IMDb > Alambrista! (1977)

Alambrista! (1977) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
16 October 1977 (USA) See more »
After the birth of his first child, Roberto, a young Mexican man slips across the border into the United States. Seeking work to support his family back home, he finds that working hard is not enough. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins See more »
User Reviews:
"Ham, Eggs, and Coffee" See more (6 total) »


  (in credits order)
Domingo Ambriz ... Roberto

Trinidad Silva ... Joe
Linda Gillen ... Sharon

Ned Beatty ... Anglo Coyote

Jerry Hardin ... Man in cafe
Julius Harris ... 2nd Drunk
Ludevina Mendez Salazar ... Roberto's Wife
Maria Guadalupe Chavez ... Roberto's Mother
Rafaela Cervantes de Gomez ... Midwife
Feliz Cedano ... Tomato Field Mayordomo
Edward Lopez ... Contratista
Evelyn Chieko Saito ... Strawberry Field Owner
Tom Tar ... Strawberry Field Owner
Gabriel Segura ... Strawberry Field Mayordomo
Paul Berrones ... Berto
George Smith ... Cook in Cafe
Dennis Harris ... Sharon's Brother

Edward James Olmos ... 1st Drunk (as Edward Olmos)
Mark Herder ... Cop in Cafe (as Officer Mark Herder)
Maria Elena Delgado ... Woman in Post Office
J.D. Hurt ... Revival Preacher (as Reverend J.D. Hurt)
Salvador Martinez ... Mexican Coyote
Maurice Green ... Truck Driver
R.L. Dick Rautenberg ... Junkyard Owner
Kent Rautenberg ... Junkyard Owner
Félix José Álvarez ... Junkyard Cook
John Sandoval ... Roberto's Father
Alfred Alvernaz ... Watermelon Field Crew Boss
Constantine Copulos ... Highway Patrol Officer (as Officer Constantine Copulos)
J.C. Lamont ... Border Officials (as Officer J.C. Lamont)
Thomas Coffman ... Border Officials (as Officer Thomas Coffman)
Virginia Bachicha
Armandina Ramirez
Lily Álvarez ... Pregnant Woman

Directed by
Robert M. Young 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Robert M. Young 

Produced by
Michael Hausman .... producer
Sandra Schulberg .... associate producer
Barbara Schultz .... executive producer
David Streit .... associate producer
Irwin Young .... producer (as Irwin W. Young)
Original Music by
Michael Martin Murphey 
Cinematography by
Tom Hurwitz 
Robert M. Young 
Film Editing by
Edward Beyer 
Norman Buckley (director's cut)
Art Direction by
Lilly Kilvert 
Production Management
Nick Athas .... post-production supervisor (director's cut)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Hausman .... assistant director
Sound Department
Paul Jaeger .... re-recording
Mitch Wirth .... sound editor
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael F. Barrow .... gaffer
Peter Barrow .... key grip
Glenn Kershaw .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Jay Dranch .... assistant editor
Other crew
Donald Wylie .... location coordinator
Sara Young .... caterer (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Illegal" - USA (alternative title)
See more »
110 min | 96 min (director's cut)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Robert M. Young's first feature film.See more »


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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
"Ham, Eggs, and Coffee", 29 March 2012
Author: Steve Skafte from Nova Scotia, Canada

It's surprising how "Alambrista!" has slipped into near-total oblivion after being shown at Cannes and receiving some measure of admiration there. But it seems to have never enjoyed a release on VHS, and hasn't appeared on DVD until quite recently. It's a shame, because this film serves as a very piercing, close-up examination of the life of an illegal immigrant.

Robert M. Young has made a number of daring and unusual films in his career, off-center stories with characters most people wouldn't notice. In "Short Eyes" it was a young pedophile in prison, and in "Dominick and Eugene" he focused on the everyday life of a mentally retarded man. Here, he takes a deep trip into the underbelly of American society, a side most of us will never come close to seeing. "Alambrista!" is a basic tale, one that Young penned himself (it was the only film he'd ever both write and direct). It's uncomplicated, but not untrue. There's a familiar 1970s documentary approach, up close and personal, and it serves things well. Also doing his own cinematography, Young is very much in on the action.

Domingo Ambriz plays Roberto, a quiet and not entirely bright Mexican man. He's very kind, but completely innocent of cities and American life. It's a heartfelt performance, and it has to be. Everything hinges on his believability. Linda Gillen is very good as the waitress Sharon, also a rather innocent personality. The characters come almost secondary, because we don't get too far beneath their skin. This isn't an internal, mental film - it's a silent observation of things. Take a close look.

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Original vs. Director's Cut steltz8907
This may be coming to the Criterion Collection. krillin_goku
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