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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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

Handball
Performed by Edward James Olmos and the Zoot Suiterettes
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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