Old Gringo (1989)

R  |   |  Adventure, History, Romance  |  6 October 1989 (USA)
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When school teacher Harriet Winslow goes to Mexico to teach, she is kidnapped by Gen. Tomas Arroyo and his revolutionaries. An aging American, Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce also in Mexico, ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay) (as Aida Bortnik) , 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Gen. Tomas Arroyo
Patricio Contreras ...
Col. Frutos Garcia
Jenny Gago ...
La Garduna
Gabriela Roel ...
La Luna
Zacarias (as Sergio Calderon)
Monsalvo (as Guillermo Rios)
Samuel Valadez De La Torre ...
Consul Saunders
Anne Pitoniak ...
Mrs. Winslow
Pancho Villa (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Stanley Grover ...
Gen. Saunders
Josefina Echánove ...
Clementina (as Josefina Echanove)
Capt. Ovando (as Pedro Damian)


When school teacher Harriet Winslow goes to Mexico to teach, she is kidnapped by Gen. Tomas Arroyo and his revolutionaries. An aging American, Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce also in Mexico, befriends Gen. Arroyo and meets Harriet. Bierce is a famous writer, who knowing that he is dying, wishes to keep his identity secret so he can determine his own fate. Though he likes Arroyo, Bierce tries to provoke the General's anger whenever possible in an attempt to get himself killed, thus avoiding suffering through his illness. Winslow is intrigued by both Bierce and Arroyo, and the men are in turn attracted to her. She becomes romantically involved with Arroyo. When Winslow learns of Bierce's true identity (a writer whose work she has loved and respected for years), she is singlemindedly determined to fulfill his dying wish. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A woman inspired by a man of dreams swept into the arms of a general, and drawn into a worlds of danger.


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Release Date:

6 October 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gringo viejo  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,574,256 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Gregory Peck was a close friend of Jane Fonda and frequently attended political rallies with her. This film was the only movie that they appeared in together. See more »


At the end of the movie as Harriet Winslow is crossing the Rio Grande, the river flows from right to left. If she were actually crossing the border from Mexico to America (northward), the river would flow from left to right (eastward). See more »


Ambrose Bierce: It isn't easy at my age to bring together the opportunity, the desire and the energy.
See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant in all respects
30 August 2000 | by (Fremantle, Australia) – See all my reviews

The director, Luis Puenzo, crafted an extraordinary vision of the drama that confronts players when they decide to make revolution. Puenzo took us behind the scenes of a sweeping political struggle and made the viewer examine the personal details and the personal confrontations of the actors as they tred the stage of events that were much bigger than themselves.

I know, I know-all of this has been done before; it's formula scrip work but the brilliance of the cast and the direction make Old Gringo into a movie that you will return to over and over again like a favourite old wine or a dish that you never tire of eating.

The principal cast of Fonda, Smits and Peck enliven an already sumptuous tapestry woven by Puenzo. The film is visually rich and the eye is as entranced by the beauty of the scenes as much as the mind is satisfied with the meat of the story.

People owe it to themselves to see such a rich film.

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