American Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 25

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (29 Jun. 1982)

TV Episode  |  PG  |   |  Comedy, Drama
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 283 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 4 critic

The retelling of an incident in Gonzales, Texas in 1901 revolving around a stolen horse, mistaken identity and a killing. An unusual story of the all too usual exploitation of the powerless in Texas History.

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Title: The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (29 Jun 1982)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Reporter Blakely
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Captain Rogers
Alan Vint ...
Mike Trimmell
Timothy Scott ...
Sheriff Morris
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Romaldo Cortez
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Sheriff Glover
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Cowboy
...
Abernathy
Jack Kehoe ...
Prosecutor Pferson
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Carlota Muñoz
Buddy Vigil ...
Skin
Zach Porter ...
Fly's Posse
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Storyline

The entire cause of the problem evolves from the use of a deputy to translate. His command of Spanish is inadequate and he mistranslates what a witness tells the sheriff as to whether the real perpetrator of the crime is riding a mare (yegua) or a male horse (caballo). This error results in destroying a family and the death of an innocent man. Written by Dave Anderson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The true story of one man who made a difference.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 June 1982 (USA)  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,305,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$909,000 (USA)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was such important a project to Edward James Olmos that he actually ran it in an L.A. theater free of charge to encourage attendance. See more »

Goofs

In some shots during the courtroom scenes, one of the jurors can be seen to be wearing a modern pair of dark-rimmed spectacles. See more »

Quotes

Captain Rogers: Well, out here if it crawls, it'll bite ya, if it flies, it'll sting ya and if it grows it'll stick ya!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Songs of the Homeland (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A film deserving re-discovery-- a gritty allegory of bilingualism
10 September 2000 | by See all my reviews

Robert Young is an American director whose fitful opportunities to direct nearly always has turned up singular results. This treatment of the legend of a master horseman who evaded capture during weeks of vigilante pursuit shows Young's usual care with milieu, historical detail, and shadings of character. Olmos is a splendid icon in the lead, but the revelation is James Gammon, who never had a better film role, and the supporting cast is studded with fine character actors (including two who come over w/Olmos from the BLADE RUNNER set to appear here). A climactic scene, involving a female translator working between law and prisoner in a tiny cell, has stayed in my mind for 18 years for its depiction of a heartbreaking communion between adversaries. But Young knows what Westerns do best-- trains and horses, the two most cinematic subjects in the world-- and they're both here in aces.


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