American Playhouse: Season 1, Episode 25

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (29 Jun. 1982)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Drama
6.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.8/10 from 278 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.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 163 titles
created 13 Apr 2011
 
a list of 3893 titles
created 31 Dec 2011
 
a list of 10 titles
created 11 Jul 2012
 
a list of 85 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

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

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (29 Jun 1982) on IMDb 6.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of American Playhouse.
« Previous Episode | 25 of 163 Episodes | Next Episode »

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

29 June 1982 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,305,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$909,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

See  »
Edit

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

Boone Choate: Well, you know how it is in this business. One slipup... adios!
See more »

Connections

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Robert M. Young's The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
14 June 2002 | by (North Dakota) – See all my reviews

Taking place in 1901 Gonzalez, Texas, Gregorio Cortez is a

Mexican on the run after being involved in not one but three

different murders of some Texas law enforcement personnel.

While cut and dried from the Texans' point of view, Cortez's full

story of what happened remains to be heard.

Edward James Olmos does a great job as Cortez. He does not

speak English, and the film makers wisely do not subtitle his

Mexican conversations, adding to the confusion of Cortez's crimes.

He is confronted by a racist deputy and a sheriff, who accuse him

of stealing a horse. Cortez's brother is shot and the sheriff is killed

in a bizarre, confused shootout that sends Cortez to a friendly

ranch worker's home. There, a posse attacks the house Cortez is

in, and two more men are shot and killed. Cortez's brother dies as

well.

Bruce McGill plays a San Antonio reporter who rides with the

posse, and begins to get Cortez's story, as seen by the Texas

Rangers. While the flashbacks to the killings are not along the

lines of "Rashomon," they serve to illustrate the Texans' side well.

As Cortez is caught and put on trial, he is represented by Barry

Corbin, who finds out what really happened and tries to get his

client off.

The film makers here do something very unexpected for this type

of film- they show us that Cortez is neither a martyr or a saint.

Cortez's side of the initial murder is not much different from the

deputy's. The shooting started over a misunderstood translation

between the deputy and Cortez and escalated.

Cortez's family is locked up in order to flush him out, and civil

liberties are broken all over the place. Eventually, thanks to a end

credits crawl, we find out Cortez was in and out of the courtroom

many times as a result of these crimes.

The film opens with Cortez running, and a bunch of white guys

chasing him, and bodies being returned to families, and I had no

idea what was going on for the first ten minutes of the film.

Eventually, things begin to click, and Young's sure direction keeps

it going. The cast is full of character actors whose names you do

not immediately recognize but whose faces you have watched for

years. Even Ned Beatty has a rather unnecessary cameo near the

end.

If you are expecting another politically correct allegory about the

plight of the Mexican in turn of the century Texas, you need to look

elsewhere. This revisionist western shows us both sides of

murder, and how both sides are at fault. I highly recommend it.

This is rated (PG) for gun violence, some gore, profanity, and

sexual references.


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

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Painting Churches BKeith57
The cutest thing ever... thslindal
Need help finding the name of a play rgustas
The Great Anerican Fourth of July on DVD? Cindyk610
Working mangos47
Hallelujah American playhouse season 11 episode 5 12/22/93 nancymurnane
Discuss The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?