American Playhouse (1981– )
6.8/10
281
4 user 4 critic

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez 

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.

Director:

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Reporter Blakely
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Captain Rogers
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Mike Trimmell
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Sheriff Morris
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Romaldo Cortez
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Sheriff Glover
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Cowboy
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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.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

29 June 1982 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,305,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$909,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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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

Referenced in Spy Kids (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
ordinary good man becomes outlaw
11 March 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was by far my favorite Olmos movie; he made the entire movie without (except for his last line) saying a word in English and yet tapped into our emotions, making us feel deeply for his character and know his thoughts; this was pure acting genius. The scene where he's talking with his wife and watching their kids play captivated me: I didn't need to understand a word they were saying to see he was a loving family man. Later, as he's alone for so much of the story, he had me sharing his fear and anguish.

It is both an intensely dramatic and a monumentally important film. As with "Salt of the Earth," "Burn," "Fast Food Nation," and such, it is disappointing to see such great films fail to reach a wider audience. I only found this film because it was in a video rental place that I frequented.

Incidentally, when I had the honor of meeting this by-then academy-nominated actor, I told him how impressed I had been with him as Cortez; he gave all the credit to the director. I appreciated his modesty, but I had to insist, his acting was also great!


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