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One Man's Hero (1999)

"One Man's Hero" tells the little-known story of the "St. Patrick's Battalion" or "San Patricios," a group of mostly Irish, and other immigrants of the Catholic religion, who deserted to ... See full summary »

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3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Riley
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Daniela Romo ...
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Gregg Fitzgerald ...
Don Wycherley ...
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Luke Hayden ...
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Captain Gaine
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Storyline

"One Man's Hero" tells the little-known story of the "St. Patrick's Battalion" or "San Patricios," a group of mostly Irish, and other immigrants of the Catholic religion, who deserted to Mexico after encountering religious and ethnic prejudice in the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War. The plot centers around the personal story of John Riley, an Irishman who had been a Sergeant in the American Army, who is commissioned as a Captain in the Mexican Army, and commands the battalion, as he leads his men in battle, and struggles with authorities on both sides of the border.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man's hero is another man's traitor.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

8 October 1999 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

A Coragem de um Homem  »

Box Office

Budget:

$11,350,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$108,567 (USA) (24 September 1999)

Gross:

$229,311 (USA) (22 October 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The final battle in the movie is the battle of Churubusco. Some facts are stretched about the battle, and there are some errors. See more »

Goofs

The type of noose used to hang the men was of 1880s design, intended to break the neck of the prisoner as opposed to strangling them, where a slip-knot was used. Since the execution did not drop them from enough height, the noose would not have worked, even if it had existed. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Finally Hollywood tackles the US-Mexican War with dignity.
12 April 1999 | by (San Francisco, Norte America) – See all my reviews

I had the extreme fortune of seeing "One Man's Hero" at a test screening in Los Angeles, and frankly, it blew me away.

Once in every long while Hollywood lives up to its responsibility to portray subject matters of substance and import to society and humankind at large. "One Man's Hero" is one such example.

The US-Mexican War is the pivotal chapter in the history of North America. It is the war that sealed the fates of it's two participants. For the United States, the War garnered huge amounts of territory and wealth, bootstrapping the fledgling democracy onto the world stage. For Mexico, the War sent the emerging nation into a tailspin that it is still reckoning with today, one hundred fifty years later.

In the United States the US-Mexican War is virtually forgotten, and for good reason, as it is the clearest example of our historical hypocrisy. The US-Mexican War was waged upon Mexico out of pure greed and moral righteousness. The remarkable part of the story is that at the time of this unjust invasion of our peaceful Catholic neighbor, Irish immigrants fresh off the coffin-ships from the Famine identified with Mexico's plight.

Over a hundred years before the conscientious objectors of Vietnam, the 'San Patricios' were true heroes who fought and died for their religion, their convictions, their brethren, and their adopted homeland Mexico. While Henry David Thoreau invented civil disobedience in Massachusetts, refusing to pay his taxes to support this unjust invasion of Catholic Mexico, and while Abraham Lincoln stood in opposition to President Polk's scheme in Congress, the 'San Patricios' fought to the death in the front lines against the invading Yankees.

Through the eyes of these Irish immigrants, we come to see the underbelly of North American history, and come to understand how we have arrived to such debates as anti-bilingual education in California, our collective guilt manifest in NAFTA, and anti-immigration xenophobia.

Rarely does one film illicit such critically profound self reflection, and "One Man's Hero" makes us consider who we are and how we have arrived at the United States' Empire here at the turn of the millennium. The acting is superb, melding a stellar cast of as-of-yet unknown talent with Tom Berenger's best performance to date. The script is Shakespearean in it's tact and art. The direction demonstrates an unparalleled intimacy with the subject matter which leaves us gasping for air one moment and reaching for kleenex the next.

This is a film in the grand tradition of Hollywood, a huge epic wrought large on the silver screen in the tradition of "Braveheart" "Dr. Zhivago" and "Dances with Wolves."

Domingo Espada, San Francisco, Norte America


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