IMDb > Lone Star (1996)
Lone Star
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Lone Star (1996) More at IMDbPro »

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Lone Star -- When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town.


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Writer (WGA):
John Sayles (written by)
View company contact information for Lone Star on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 June 1996 (USA) See more »
John Sayles invites you to return to the scene of the crime.
When the skeleton of his murdered predecessor is found, Sheriff Sam Deeds unearths many other long-buried secrets in his Texas border town. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 17 wins & 13 nominations See more »
Silver City
 (From The Hollywood Reporter. 10 September 2004)

User Reviews:
A rich tapestry – 2 hours flew by See more (166 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Stephen Mendillo ... Cliff
Stephen J. Lang ... Mikey

Chris Cooper ... Sam

Elizabeth Peña ... Pilar
Oni Faida Lampley ... Celie

Eleese Lester ... Molly

Joe Stevens ... Deputy Travis
Gonzalo Castillo ... Amado

Richard Coca ... Enrique

Clifton James ... Hollis
Tony Frank ... Fenton

Miriam Colon ... Mercedes Cruz

Kris Kristofferson ... Charlie Wade

Jeff Monahan ... Young Hollis

Matthew McConaughey ... Buddy Deeds

Joe Morton ... Del

LaTanya Richardson ... Priscilla Worth

Eddie Robinson ... Chet

Ron Canada ... Otis

Chandra Wilson ... Athena
Damon Guy ... Shadow
Dee Macaluso ... Anglo Mother
Luis Cobo ... Mexican-American Father

Marco Perella ... Anglo Father
Don Phillips Jr. ... Principal (as Don Phillips)
Mary Jane R. Hernandez ... Mexican-American Mother

Jesse Borrego ... Danny
Carina Martinez ... Paloma

Tony Plana ... Ray

Richard Andrew Jones ... Ben Wetzel (as Richard A. Jones)
Beatrice Winde ... Minnie Bledsoe

Gabriel Casseus ... Young Otis
Randy Stripling ... Roderick
Richard Reyes ... Jorge
Olga Luna ... Waitress
Juan Vega III ... Cook
Lizzie Curry Martinez ... Girl

Leo Burmester ... Cody
Carmen De Lavallade ... Carolyn (as Carmen de Lavallade)

Vanessa Martinez ... Young Pilar
Tay Strathairn ... Young Sam
Sam Vlahos ... Pete
Maricela Gonzalez ... Anselma

Tony Amendola ... Chucho Montoya
Gilbert R. Cuellar Jr. ... Eladio
James Borrego ... Young Chucho

Gordon Tootoosis ... Wesley Birdsong
Lisa Suarez ... Marisol
Jesus Ramirez ... Driver (as Jesús Ramirez)

Frances McDormand ... Bunny
John Griesemer ... Football Announcer (voice)
Eduardo Martínez ... Jaime (as Eduardo Martinez)
Azalea Mendez ... Young Mercedes
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Murray Mead ... Man at breakfest table (uncredited)

Directed by
John Sayles 
Writing credits
John Sayles (written by)

Produced by
Jan Foster .... associate producer
R. Paul Miller .... producer
Maggie Renzi .... producer
John Sloss .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mason Daring 
Cinematography by
Stuart Dryburgh (director of photography)
Film Editing by
John Sayles 
Casting by
Avy Kaufman 
Production Design by
Dan Bishop 
Art Direction by
J. Kyler Black  (as Kyler Black)
Set Decoration by
Dianna Freas 
Costume Design by
Shay Cunliffe 
Makeup Department
Roy Bryson .... key hair stylist
Maria Camino .... assistant makeup artist
Lori Hicks .... key makeup artist
Martha Mendez .... assistant makeup artist
Caroline Rempher .... hair stylist
Susan Todd .... hair stylist
Production Management
Robert Labrecque .... production manager
Caitlin Maloney .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Galia Hardy .... second second assistant director
Brian O'Kelley .... second assistant director
John Powditch .... first assistant director
Art Department
Jamie Bishop .... on-set dresser (as James Bishop)
Bart Brown .... set dresser
Susan Bucciarelli .... scenic
Robert Buncher .... gang boss
Scott Byrd .... set dresser
Don L. Carr .... props assistant (as Don Carr)
Carolyn Cartwright .... assistant set decorator
Jose Luis de la Garza .... scenic
William H. Franko .... carpenter (as William Franko)
David Hack .... leadman
Mark Heredia .... art department production assistant
Mario Herrera .... scenic
Janet Kalas .... charge scenic
Caitlin Maloney .... art department coordinator
Shane Patrick .... set dresser
Geri Lynn Peterson .... assistant property master
Buster Pile .... construction coordinator
Gerarda Pizzarello .... paint foreman
Eugene Pope .... carpenter (as Gene Pope)
Michael G. Richer .... construction foreman (as Michael Richer)
Gilbert Sanchez .... carpenter
Philip Schneider .... property master
Kenny Strickland .... set dresser
Ricardo Villarreal .... scenic
Robert Lee Whitlock II .... set dresser (as Rob Lee Whitlock II)
Juan Zaragoza .... carpenter
Sound Department
Michael Barry .... sound re-recording engineer
Kam Chan .... foley editor
Benjamin Cheah .... sound effects recordist (as Ben Cheah)
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (as Marko Costanzo)
Chris Fielder .... transfer assistant
Eugene Gearty .... sound effects editor
Lewis Goldstein .... sound effects editor (as Lew Goldstein)
Frank Kern .... foley editor
Sylvia Menno .... dialogue editor
Caroline Hall Otis .... cable puller
Bruce Pross .... foley recordist
Gail Showalter .... adr editor (as Gail Stockton)
Stuart Stanley .... foley editor
Philip Stockton .... supervising sound editor
Steven Visscher .... foley editor (as Steve Visscher)
Jennifer Winslow .... boom operator (as Jennifer C. Winslow)
Clive Winter .... sound mixer
Al Gomez .... adr mixer (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Jack Bennett .... special effects coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Abby Antweil .... additional grip
Kevin Boyd .... video assist
Diane Broussalian .... camera loader
Buzzy Burwell .... best boy electric
Mark Shane Davis .... key grip
Art Garza Jr. .... grip production assistant
Curtis Herbert .... additional grip
Edison Jackson .... grip
Brent L. Jones .... additional grip
Paul Kloss .... electrician
Steve Lang .... key rigging grip
Mitchell Linden .... best boy grip
Jimmy Lindsey .... additional second assistant camera (as Jimmy W. Lindsey)
Mark Manthey .... grip
David McGill .... Steadicam operator
Christopher J. Meyer .... electrician
Ted Morris .... first assistant camera
Brian W. Nordheim .... second assistant camera (as Brian Nordheim)
Maura Osborne .... rigging electrician (as Maura Osbourne)
Alan Pappe .... still photographer (as Alan Pappé)
Peter Pearce .... electrician
Bill Pierson .... dolly grip
Scott H. Ramsey .... gaffer
Robert B. Reynolds .... rigging grip (as Robert Reynolds)
Matt Richardson .... additional grip (as Matthew K. Richardson)
Wally Rowell .... electrician (as Walton Rowell)
Walter Royle .... additional grip
Alisa Siegel .... camera production assistant
Ralph Watson .... Steadicam operator
Casting Department
Lizzie Curry Martinez .... extras casting director
Julie Lichter .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sevilla Granger .... wardrobe assistant
Shari Gray .... key costumer
Mayes C. Rubeo .... wardrobe supervisor (as Mayes Rubeo)
Editorial Department
Josh Brockman .... post-production assistant
Monica De Armond .... post-production assistant
Mario Ontal .... assistant editor
David Orr .... color timer
Plummy Tucker .... associate editor
Music Department
Bruce Bennett .... music assistant (as Bruce Bennet)
Mason Daring .... score performer
Arlene Fishbach .... music consultant
Evan Harlan .... score performer
Tim Jackson .... score performer
Duke Levine .... score performer
Larry Luddecke .... score performer
Billy Novick .... score performer
Nic Ratner .... music editor
David Shacter .... music score engineer
David Shacter .... music score mixer
Mike Turk .... score performer
Marshal Wood .... score performer
Transportation Department
Jorge Betancourt .... driver
Juan Betancourt .... driver
Billy Cude .... driver
Rolando De Hoyos .... driver (as Rolando de Hoyos)
Jim Dicuffa .... transportation captain (as Jim DiCuffa)
Yolanda B. Flores .... driver
Bill Girard .... driver
Leo Perez .... driver
Phil Schriber .... transportation coordinator
Jesus F. Tellez .... driver (as Jessie Tellez)
Jesus Vallejo .... driver
Other crew
Alexis Arnold .... assistant coordinator
Sara Ballon .... production assistant
Randall Balsmeyer .... title designer
Melody Beam .... set production assistant
Fernando Y. Cedillo .... production assistant
Mary Cybulski .... script supervisor
Nathan R. Fitzgerald .... set production assistant (as Nathan Fitzgerald)
David G. Fortis .... chef's helper
David Glassman .... forensic anthropologist (as Dr. David Glassman)
Rob Harris .... unit publicist
Bill Hershey .... chef
Karyn Kusama .... office manager: New York
Mitch Marovitz .... military advisor (as Lt. Col. Mitch Marovitz)
Tammye McDavid .... location production assistant
Deborah Parker .... location manager
Angela Quiles .... production coordinator
Carla Raij .... assistant location manager
Paal Ronnes .... production assistant
Nick Sanders .... craft service
Nick Sanders .... medic
Renée Smith .... production assistant
Shari Sontag .... assistant accountant
Danielle Sotet .... post-production accountant
Mike Sullivan .... tutor
Kevin Vizard .... assistant chef
Alan Jacques .... projectionist (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for brief language, sex and violence
135 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The hands seen laying out the bones in this movie belong to David Glassman, a forensic anthropologist at Southwest Texas State University.See more »
Continuity: In the bar, the head of the beer in the jug in the background repeatedly changes size between shots.See more »
[first lines]
Cliff:[cataloging the flora] We got cenizo, that's purple sage, agave, nopal... What's that stuff? Yeah that's it, that's whatchamacallit. That's horse crippler.
Mikey:This place is a gold mine.
Cliff:Lead mine.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Mi Unico CaminoSee more »


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59 out of 62 people found the following review useful.
A rich tapestry – 2 hours flew by, 5 April 2003
Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom

The discovery of a skull and a sheriff's badge on a disused military firing range prompts Sheriff Sam Deeds to investigate. Sam has long lived in the shadow of his father Buddy, himself the sheriff at one time. However clues point to the fact that the skull may belong to Charley Wade, the corrupt sheriff who `vanished' to Mexico when Deeds challenged him many years prior. However when Sam begins to ask questions that go deeper than the legends, he finds secrets within the border town that hit very near home.

Having just watched The Hi Lo Country (a modern day western with a sprawling story but focused on one thing), I was put in mind to watch Lone Star again. Lone Star is easily the superior film and is a rich weaving of many characters and stories all around one event. The one event is the uncovering of an old murder (possibly) and this central investigation holds the attention easily. Within this investigation and the lives that Buddy affected we are shown a lot of subplots – some followed through, others just giving us enough background to understand the characters. All of these work very well and as a result you don't feel like the film is wandering when it moves away from the investigation by Sam. The subplots are so well translated that we are given a lot of back story to complex characters in a very short time.

For the script to be able to create so many characters that feel real and that have meaningful things going on is impressive. That it makes them all work is amazing and is due to Sayles both writing and editing. As director he is great as well, avoiding the washed out desert feel many `Mexico related' films have and instead goes for richer colours that reflect the rich mix of communities that are in his story.

The acting is faultless all round. No one actor stands out regardless of screen time simply because no one goes over the top and everyone realises they are playing part of a story – even Cooper (realistically the nearest thing to a lead actor) plays it down rather than taking the film over. Morton is good even if his character is the least connected to the investigation, McConaughey is strong despite being little more than a cameo, likewise with Kristofferson. McDormand has a small role but is very impressive as Deeds' ex-wife. Elizabeth Peña, so often dumped with almost token Espanic roles is given a real good part and works with it well. I could list them all, however if any one person stands out it can only be Sayles himself – he takes all the strands and brings them together. I watched a 90 minutes comedy earlier the same day that had dragged. At 130 minutes this simply flew – it is that engrossing.

Overall some will find it too slow, too character driven, sadly some will just not sit through a good story if that's all there is to it (all!). I think this was reflected in poor box office at the time (comparatively poor anyway). But those who have seen it will generally love it – if only more people would watch it! A final word on the film – the ending is shocking and sensationalist on paper and a lesser man would have made a big deal out of it. Sayles simply ends the film softly and leaves us the audience to take what we will from it. Low key from start to finish – I can't praise it enough.

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Lacked a certain visual style.. henriz1-1
Is this a good Movie ? FlorenceLawrence
Should Sam and Pilar Be Arrested? harrytrue
They Say 'Forget the Alamo'-Isn't the Alamo a Monument to Slavery? harrytrue
Lone Star Beer EvilPrince
Colonel Delmore Payne's Combat Patch gmchale2003
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