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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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

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

El Pachuco: Go ahead, Ese, Pop her cherry. You know she wants it.
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

Pachuco Suave
Performed by Edward James Olmos
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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