IMDb > El Topo (1970)
El topo
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El Topo (1970) More at IMDbPro »El topo (original title)

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Overview

User Rating:
7.5/10   14,400 votes »
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Writer:
Alejandro Jodorowsky (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for El Topo on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 April 1971 (Mexico) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Definitive Cult Spaghetti Western
Plot:
El Topo decides to confront warrior Masters on a trans-formative desert journey he begins with his 6 year old son... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins See more »
NewsDesk:
(143 articles)
‘Jodorowsky‘s Dune’ Review
 (From Blogomatic3000. 29 October 2014, 9:02 AM, PDT)

Daily | Rivette, Hurtado(s), Jodorowsky
 (From Keyframe. 30 September 2014, 9:58 AM, PDT)

The Definitive ‘What the F**k?’ Movies: 10-1
 (From SoundOnSight. 23 September 2014, 8:26 PM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Unique, brutal, fascinating, allegory of many religions.. See more (112 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Alejandro Jodorowsky ... El Topo
Brontis Jodorowsky ... Hijo
José Legarreta ... Moribundo

Alfonso Arau ... 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
Mara Lorenzio ... La mujer
David Silva ... Coronel
Ignacio Martínez España ... Manco
Eliseo Gardea Saucedo ... Cojo
Héctor Martínez ... Maestro 1 (as Hector Martinez 'El Borrado')
Paula Romo ... Desconocida
Bertha Lomelí ... Gitana (as Berta Lomeli)
Juan José Gurrola ... Maestro 2
Víctor Fosado ... Maestro 3
Agustín Isunza ... Maestro 4
Jacqueline Luis ... Mujercita
Carlos Lavenant ... Verdugo 1
Eliseo Pereda ... Verdugo 2
Pablo Marichal ... Esclavo
Beatriz Beltrán Lobo ... Señora 1
Carmen Lamadrid ... Señora 2
Pepita González ... Señora 3
Cecilia Leger ... Señora 4 (as Cecilia Leguer)
Elvira Agosti ... Señora 5
Antonio Álvarez ... Prisonero 1 (as Antonio Alvarez)

Rueben Gonzáles ... Prisonero 2 (as Rubén González)
Víctor Manuel Osorio ... Prisonero 3
José Pérez Bustos ... Prisonero 4
Eduardo Danel ... Prisonero 5
Álvaro García ... Prisonero 6 (as Alvaro García)
José Antonio Alcaraz ... Sheriff
Felipe Díaz Garza ... Ayudante (as Felipe Diazgarza)
Patricio Pereda ... Niño
Marcos E. Contreras ... Boxeador 1
Arturo Silva ... Boxeador 2
Robert John ... Hijo del Topo
Julián de Meriche ... Cura (as Julien de Meriche)
Valerie Tremblay ... Mujer iglesia (as Valerie Trumblay)
José Luis González de León ... Hombre iglesia (as J.L. González de León)
Francisco González Salazar ... Tendero
Pedro García ... Hombre zanahoria

Directed by
Alejandro Jodorowsky  (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
 
Writing credits
Alejandro Jodorowsky (written by) (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)

Produced by
Juan López Moctezuma .... associate producer
Moshe Rosemberg .... associate producer (as Moishe Rosemberg)
Saúl Rosemberg .... associate producer
Roberto Viskin .... associate producer
Roberto Viskin .... executive producer
Mick Gochanour .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Alejandro Jodorowsky  (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
 
Cinematography by
Rafael Corkidi (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Federico Landeros 
 
Production Design by
Alejandro Jodorowsky  (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
 
Art Direction by
José Durán 
 
Set Decoration by
José Luis Garduño 
 
Costume Design by
Alejandro Jodorowsky  (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
José Luis González de León .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Gonzalo Gavira .... sound effects engineer
Lilia Lupercio .... sound editor
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Miguel Garzón .... camera operator
Pedro Moreno .... chief electrician
Antonio Ruiz .... camera operator
 
Editorial Department
Scot Olive .... colorist (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Nacho Méndez .... music arranger (as Nacho Mendez)
Nacho Méndez .... orchestrator (as Nacho Mendez)
 
Other crew
Luz María Rojas .... production assistant
Vicente Rojo .... title designer
Jorge Rubio Salazar .... production assistant (as Jorge Rubio)
Rafael Villaseñor Kuri .... script supervisor
Humberto Gurza .... animal wrangler (uncredited)
Miguel Gurza .... animal wrangler (uncredited)
'Chema' Hernandez .... livestock coordinator (uncredited)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"El topo" - Mexico (original title)
See more »
Runtime:
125 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Klangfilm)
Certification:
Australia:MA (2007 re-rating) | Australia:R (DVD rating) | Finland:K-18 | France:16 | Hong Kong:III | Italy:VM18 | Japan:R15+ (2010) | Netherlands:18 | South Korea:18 | UK:18 | UK:X (original rating) (cut) | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The title of the movie and the main character's name are a metaphor of the underground cinema in the sixties. The mole digs holes so as to emerge from the underground to the surface. This was happening with some low-budget movies that quickly gained mainstream popularity.See more »
Quotes:
[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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Nymphéas (2011) (V)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
69 out of 94 people found the following review useful.
Unique, brutal, fascinating, allegory of many religions.., 12 November 1998
Author: Chris J. from Seattle WA

It's a violent, brutal, to some confusing, but fascinating and ultimately a brilliant allegorical film. It was the first of the midnight cult films.

Unrelenting at times. There are several characters and situations the protagonist experiences. Each of these characters and situations have a connection to various (mostly Eastern) religions. The feel of the first part is almost like a mid-period Fellini spaghetti western (had Fellini made a spaghetti western--which he did not). The second half of the film has an entirely different feel, message and pacing. The second half of the film is an allegory of the New Testament. Eventually it does all tie together however.

There seems to be a scene missing at about the mid-point of the film, and a characters motivation suddenly changes. Jodorowsky explained it was mostly intentional, but, two shots were ruined and never re-shot which would have helped set up a more discernible meaning to the scene in question. It occurs between the women in the desert.

Jodorowsky will not explain in detail all that he was going for in the film. He considers the film an Eastern.... he agrees that my interpretation of various characters embodying Eastern religion and philosophy is correct. He also was creating a film of emotions, violence, salvation, and redemption---so he intentionally did not follow the expected structure of most films regarding first, second and third acts and when major conflicts occur.

He flippantly agreed with some New York critics years ago who described the film as one which seemed to be a filmed version of a very strange L.S.D. trip. He had a lengthy conversation which was published and used as liner notes in the El TOPO soundtrack album which talked about the film in terms of it being something akin to a LSD trip. But Jodorowsky said, you certainly don't need LSD to enjoy it, it's already been done for you.

This was not something he was serious about it. But being 1969, and after having trouble getting a distributor for the film in the first place, and now watching the film having moderate success as a midnight cult film and amongst college students he decided it was good for the film to agree that the N.Y. critics were partially correct.

It is at times an extremely disturbing film. I thought I detected more than a little of misogyny in the film-- --however, as Jodorowsky essentially told me--none has been intended, except that the world now, like in the past, has always brutalized women and men have insisted on brutalizing themselves.

Seeing it with an audience in a theater also means you can discuss it with people of all types. Reactions to the film are all over the map. Most agree it is art---- many don't like the film---many find it too disturbing, too violent, too sacrilegious, too scattered. Others disagree over the various messages and meanings they receive from the film. Others just 'enjoy' it as a wild, weird, disturbing film.

Usually video copies of the film are from Japanese laserdiscs which fog all pubic hair. It looks strange if you are not familiar with this.

It is a film akin to an Opera. Although it was extremely low-budget, the film is an epic and has, if not a big budget feel to it, an impressive grandeur and sweep that few films achieve.

Filmed over a course of nearly three years, the filmmakers twice were stranded for weeks without supplies and without money. This film was started in 1964/65, completed and originally set for release in 1967/68, it predates The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider and other 60's landmarks.... It was a true labor of love to finish the film. And then the film was banned in several countries.

It is not in general release. For many years from the late 70's to the mid 90's it was rarely if ever shown.

A few years ago I revisited the film in a theatre and had the opportunity to discuss it as an audience member and later on one with Jodorowsky. His other film Sante Sangre is also quite good in my opinion, but I am not a fan of his Holy Mountain. Other films he has been involved with are of lesser value. He was a good friend of Fellini's and may someday direct Fellini's script of Don Quixote. He is working on Son of El Topo, but not sure when it will be released and who will distribute it.

El Topo began a nearly 5 year run as a midnight film and often sold out. It started in a small Greenwich Village theatre in New York City. After a few years of success in NYC, other prints were distributed to college campuses and for midnight shows in other cities. It became a modest hit!

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Message Boards

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I swear... Takeshi666
The Third Master guigukn
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Which is sicker . . . tracyfigueira
Worst movie ever! YeahResident
Pretentious film school equivalent drivel spartacus126
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