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


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


Drama | Musical


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

January 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chicanos Story  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Broadway production of "Zoot Suit" opened at the Winter Garden Theater in New York on March 25, 1979 and ran for 41 performances. Charles Aidman, Mike Gomez, Abel Franco, Darlene Bryan, Luis Manuel, Edward James Olmos, Tony Plana, Rose Portillo, Geno Silva, Dennis Stewart, and Socorro Valdez recreated their stage roles in this filmed production. Edward James Olmos was nominated for the 1979 Tony Award (New York City) for Supporting or Features Actor in a Drama for "Zoot Suit" as El Pachuco and recreated his stage role in this filmed production. See more »


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 »


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


Written by Ervin Drake, Juan Tizol and Harry Link
See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding focus on an overlooked and important culture.
30 May 2002 | by (Cleveland, OH) – See all my reviews

Having seen the original stage production at the Mark Taper Forum & Aquarius Theatres, in Los Angeles. I was quite blown away by both the production and performances. This was one of my all time favorite stage productions.

An attempt to mount the play in New York was a disappointing failure. I guess the "snobs" of the New York Theatre world, at that time weren't appreciative of something they just didn't get.

When I hear about the film being in production, I awaited it's release with anticipation. It's impossible to replace the presence of live performance with film. This filmed version was a truly impressive attempt to relay the success of the "live" production. I have long had my own copy of this film on Laser Disc and wish it was on DVD.

If you haven't seen the film and are ready for something different with some cultural insight, rent it on VHS, the only format currently available.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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