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Walker (1987)

6.5
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An unconventional retelling of the life of William Walker, a 19th century American mercenary leader who became the president of Nicaragua.

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Title: Walker (1987)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ephraim Squier
...
Maj. Siegfried Hennington
...
Timothy Crocker
...
Capt. Hornsby
...
Byron Cole
...
Stebbins
...
Cornelius Vanderbilt
...
Ellen Martin
...
Raousset
...
Muñoz (as Pedro Armendariz)
Roberto López Espinoza ...
Mayorga
...
Norvell Walker
...
James Walker
...
Yrena
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Storyline

William Walker and his mercenary corps enter Nicaragua in the middle of the 19th century in order to install a new government by a coup d'etat. All is being financed by an American multimillionaire who has his own interest in this country. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Before Rambo... Before Oliver North...


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Release Date:

4 December 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Os Imortais  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$257,043 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alex Cox says on the commentary of the Criterion Collection DVD that, out all the movies he's done and despite the fact that this film had hurt his career as a Hollywood director, he believes that 'Walker' is his best work. See more »

Goofs

This film is littered with anachronisms (for example: modern cars, color printed magazines and coca cola bottles). However, these are clearly an artistic choice by the film-maker and cannot be considered true 'goofs'. See more »

Quotes

Doubleday: I cannot help noticing Sir, during the time I've spent with you, that you've betrayed every principle you've had, and all the men who supported you. May I ask why?
William Walker: No you may not.
Doubleday: What exactly are your aims?
William Walker: The ends justify the means.
Doubleday: What are the ends?
William Walker: I can't remember.
See more »

Connections

References Sid and Nancy (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Moonlight Sonata
(uncredited)
Music by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not your everyday history lesson...
18 January 2009 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Best remembered (if at all) as the film that comprehensively destroyed Alex Cox's mainstream career, it's hard to see what caused such vitriolic offence at the time. Cox and screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer's take on the unbalanced self-deceiving 'idealist' mercenary William Walker's intervention in Nicaragua to protect Cornelius Vanderbilt's financial interests there, setting off a century of disastrous American interference, is not particularly subtle, but then William Walker wasn't exactly a subtle man ("Clearly this is no ordinary asshole," judges one of the more astute locals). With a visual style clearly inspired by spaghetti westerns and Sam Peckinpah, a contradictory narration - what you hear isn't what you see, with Walker's own third person narration frequently completely at odds with the farcical reality - and a slew of critic infuriating anachronisms, it was received with a mixture of outrage and contempt that makes the critical reception of Domino look like a triumph of Schindler's List proportions.

It's not a great movie, but it's certainly not the disaster its been painted, and even the at first jarring anachronisms are fun - Walker gets the cover of both Time and Newsweek, interviewers use tape recorders while Vanderbilt has a computer displaying stock market prices in his office - but perhaps should have been introduced earlier: however, there's no doubting the pertinence of the final arrival of trigger-happy helicopter gunships to evacuate the US citizens. Harris is on fine self-righteous form as the 'short idealist,' short on ideals but big on a sense of divine purpose even though he has no idea what that purpose actually is from one moment to the next. With a concise running time and a great Joe Strummer score, it's an ambitious and often entertaining oddity. Just don't go in expecting a history lesson or a straight biography. It's not perfect by any means, but there's too much that's interesting about the film to dismiss it entirely out of hand.


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