IMDb > Men with Guns (1997/II)
Men with Guns
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Men with Guns (1997/II) More at IMDbPro »

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Writer (WGA):
John Sayles (written by)
View company contact information for Men with Guns on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 March 1998 (USA) See more »
Humberto Fuentes is a wealthy doctor whose wife has recently died. In spite of the advice of his children... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 3 nominations See more »
(11 articles)
Cartagena to honour John Sayles, Clive Owen
 (From ScreenDaily. 24 February 2014, 2:34 AM, PST)

What Hollywood tells us about war and poverty
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 5 September 2013, 2:02 PM, PDT)

Lone Star Cinema: Lone Star
 (From Slackerwood. 10 June 2013, 11:30 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
Magical realism but little realism and no magic See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Federico Luppi ... Dr. Fuentes

Damián Delgado ... Domingo, the Soldier
Dan Rivera González ... Conejo, the Boy
Tania Cruz ... Graciela, the Mute Girl

Damián Alcázar ... Padre Portillo, the Priest

Mandy Patinkin ... Andrew
Kathryn Grody ... Harriet
Iguandili López ... Mother
Nandi Luna Ramírez ... Daughter
Rafael de Quevedo ... General
Carmen Madrid ... Angela, Dr. Fuentes' Daughter
Esteban Soberanes ... Raúl, Angela's Fiancé
Alejandro Springall ... Carlos, Dr. Fuentes' Son
Maricruz Nájera ... Rich Lady

Roberto Sosa ... Bravo
Iván Arango ... Cienfuegos
Lizzie Curry Martinez ... Montoya
Luis Ramírez ... Hidalgo
Humberto Romero ... De Soto
Gabriel Cosme ... Echevarría
Horacio Trujillo ... Arenas
Efrine Elfaro ... Kokal Driver
Pedro Hernández ... Kokal Driver
Dionisios ... Salt Man
Loló Navarro ... Blind Woman
Maggie Renzi ... Tourist by Pool
Shari Gray ... Tourist by Pool
Paco Mauri ... Captain
Gilma Tuyub Castillo ... Mother With Baby
Armando Martínez Velásquez ... Vendor
Luis Felipe Tovar ... Barber
Fernando Medel ... Barber's Client

David Villalpando ... Gum Person
Raúl Sánchez ... Gum Person
Diego Méndez Guzmán ... Moisés
Mariano López de la Cruz ... Gonzalo
Antonio de la Torre López ... Isidro (as Antonio de la Torre López)
Ermenehildo Sáenz Guzmán ... Sixto
Cristóbal Guzmán Mesa ... Artemio
Domingo Pérez Sánchez ... Junípero
Óscar García Ortega ... Sergeant
Miguel Xocua ... Modelo Boy
Guadalupe Xocua ... Modelo Woman
Celeste Cornelio Sánchez ... Raped Girl
Nazario Montiel ... Guerrilla
Francisco Váldez ... Guerrilla
José Alberto Acosta ... Guerrilla
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Jacqueline Voltaire ... Rich Lady (as Jacqueline Walters Voltaire)

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

Produced by
Jody Allen .... executive producer (as Jody Patton)
Jim De Nardo .... associate producer
Peter Gilbert .... associate producer
Lou Gonda .... executive producer
R. Paul Miller .... producer
Bertha Navarro .... co-producer
Maggie Renzi .... producer
Eric Robison .... associate producer
Doug Sayles .... associate producer
John Sloss .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mason Daring 
Cinematography by
Slawomir Idziak 
Film Editing by
John Sayles 
Casting by
Lizzie Curry Martinez 
Production Design by
Felipe Fernández del Paso 
Art Direction by
Salvador Parra 
Set Decoration by
Miguel Ángel Álvarez 
Costume Design by
Mayes C. Rubeo 
Makeup Department
Carlos Sánchez .... hair stylist
Carlos Sánchez .... makeup artist
Production Management
Javier Clave .... unit manager
Sarah Connors .... post-production supervisor
Matthias Ehrenberg .... unit production manager: Mexico
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adrian Grunberg .... second assistant director
Manuel Hinojosa .... first assistant director
Art Department
Mario Alfaro .... property master
Rigoberto Castañeda .... set dresser
Juan José Goldaracena .... assistant set dresser
Aristeo Ruiz Lugo .... head carpenter
Antonio Muño-Hierro .... construction coordinator
Patricia Nava .... art department coordinator
Diana Quiroz .... assistant set decorator (as Diana Quiroz Ennis)
Sound Department
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recording engineer
Judy Karp .... production sound mixer
Jaime Reyes .... boom operator
Philip Stockton .... supervising sound editor
Dustin DuPilka .... assistant foley artist (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Alex Vázquez .... special effects coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Juan Manuel Alvarez .... electrician
Juan Araiza .... key grip
Fernando Coria Reyes .... electrician
Sergio García Terrazas .... second assistant camera (as Sergio García)
Francisco García .... dolly grip
Luis González Palma .... title photographer
Carlos Omar Guerra .... first assistant camera (as Carlos Guerra)
Pedro Hernández .... grip
Leonardo Julián .... gaffer
Delfino Peña .... best boy grip
Shane Young .... still photographer
J. Manuel Álvarez Ambriz .... electrician (as Juan Manuel Alvarez)
Animation Department
Francisco Goldman .... character creator: "Dr. Arrau/Dr. Fuentes" from novel "The Long Night of White Chickens"
Casting Department
David Martínez .... extras casting (as David Cervando Martínez)
David Martínez .... local casting (as David Cervando Martínez)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Martha Castillero .... set costumer
Shari Gray .... wardrobe supervisor
Guadalupe Narváez .... costume assistant
Editorial Department
Mario Ontal .... assistant editor
Noëlle Penraat .... negative cutter
Franses Simonovich .... post-production intern (as Frances Simonovich)
Plummy Tucker .... associate editor
Jeff Consiglio .... editor: title sequence (uncredited)
Music Department
Jeanine Cowen .... music arranger
Mason Daring .... musician: keyboards
Michael Golub .... music mixer
Andrew Gonzalez .... musician: bass
Jamey Haddad .... musician: percussion
Evan Harlan .... musician: accordion
Lewis Kahn .... musician: trombone
Duke Levine .... musician: guitar
Frank London .... music arranger
Frank London .... musician: trumpet
Larry Luddecke .... music arranger
Josué Mondragón .... music arranger
Patrick Mullins .... music editor
Billy Novick .... music arranger
Billy Novick .... musician: woodwinds
Arturo O'Farrill .... musician: piano
Bobby Sanabria .... musician: percussion
Tom Schnabel .... music supervisor
Richard Sebring .... musician: French horn
Nancy Zeltsman .... musician: marimba
Transportation Department
Salvador Servin .... transportation captain
Other crew
Paul Brennan .... legal services
Flavio Castillero .... assistant accountant
Bernardo Chávez .... assistant location manager
Helen Milsted Eisenman .... subtitler: English
Terry Fernández .... locations
Emily Gamboa .... production coordinator
Rosa María Gómez .... production accountant
Jonas Hendrix .... production assistant
Luciana Kaplan .... script supervisor
Susana Loyo .... production secretary
Jodi Peikoff .... legal services
Rafael 'Rabbit' Perez .... production assistant
Dan Rybicky .... production office manager: New York
Alejandro Springall .... translator: Spanish
Kyle Cooper .... title designer: main title sequence (uncredited)
Michael Riley .... title designer (uncredited)
Eric Smith .... title designer (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Hombres armados" - USA (Spanish title)
See more »
Rated R for language and some violent images
127 min
Color (Technicolor)
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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 »
Movie Connections:
Es MentirosoSee more »


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17 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
Magical realism but little realism and no magic, 26 May 2003
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

In John Sayles, 1997 film Men With Guns, a widowed doctor, Humberto Fuentes (Fernando Luppi) leaves his practice in an unnamed Latin American country to search for medical students he trained to be doctors in Indian villages under the "Alliance for Progress". Filmed almost entirely in Spanish with English subtitles and based on stories by Francisco Goldman, the film is a fictional adventure story but suggestive of real events. Sayles has said, "As I was writing it, I made sure that almost all of the incidents are based on events that have happened somewhere else, almost to the exact detail."

Naively unconvinced that there is any danger from a guerilla war in the interior, Dr. Fuentes travels to remote areas to discover his "legacy". Soon he finds out the reality. His tires are removed, his wallet is stolen, his life is threatened, and he cannot get any information because people won't speak to him out of fear. He sees starving people, destroyed villages, and people who have lost their hope, while the world is ignorant of what is taking place. Dr. Fuentes picks up several travelling companions along the way; and learns more about the struggles they have endured. Each has lost something close to them. Domingo (Damian Delgado), a soldier has deserted his army, Conejo (Dan Rivera Gonzales), a very wise young boy has lost his parents, an ex-priest Padre Portillo (Damian Alcazar) has lost his faith, and a native woman has lost her voice after being raped by soldiers.

At the first village, a blind woman tells Dr. Fuentes that the "men killed one of his students with guns". When he asks her the reason, she says simply, "Because they had guns and we didn't". The film clearly shows the powerlessness of the Indians and peasants caught in the middle of a conflict they do not want to be involved in. Sayles shows peasants as little more than commodities who are used by the system: the Salt people, the Sugar people, the Coffee, Banana and Gum people, all surviving at subsistence level because of economic conditions beyond their control. The doctor finds out that it does not matter who is threatening the people, they are all just "men with guns" and Indians are just as capable of cruelty against their own people as government soldiers. Fuentes discovers that some of his students have been killed but keeps going from village to village to look for the rest. His expectations, however, are met only with one grim story after another. Weary but not despairing, he and his traveling companions set out on one last journey, a spiritual quest to find a city hidden in the rainforest called Circle of Heaven where the air is clear and there are no guns.

Men With Guns has a point to make but makes it early and often and there is little suspense or plot development in the last half of the film. Mr. Sayles has wisely kept the story as generic as possible but there is no indication of what the issues are or what the conflict is all about. It is well known that civilians and "innocent bystanders" are often the biggest victims in war. Beyond that, what is the film saying? Is it that resistance movements who might be fighting an uphill battle against a brutal dictator should lay down their arms? Aside from the problems I had with the issues, the characters come across as types rather than real people. Oblivious American tourists, played by Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody, are too laughable to even warrant being called stereotypes. Though credit must be given for tackling a subject that most filmmakers would rather not hear about, Men With Guns is overlong and lacking in dramatic impact. Eventually, it veers off into magical realism with much self-consciousness but little realism and no magic.

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