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El mariachi (1992)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  26 February 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 49,036 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 127 user | 55 critic | 9 from

A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Consuelo Gómez ...
Jaime de Hoyos ...
Bigotón (as Jaime De Hoyos)
Peter Marquardt ...
Reinol Martinez ...
Ramiro Gómez ...
Cantinero (as Ramiro Gomez)
Jesús López ...
Viejo Clerk (as Jesus Lopez)
Luis Baró ...
Domino's Assistant (as Luis Baro)
Oscar Fabila ...
The Boy
Poncho Ramón ...
Azul's Rat (as Poncho Ramon)
Fernando Martínez ...
Azul's Rat (as Fernando Martinez)
Manuel Acosta ...
Walter Vargas ...
Roberto Martinez ...
Virgen Delgado ...
Female Bodyguard


El Mariachi just wants to play his guitar and carry on the family tradition. Unfortunately, the town he tries to find work in has another visitor...a killer who carries his guns in a guitar case. The drug lord and his henchmen mistake El Mariachi for the killer, Azul, and chase him around town trying to kill him and get his guitar case. Written by Josh Pasnak <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | mariachi | guitar | gun | mexico | See All (87) »


He didn't come looking for trouble, but trouble came looking for him. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

26 February 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Mariachi  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,000 (estimated)


$2,040,920 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film initially cost $7000 to make. Director Robert Rodriguez raised $3,000 of the $7,000 by volunteering to be a human "laboratory rat". He was used to test a cholesterol reducing drug. Paid $100 a day for 30 days, he wrote most of the script while locked in the lab. Peter Marquardt was a fellow "rat", but could not speak Spanish. He delivered his lines from card held in his hand or out of shot. Most of the $7,000 was spent on film for the camera. The version seen in most cinemas has had approximately $1 million of post-production work and promotion behind it. See more »


When the piano player finishes his song, he slides his hand from the viewer's left to the viewer's right, which would in actuality produce a glissando that descends in pitch, rather than the ascending one that appears on the soundtrack (it would be from the high end of the keyboard to the low end). See more »


[first lines]
Mauricio: Good morning, Azul. Know who this is?
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the beginning credits, Robert Rodriguez is listed as the editor. In the ending credits he gets sole credit for additional editing. See more »


Referenced in Kite (2014) See more »


Written and Performed by Mark Trujillo (as Marc Trujillo)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Robert Rodriguez's feature film debut!!
16 August 2005 | by (Sacramento, CA) – See all my reviews

El Mariachi (1992) was a fine debut for film maker Robert Rodriguez. He makes the most of his minuscule budget and makes a very entertaining action film. The story behind the making of the film is even more interesting than the movie itself. You can tell from this movie that Robert Rodriguez had a bright future in the movie business.

The story is about a musician who's trying to find work in a Mexican border town. None of the places he visits wants to hire a guitar player for their business. Meanwhile another man comes to town carrying a guitar case, he's no musician. He's a notorious hit man for a local gangster. When their paths cross, nothing but trouble lies ahead for the El Mariachi. Can the poor dude survive the week without being killed? Who is this guitar carrying killer? Why is he in town? What are the local crime boss' motives? To find out you'll have to watch EL MARIACHI!!!

An interesting debut that showed lots of promise. The movie was followed by a pseudo-sequel/remake a few years later with a bigger budget and a cast filled with a lot of named actors.

Highly recommended.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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