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Salvador (1986)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  23 April 1986 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 14,330 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 45 critic

An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980.



, (as Richard Boyle)
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Title: Salvador (1986)

Salvador (1986) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
María (as Elpedia Carrillo)
Cathy Moore (as Cindy Gibb)
Will MacMillan ...
José Carlos Ruiz ...
Jorge Luke ...
Colonel Julio Figueroa
Army Lieutenant
Salvador Sánchez ...
Human Rights Leader
Rosario Zúñiga ...
Human Rights Assistant


A journalist, down on his luck in the US, drives to El Salvador to chronicle the events of the 1980 military dictatorship, including the assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. He forms an uneasy alliance with both guerillas in the countryside who want him to get pictures out to the US press, and the right-wing military, who want him to bring them photographs of the rebels. Meanwhile he has to find a way of protecting his Salvadorean girlfriend and getting her out of the country. Written by Tony Bowden <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Dateline: 1980 El Salvador - Correspondent: Richard Boyle, Photojournalist Guatemala, Iran, Vietnam, Chile, Belfast, Lebanon, Cambodia... [Salvador] See more »


Drama | History | Thriller | War


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

23 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Outpost: Salvador  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's opening prologue states: "This film is based on events that occurred in 1980-1981. Characters have been fictionalized". See more »


El Salvador doesn't have nearly as many cows as the film portrays. See more »


Richard Boyle: [about Archbishop Romero] Very good man. Man of the people, man of God. You know, Doc, they say this man's gonna win the Nobel Peace Prize.
See more »


Featured in The 59th Annual Academy Awards (1987) See more »


El Casorio De Los Compas
Written & Performed by Yolocamba Ita
Courtesy of Pentagrama S.A.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fear and Loathing in El Salvador
17 February 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

With a touch of the Hunter Thompsons, Oliver Stone created a quality film about reporter Richard Boyle and his troubles in El Salvador during a civil war that breaks out around him.

Compared to other Stone films, I think this is his best, he has managed to take the true story of Boyle and craft it into a film in which you actually care about the on-screen characters, something he lost later on.

The performances are classic; James Woods, he was clearly on edge and it shows, he produces one of his finest to date. Doc would really have been only a fringe character if it wasn't for the fact he was played by James Belushie in fine form, he fits into the role of the degenerate with ease, he begins as somewhat uptight, but slowly dissolves into the seedy culture of Salvador in contrast to Boyle being ostracised by everyone he deals with.

As with most Stone biopics, there is an element of "you weren't there man!" anger as he unleashed another tirade against the US government and military through this film. You can take that as you like, what I found most fascinating about this film is the similarity to Fear and Loathing, right down to the battered red car they make most of the journey in. I found it fascinating that Boyle could live the kind of story that Thompson made his name creating, the two would make a cracking team, should they not die getting the story, just make it up.

If you're undecided on Olly Stone, but haven't seen this film, give it a try before you decide whether he is an overrated paranoid madman or an impassioned filmmaker with a message in there somewhere if you can get past all the shouting.

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

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