El mariachi (1992)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  26 February 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 49,516 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 128 user | 55 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

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


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7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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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 <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

death | mariachi | guitar | gun | mexico | See All (91) »


With a guitar in his hand and a price on his head, he wasn't 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?


In addition to the subtitled version, Columbia had an English-dubbed version prepared for release on home video. According to director Robert Rodriguez, the dubbing job cost more than he spent to shoot the original film. See more »


When Azul first goes into Domino's bar he orders a beer and takes a big gulp of it. In the next shot his beer is completely full. 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 Jersey Girl (2004) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

This First One Still The Best In The Trilogy
24 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This movie put director Robert Rodriguez "on the map." He followed up with two sequels: "Desperado" and "Once Upon A Time In Mexico." Not surprising, the best of the three was this low-budget opening film. As Rodriquez had more and more money to spend on the sequels, the stories got more and more carried away with too many explosions and special-effects, losing the charm of this first effort.

Unlike the sequels, this Mexican-made, so it is in Spanish with English subtitles. Don't let that scare you away. There isn't a great deal of dialog so keeping up with the subtitles is very easy.

The movie has very interesting camera closeups and angles as Rodriquez showed he was going to be a stylish director. The story is simple but effective, suspenseful and even with some humor. Unnlike his subsequent films in this trilogy, the action is not overdone here.

The length is also is a plus. At 80 minutes you can be thoroughly entertained in less than an hour-and-a half. The only disappointment to me was the print quality on th DVD, but I got an early edition. There might be better editions out since. It's not fuzzy but it's not sharp, either.

Anyway: highly recommend for actions/crime buffs who like style in their photography, or saw the sequels and would like to know the history of this particular "Mariachi."

23 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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