A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped ... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Valdez ...
Henry Reyna
...
El Pachuco
...
George Shearer
...
Alice Bloomfield
...
Judge F.W. Charles
Abel Franco ...
Enrique
...
Joey / Jose Torres
...
Lupe (as Alma Rosa Martínez)
...
Press (as Frank McCarthy)
...
Dolores
...
Lieutenant Edwards
Robert Phalen ...
District Attorney
...
Rudy
Rose Portillo ...
Della
...
Smiley / Ismael Torres
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Storyline

A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped almost to the ankle.... the rebellious fashion of young men) had on the morals and attitudes of the people of that era. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

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Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicanos Story  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of Henry Reyna was based upon the real-life zoot-suiter Henry "Hank" Leyvas, who was tried and wrongfully convicted for first-degree murder of Jose Diaz, after an incident on 1 August 1942. The film and the play that preceded it conformed to the facts of the actual case. The appeals court overturned the earlier verdict and Reyna and his friends were set free in 1945, following the Zoot Suit Riots and the banning of zoot suits in Los Angeles (courtesy of the Los Angeles City Council) in 1944. Many futures and outcomes for Reyna were given in the film and the play. In real life, Leyvas was convicted some years later for selling drugs. He served ten years and was released, and soon opened a family restaurant. He died of a heart attack in 1971. See more »

Quotes

Henry Reyna: My worst enemy, my best friend... myself...
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Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1940's Universal logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

La Negra
Written by Ruben Fuentes Gasson (uncredited) and Silvestre Vargas Vazquez (uncredited)
Performed by Mariachi Vargas
courtesy of RCA S.A. de CV of Mexico
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User Reviews

 
A valiant attempt
8 April 2015 | by See all my reviews

I also saw the original stage production in LA in 1978/79. I was likely the only Anglo in the audience, which was itself an experience worth buying a ticket to. I would have gone back several times if I had had the money.

Olmos was featured in the local TV commercials for the play and was riveting to watch. That commercial could be re-released as a short. In the theater, you could NOT take your eyes off him.

I have seen the film several times and own a DVD copy. While there are some cringe-worthy moments and some obvious "staginess", the film does credit to the original vision and is worth watching.

One should never watch a work of art in an attempt to learn about history, or science, or anything else. Art is art.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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