IMDb > Salvador (1986)
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Salvador (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Salvador -- Compelling drama based on the real experinces of journalist Richard Boyle in strife-ridden El Salvador in 1980-81.


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7.5/10   15,117 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Oliver Stone (written by) and
Rick Boyle (written by)
View company contact information for Salvador on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 April 1986 (USA) See more »
Based on a true story. See more »
An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"You'll love it here, Doc. You can drive drunk. You can get anybody killed for fifty bucks." - Rick Boyle See more (89 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

James Woods ... Richard Boyle

James Belushi ... Doctor Rock

Michael Murphy ... Ambassador Thomas Kelly

John Savage ... John Cassady

Elpidia Carrillo ... María (as Elpedia Carrillo)

Tony Plana ... Major Maximiliano 'Max' Casanova

Colby Chester ... Jack Morgan - State Department Analyst

Cynthia Gibb ... Cathy Moore (as Cindy Gibb)
Will MacMillan ... Colonel Bentley Hyde Sr.

Valerie Wildman ... Pauline Axelrod
José Carlos Ruiz ... Archbishop Romero
Jorge Luke ... Colonel Julio Figueroa

Juan Fernández ... Army Lieutenant
Salvador Sánchez ... Human Rights Leader
Rosario Zúñiga ... Human Rights Assistant
Martín Fuentes ... Carlos
Gary Farr ... Peter
Gilles Millinaire ... French Reporter (as Gilles Milinaire)

Ramón Menéndez ... Gomez

John Doe ... Roberto
Leticia Valenzuela ... Rebel Woman

Roberto Sosa ... Rebel Youth (as Roberto Sosa Jr.)
Daria Okugawa ... Dog Attendant
Sue Ann McKean ... Cop in San Francisco
Joshua Gallegos ... Immigration Officer on Bus
María Rubell ... Boyle's Wife

Ty Granderson Jones ... San Francisco Landlord (as Tyrone Jones)

Sean Stone ... Boyle's Baby
Danna Hansen ... Sister Stan
Sigridur Gudmunds ... Sister Burkit
Erika Carlsson ... Sister Wagner (as Erica Carlson)
Kara Glover ... Kelly Assistant
Julie Conn ... WAC at Party
María del Carmen Sánchez ... Maria's Grandmother (as Ma. del Carmen Sanchez)

Art Bonilla ... Romero Assassin (as Arturo Bonilla)
Gerardo Zepeda ... Death Squad Member #1 (as 'Chiquilín' Zepeda)
Nicolás Jasso ... Death Squad Member #2
José Chávez ... Jail Guard (as Jose Chavez Trowe)
Héctor Téllez ... Mayor at Nun's Burial
Jorge Reynoso ... Jefe at Customs Shed
Jorge Pol ... Customs Officer #2
César Sobrevals ... Customs Officer #3
Bruno Rubeo ... Customs Officer #4
Bob Morones ... Customs Officer #5
Juliana Urquisa ... Wilma
Queta Carrasco ... Bruja
María de los Ángeles Urquiza ... Mamá Moncha at Panamá Club (as Ma. de los Angeles Urquiza)
Tomás Leal ... Rapist #1
René Pereyra ... Rapist #2
Arturo Rodríguez Doring ... Young Killed Student
Jair De Rubin ... Maria's Son (as Yair De Rubin)
Claudia Hernández ... Maria's Daughter
Humberto Elizondo ... Roadblock Thug #1
Mario Arévalo ... Roadblock Thug #2
Gerardo Quiroz ... Carlos' Friend #1
Israel León ... Carlos' Friend #2
Mauricio Martínez ... Executed Lieutenant
Xochitl del Rosario ... Messenger on Horse
Agustín Bernal ... Bodyguard to Major Max
John MacDevitt ... GI in Salvador

Bill Hoag ... Immigration Officer #2
Waldeir DeSouza ... US Customs Guard
Ángel Vargas ... Tic Tac Monster in Cafe
Miguel Ehrenberg ... Captain Marti
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jimmy Carter ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Gallo ... Voice (uncredited)

Nancy Reagan ... Herself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Oliver Stone 
Writing credits
Oliver Stone (written by) and
Rick Boyle (written by) (as Richard Boyle)

Produced by
Brad H. Aronson .... associate producer
John Daly .... executive producer
Derek Gibson .... executive producer
Gerald Green .... producer
Bob Morones .... associate producer
Oliver Stone .... producer
Original Music by
Georges Delerue 
Cinematography by
Robert Richardson 
Film Editing by
Claire Simpson 
Casting by
Bob Morones  (as Bob 'Blackie' Morones)
Production Design by
Bruno Rubeo 
Costume Design by
Kathryn Morrison  (as Kathryn Greko Morrison)
Makeup Department
Bertha Chiu .... hair stylist: Mexico
Humberto Escamilla .... hair stylist: Mexico
Elvira Oropeza .... makeup artist: Mexico
Gordon J. Smith .... prosthetic makeup artist
Gionilda Stolee .... prosthetics assistant
Production Management
Brad H. Aronson .... executive in charge of production
Anuar Badin .... supervising production manager: Mexico
Michael Bennett .... post-production supervisor
Mary M. Ensign .... production supervisor: San Francisco
Carlos Gutiérrez .... assistant production manager: Mexico
Alejandra Hernández .... production manager: Mexico
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Miguel Lima .... second assistant director: Mexico
Ramón Menéndez .... first assistant director
José Luis Ortega .... first assistant director: Mexico
Art Department
Ron Downing .... property master
Ricardo Gil .... property master: Mexico
Melo Hinojosa .... art director: Mexico
Luis Jiménez Méndez .... camera painter: Mexico
Adalberto López .... key set dresser: Mexico
Francisco López .... stand-by on-set dresser: Mexico
Milo .... set dresser: USA (as Milo Needles)
Adolfo Navarro .... assistant property master: Mexico
Sound Department
Neil Brody .... sound re-recording mixer
Jonathan D. Evans .... sound recordist
Michael Fishman .... sound assistant
Ted Goodspeed .... foley artist
Jorge Gómez .... sound assistant: Mexico
F. Hudson Miller .... sound effects editor
Bob Minkler .... sound re-recording mixer
Bill Mumford .... sound re-recording mixer
R.J. Palmer .... sound effects editor
Philip Perkins .... sound recordist: San Francisco
John Post .... foley artist
Steve Rice .... dialogue editor
Frank Smathers .... dialogue editor (as Frank T. Smathers)
Jesús Sánchez .... sound assistant: Mexico
Manuel Topete .... sound operator: Mexico
David Lewis Yewdall .... sound designer
David Lewis Yewdall .... supervising sound editor
Stephen Balliet .... boom operator: San Francisco (uncredited)
Allen Hurd .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Daniel Cordero .... second special effects assistant: Mexico
Yves De Bono .... special effects supervisor
Alfonso Pacheco .... first special effects assistant: Mexico
Marcelino Pacheco .... special effects: Mexico
Bill Catching .... stunt coordinator
Raúl Martínez .... stunt coordinator: Mexico
Camera and Electrical Department
Fernando Calvillo .... gaffer: Mexico
Flavio Castillero .... videoman: Mexico
Gary Farr .... still photographer (as Gary Anthony Farr)
Humberto Galindo .... generator operator: Mexico
Salvador Gutiérrez .... chief electrician: Mexico
Chris Lombardi .... assistant camera (as Christopher Lombardi)
Guillermo Moysen .... assistant camera: Mexico
Manuel Paredes .... assistant camera: Mexico
Antonio Ramírez 'Puma' .... dolly grip: Mexico (as Antonio Ramírez)
Tom Richmond .... camera operator (as Thomas Julian Richmond)
León Sánchez del Ángel .... assistant camera: Mexico
León Sánchez Ruiz .... director of photography: Mexico
León Sánchez .... assistant camera: Mexico (as León Sánchez del Ángel)
Pedro Vázquez .... assistant camera: Mexico
Salvador Vázquez .... key grip: Mexico
Tom Richmond .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Claudia Becker .... additional casting: Mexico
Chucho Guerrero .... extras casting: Mexico
Leticia Cordoba .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Monica Araiz .... wardrobe: Mexico
Federico Castillo .... wardrobe master: Mexico
María de Jesús Luna .... seamstress: Mexico
Jaime Ortiz .... assistant wardrobe: Mexico
Editorial Department
David Brenner .... assistant film editor
Tom Finan .... associate editor (as Tom Finnan)
Lisa Leeman .... first assistant editor
Julie Monroe .... assistant editor
Edgar Pavon .... assistant editor: Mexico
Carlos Puente .... associate editor
Julie Rogers .... apprentice editor
John David Allen .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Location Management
Pablo Buelna .... location manager: Mexico
Laurie Noll .... location manager: San Francisco
Music Department
Joan Biel .... music editor
Budd Carr .... music supervisor
Georges Delerue .... musical director (uncredited)
David Franco .... music supervisor (uncredited)
Roger Monk .... scoring recordist (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Miguel Angel Gomez .... transportation chief
Miguel Ángel Gómez .... transportation captain: Mexico
Other crew
Mario Cisneros Jr. .... script supervisor: Mexico
Robert Dawson .... title designer: main titles
Cristina Espinosa .... public relations: Mexico
Patricia Green .... executive secretary
Rosa María Gómez .... production accountant: Mexico
Elsa Hermoso .... assistant production accountant: Mexico
Sergio Prieto P. .... production assistant: Mexico
Federico Serrano .... production unit manager: Mexico
Elizabeth Stone .... assistant to director
Concepcion Taboada .... production coordinator: Mexico
Manuel Trejo Morales .... actor's delegate: Mexico
Eileen Zannino .... production secretary
Arturo del Río .... production assistant (uncredited)
Charles Ryan .... special thanks
Louis Stone .... dedicatee (as Dad)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
122 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

One of a number of Latin American related movies made by Hollywood in the 1980s that Mexican actress Elpidia Carrillo appeared in, others being Beyond the Limit (1983), Under Fire (1983) and The Border (1982), Capillo's part in the latter having been said to have been very similar to her role in this movie.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Richard Boyle is being attacked by the thugs, you can clearly see that the blows do not hit him, yet he reacts as if it were so.See more »
Jack Morgan - State Department Analyst:Do you want to go down in the history books as the man who lost El Salvador?
Ambassador Thomas Kelly:That's hardly the issue here! We're talking about human lives here! We're not playing some computer game! Jesus, history books? God!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Away From YouSee more »


What happened afterwards?
What eventually happened to Rick Boyle?
What was the legacy of the conflict?
See more »
13 out of 21 people found the following review useful.
"You'll love it here, Doc. You can drive drunk. You can get anybody killed for fifty bucks." - Rick Boyle, 1 June 2005
Author: Michael Margetis ( from United States

'Salvador' is the extremely controversial filmmaker, Oliver Stone's, first film, and is it any surprise it has to do with politics? Yes, pretty much all of Mr. Stone's films have a strong political message in them (for example: JFK, Nixon, Born on the Fourth of July, Natural Born Killers, Heaven & Earth, Wall Street, etc.) His first major film (not counting his dreadfully mediocre low-budget debut horror film 'The Hand), 'Salvador' explores and follows the conflict of military dictatorship and genocide taking place in El Salvador in the year 1980. Although it's a very in-your-face picture and has to do with debatable political hardships, 'Salvador' is a great, powerful and heart wrenching picture that will stay with you a long time after you view it. Even though 'Salvador' is one of Oliver Stone's least famous flicks, it ranks up there with one of his best films.

The movie chronicles the life of real-life photojournalist Rick Boyle (played by James Woods). Boyle's life is falling apart all around him and he's almost completely broke, so he decides to go to El Salvador, to kick it with his best friend, Doctor Rock (played by SNL alumni James Belushi). Boyle and Doc Rock figure El Salvador will be the perfect vacation place, but what they don't realize is that the country going through one of the most violent acts of genocide in world history will effect them. In El Salvador, Boyle meets up with his girlfriend, a native, Maria (Elphidia Carillo), an old friend whose a reporter from Newsday, John Cassady (Carnivale's John Savage), and Cathy Moore, a Catholic nun who works as a lay worker (Cynthia Gibb). While relaxing in the so-called paradise, Boyle begins to realize the atrocities around him and makes a hard decision to try to make a difference, severely risking his life and the lives of the people around him.

'Salvador' isn't a masterpiece, but it's a film of such ferocious power and intensity that it's impossible not to notice. The real life Rick Boyle and Oliver Stone round out a scorching screenplay, and Stone does an awesome job behind the camera. James Woods is magnificent as Boyle, and deserved his Oscar nomination. John Belushi not only provides us with a usual comedic performance, but puts in a lot of dramatic aspects to his character showing that Belushi has more depth than most people realize as an actor. John Savage, post-Deer Hunter, is a pleasure to watch as always, and Independent Spirit Award Nominee Elphidia Carillo, turns in a fine performance as Boyle's love interest. The film also features Michael Murphy as the U.S. ambassador in El Salvador.

When it all is over, 'Salvador' proves to be a great film, but not an excellent one. The film has minor flaws like dragging a little, and sometimes not getting down to the point. It's Stone's first film (second if you count that crap, 'The Hand), and he does a damn fine job with it. If you haven't already, and don't mind a powerhouse of a film, go to your local videostore and rent 'Salvador'. Trust me, you'll like it. Grade: B+


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