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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicanos Story  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Beltran's film debut. See more »

Quotes

Henry Reyna: I was supposed to report to the Navy tomorrow!
El Pachuco: They'd give you those tight pants to make your ass look like an apricot.
Henry Reyna: So what business is it of yours? It's my ass!
See more »

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

Sleepy Lagoon
Written by Eric Coates
Performed by Harry James and His Orchestra
See more »

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User Reviews

An intense, moving musical drama about overcoming prejudice
4 October 2001 | by (nashville, tn) – See all my reviews

This is one of the best statements, made musically, about anti-Mexican-American prejudice ever made. It is set in Los Angeles, during World War 2, when young 'chicanos' or 'pachucos' used the unique style of the zoot suit to set themselves off, and establish a florid machismo. Some of the plot is based on an actual incident. The movie is made as if showing a staged 'play,' in front of an 'audience,' in order to make particular statements about the way things appear to be. Edward James Olmos is the spirit of Pachuco, haunting Henry Reyna, the central character. We are brought to feel intensely both the striving for self-expression of the chicano youth, and the intense prejudice (based, as always, on ignorance) of the larger anglo society against them. Those of us who are anglos also come to identify with the anglos in the story who genuinely care for them and for justice. Four stars, especially for anyone from the southwest who is not a bigot.


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