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Salvador (1986)

R  |   |  Drama, History, Thriller  |  23 April 1986 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 13,873 users  
Reviews: 89 user | 43 critic

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

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, (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

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

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 <t.bowden@qub.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on a true story. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

23 April 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Outpost: Salvador  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

When the young man is executed while Belushi and Woods are in the armored personnel carrier, the gun is obviously pointed over the man's head. See more »

Quotes

John Cassady: They're not just shooting the Indians... they're shooting at us!
See more »

Connections

References Viva Zapata! (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Bahia De Jiquilisco
Written by Oscar Baltazar
Performed by Trios Hnos Carcamo
Courtesy of Discos Lando Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Not Great But Still An Effective Political Drama
15 July 2010 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

This is considered to be Oliver Stone's best film but I disagree , PLATOON is the best film helmed by Stone but SALVADOR is probably a fair way behind it . Unlike PLATOON which was a heartfelt movie mirroring the director's own experiences in Vietnam it's slightly difficult to connect with the characters . They're cynical and hedonistic to start with but improve as people as the film continues making the movie a slightly too obvious redemption plot , not helped with some Catholic imagery

James Woods plays journalist Richard Boyle . Perfect casting by Stone which got Woods his first and last Oscar nomination for Best Actor . Woods has always been superb at playing intense , manic dangerous characters and excels at playing someone who suffers from a borderline narcissistic personality disorder who continually tells the world that whilst Sydney Schanberg was picking up his Purlitzer Prize ( See THE KILLING FIELDS ) he was the last journalist out of Cambodia . It's also interesting that Boyle's main motive for going to El Salvador is that it costs a mere $50 a month to live there whilst whores and drugs are easy to come by . Of course all this changes when Boyle gets caught up in events and becomes a crusader against human rights abuses by the right wing government

The one main problem can be accused off from a moral viewpoint is one of moral equivalence . Alex Cox criticised the film where Boyle sees left wing guerrillas executing captured troops and cries that one side is as bad as the other according to Cox . I can't recall Boyle saying that but my own problem with moral equivalence is at the start of the film where Boyle self righteously proclaims he broke a story about " IRA suspects getting tortured by the Brits in Belfast " Is there any connection between the Irish troubles and what goes on in central America ? To be fair to Stone he does point out the American establishment's fear of El Salvador coming under the Soviet sphere of influence . And if Stone didn't have a deserved or otherwise reputation as a Hollywood liberal would people nitpick the film so much ?

One thing about Stone's direction is how restrained it is in relation to his later work . There's a directorial technique called " Intensified continuity " which in laymans terms is MTV style film making . Stone took this to new heights ( Or possibly depths depending on your view ) with JFK and NATURAL BORN KILLERS . Here however the camera work is disciplined with no OTT flourish and Stone thankfully lets the performances , plotting and dialogue carry the film which whilst an effective political drama doesn't carry the emotional wallop of PLATOON


10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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