Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on half-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members... See full summary »
When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
Based on the true life experiences of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, the film focuses on half-brothers Paco and Cruz, and their bi-racial cousin Miklo. It opens in 1972, as the three are members of an East L.A. gang known as the "Vatos Locos", and the story focuses on how a violent crime and the influence of narcotics alter their lives. Miklo is incarcerated and sent to San Quentin, where he makes a "home" for himself. Cruz becomes an exceptional artist, but a heroin addiction overcomes him with tragic results. Paco becomes a cop and an enemy to his "carnal", Miklo. Written by
Teddy Wilson died shortly after filming the prison interrogation and Delano city jail scenes. See more »
When Miklo is talking to Gil about betting on a Lakers/Golden State game in the 1982 segment of the film, there are repeated references to "Barry", presumably meaning Rick Barry, playing for the Warriors. Barry last played for the Warriors in 1978, and although they did have Joe Barry Carroll in 1982, he was never referred to as "Barry". See more »
I am quite often moved to comment when a movie has a wide range of good to bad reviews. This movie is a classic case. Several people called it the worst movie they had ever seen, or words to that effect. Is it? Hardly. It also isn't the best movie ever made. It is long, I'll grant the complaints about that, but one of the beauties of video is you don't have to watch it all at one time. Over-acted? I think that has to do with the genre.
Okay, it isn't the best movie ever made. But I can sum up all of its shortcomings with one contraticting word. It is compelling. I can very much relate to the reviewer who mentioned getting hooked on it on tv in the middle of the night. It is a compelling movie in spite of its shortcomings. Even if it seems overacted, it is compelling because it seems so real in spite of the overacting.
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