26 user 34 critic

Men with Guns (1997)

Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages... See full summary »




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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Rivera González ...
Tania Cruz ...
Graciela, the Mute Girl
Iguandili López ...
Nandi Luna Ramírez ...
Rafael de Quevedo ...
Carmen Madrid ...
Angela, Dr. Fuentes' Daughter
Esteban Soberanes ...
Raúl, Angela's Fiancé
Alejandro Springall ...
Carlos, Dr. Fuentes' Son
Maricruz Nájera ...
Rich Lady


Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children, he takes a trip to visit his former students who now work in impoverished villages. His trip soon becomes a quest, politically awakening him when he finds out that one of his students was killed by the army. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Adventure | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violent images | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



| | | | | |

Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hombres armados  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,132, 8 March 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$742,032, 26 April 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


John Sayles wrote his first draft in Spanish, the second in English and then polished it back into Spanish for his third draft. See more »


Barber's Client: Nobody refuses the men with guns.
See more »


Featured in The 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1999) See more »


Written by Les Baxter
Performed by Yma Sumac
Courtesy of The Right Stuff
By Arrangement with EMI-Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

a masterpiece without an audience
31 July 2002 | by See all my reviews

A retired Professor of medicine in Mexico begins a journey to reaffirm his legacy, that is, to find and reacquaint himself with the students who studied under him. His search takes him to southern Mexico along the Guatemala border, where an internecine war is in progress between guerilla soldiers and government troops. The war has left the country and its native inhabitants devastated. He find, tragically, his former students have all been killed: if they treated guerilla soldiers, they were executed by the army. If they treated soldiers they were assassinated by guerillas. He ends up with some companions on the journey: an embittered ex-soldier, a priest ravaged by guilt from the commission of an unpardonable sin, a woman who has been gang raped by soldiers, a boy who is old before his time. It is very interesting, and a tribute to a carefully wrought script, that none of these characters can be who they are: the doctor is no longer a doctor, the soldier has deserted, the boy can no longer be a boy, the woman a woman, the priest a priest. Their very violent and moving journey takes them to a mountain top and to the magical possibility of redemption. Mandy Patinkin appears briefly several times in the film as an American tourist, exploring the offbeat paths of rural Mexico. But he, symbolically, is much more than that. His role is one of the most intriguingly conceived elements of the film. Is he a guide? A celestial companion? The film is mostly in Spanish, although long sections of it are in native languages, such as Mayan and Huatl. They are beautiful languages, very musical in nature, and offer one more reason to see this vibrant, provocative masterpiece. This is one of the greatest of American films. Many critics said so and it received universal accolades from everyone except the public. They stayed away in groves, and I, living in Philadelphia, had to plan carefully in order to see it twice. Those who are critical of American film, believing it can never equal the philosophical attainments of European film, should see this film. Few films have dealt with eschatological issues as assuredly as this one: The Seventh Seal, Persona, Cold Fever, Forbidden Games, are some that have, and this magnificent film is very much their equal.

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