. I got mine from xploitedcinema) and you will not regret it. Be warned though - some of the images are pretty extreme, especially for 1971. A stunner and a definite must have for any serious film collector.

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