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One Man's Hero (1999)

R  |   |  Action, Drama, History  |  8 October 1999 (Mexico)
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"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 faith who deserted to Mexico ... See full summary »


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Title: One Man's Hero (1999)

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


"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 faith 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. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »



| |



Release Date:

8 October 1999 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

A Coragem de um Homem  »

Box Office


$11,350,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This was the last film ever released by Orion Pictures. See more »


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

Captivating film about a tragic story
10 October 2002 | by (MA) – See all my reviews

"One Man's Hero" is a beautiful film. Beneath any flaws in style and editing, discussions of touchy subject matter, etc. etc., it presents the incredible true story of a group of Irish immigrants who deserted the US army to fight with Mexico during the Mexican War to become the San Patricios. For an $18 million film and fairly unknown director, it stands the test well and emerges an educational and compelling piece of moviemaking.

Truth be told, there's nothing spectacular about the battle scenes or any groundbreaking aspects, but the collective strength of the cast and the solid script pay homage to these men. The film boasts several brilliant "moments", a sub-plot romance, wonderful performances from supporting cast, a thought provoking subject from the archives of history, and the drama and charismatic profundity of a lost cause and ultimate tragedy. Kudos to great score and utilizing the terrain to the benefit of the film.

Though it's not a blazing Oscar candidate, this is a wonderful, sad, and highly personal film about human beings trying to make the best of an unusual and dangerous situation. It has a layered cultural atmosphere that is refreshing and enlightening, and no doubt you'll end the film with a new appreciation of history and belief in good film.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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