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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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ON DISC
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.

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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

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Riley was born Sean O'Raghailligh in Clifden Co. Galway c.1817/18 an Irish artilleryman of the British Army who arrived in Canada in 1843. Whether he was still in service of the British Army at the time of his arrival in North America is unclear, but either way, it is likely that he deserted, as the British Army's term of service for enlisted men at the time was life. In September 1845, he joined the 5th U.S. Infantry Regiment in Michigan, from which he and others deserted in Matamoros in 1846, receiving the rank of Lieutenant in the Mexican Army. After his conviction and branding, he rejoined Mexican forces, growing his hair to conceal his scar, and retired from service in Veracruz on medical grounds (suffering from yellow fever), with the rank of Major and retirement pay of eight hundred dollars in 1850. John Patrick Riley then disappears from history. See more »

Goofs

There are a number of geographical and historical errors in this film, including some scenes in the battle of Churubusco (the last battle in the movie). See more »

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User Reviews

 
A valid reflection of the times
1 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Anyone who doubts the power of religion to sway a man's loyalties has never studied history. Likewise, anyone who doubts the power of a man's need to feel respect and a sense of "belonging" has simply never felt the lack. The Irish of the time came to our shores fleeing famine and disease, poor in the wallet but rich in pride and heritage. They asked for nothing but a chance, and took what was offered in good faith. The politics of the time made them much as the Mexicans are viewed today. Unwanted aliens who should be sent back from whence they came. Taking the offer of the US Army at face value, they were ridiculed and scorned and abused constantly. When battle was joined they found themselves fighting a people not so different from themselves. A people who shared ties of Catholicism, as well as spirit. They got nothing but hatred and ridicule from those who supposedly would welcome them, and could not be proud of fighting Mexicans, who shared so much in common with them. All they asked was a place to belong. Once they found it, they fought for it with all they had. It just happened, they found it in the ones they were supposed to be fighting.


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