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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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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

3 nominations. See more awards »




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

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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 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


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

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »



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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?


The film is rated as unacceptable by the American Humane Society. The filmmakers refused to produce evidence that no animals were harmed during production. The end titles disclaimer that no animals were harmed is not endorsed by the AHA. See more »


The San Patricio Flag is taken from the hands of a fallen soldier, yet in a close up shot after the battle the flag can be seen under the head and hands of the fallen soldier. See more »

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User Reviews

A Movie Worth Fighting For
1 October 1999 | by (Connecticut) – See all my reviews

The struggle by many to get MGM to release this epic movie was worth every effort as you watch this beautiful movie on the big screen.

This is one of the performances of Tom Berenger's life.There is no denying the magnitude to which he portrays John Riley's great strength and character. His scenes, quite literally, draw you in like no other role he's played since Sergeant Barnes in Platoon. You'll gasp out loud when witnessing the consequences the San Patricios and John Riley face for desertion.

Berenger brings to this movie his heart and soul (along with an excellent Irish brogue)and it shows in the first frame to the last.

Artistically shot under Director, Lance Hool, and enhanced by the beautiful score from composer Ernest Troost, this is a film that will stay with you long after you leave the theater.

Tom is supported by an equally impressive and strong cast. Daniela Romo, as the fiercely independent and beautiful Marta, is captivating in every scene she is in. Mark Moses, as American Col. Benton Lacy, is a stand-out as John Riley's friend and one of the few fair-minded soldiers in John Riley's former American unit. Character actor James Gammon, who played coach Lou Brown in Major League and Major League II, brought to the movie his homey, down-to-earth talent as the likable Zachary Taylor.

This movie tells a little known chapter in American and Mexican history--a chapter that deserves to be told.

Tell everyone you know to go out and support this film to ensure a wider release throughout the United States.


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