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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?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. 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 »


Referenced in Standing Still (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

El Topo as a spiritual metaphor & journey.
30 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie about a dozen times from the early to mid '70's. It was labeled "a cult movie." While I never joined a cult, I was moved to see it a many times as I did because it was a metaphor that spoke strongly to my own spiritual searches at the time. The western motif and travels of our hero/anti hero spoke eloquently of the "mole's search for the light." While the violence was overwhelming at times, I didn't think is redundant or too much. Western society, perhaps all great civilizations, was built on a tremendous amount of violence. The scenes in the mountain with those marginalized from society and their subsequent "liberation" out of the mountain and into the light was an awesome scene. The violence that took place after wards and our own here's self immolation was very poignant. I continue to look for the movie today and hope that whatever is preventing it from being available in North America will be resolved soon. I am very curious to observe my own responses to this film today. I have seen other movies by Jordorowsky and none equaled the impact that El Topo had upon me.

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