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The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
"Diarios de motocicleta" (original title)

R  |   |  Adventure, Biography, Drama  |  15 October 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 79,788 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 297 user | 189 critic | 37 from Metacritic.com

The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling.



(book) (as Ernesto Guevara) , (book), 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 34 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mercedes Morán ...
Celia de la Serna (Argentina)
Jean Pierre Noher ...
Ernesto Guevara Lynch (Argentina) (as Jean-Pierre Noher)
Lucas Oro ...
Roberto Guevara (Argentina)
Marina Glezer ...
Celita Guevara (Argentina)
Sofia Bertolotto ...
Ana María Guevara (Argentina) (as Sofía Bertolotto)
Franco Solazzi ...
Juan Martín Guevara (Argentina)
Ricardo Díaz Mourelle ...
Uncle Jorge (Argentina) (as Ricardo Diaz Mourelle)
Sergio Boris ...
Young Traveler (Argentina)
Daniel Kargieman ...
Young Traveler (Argentina)
Diego Giorzi ...
Rodolfo (Argentina)
Facundo Espinosa ...
Tomás Granado (Argentina)
Matias Gomez ...
Kid (Argentina) (as Matías Gómez)


In 1952, twenty-three year old medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna - Fuser to his friends and later better known as 'Ernesto Che Guevara' - one semester away from graduation, decides to postpone his last semester to accompany his twenty-nine year old biochemist friend 'Alberto Granado' - Mial to his friends - on his four month, 8,000 km long dream motorcycle trip throughout South America starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their quest is to see things they've only read about in books about the continent on which they live, and to finish that quest on Alberto's thirtieth birthday on the other side of the continent in the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela. Not all on this trip goes according to their rough plan due to a broken down motorbike, a continual lack of money (they often stretching the truth to gain the favor of a variety of strangers to help them), arguments between the two in their frequent isolation solely with each other, their raging libidos which sometimes get ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Before he changed the world the world changed him See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

15 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Motorcycle Diaries  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$375,461 (Brazil) (7 May 2004)


$16,756,372 (USA) (11 February 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alberto Granado flew to Temuco, Chile from Cuba, to act as a technical consultant for some scenes. He was interviewed outside the real "Diario Austral" in Temuco. See more »


When Ernesto and Alberto fall off the motorcycle while dodging cows, the motorcycle slides. If you look closely, you can see a rope or cable pulling it. See more »


Ernesto Guevara de la Serna: Me, I'm not the same me, at least not the same spiritual me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The real Alberto appears at the very end of the film just before the credits. See more »


Mambo No. 5
Written by Dámaso Pérez Prado
Interpreted by Dámaso Pérez Prado
Pérez Prado appears by courtesy of BMG Entertainment México, S.A. de C.V.
Editorial Peer International Corp. (BMI) o/b/o/ EMMI
See more »

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User Reviews

Humanism, Awareness, Coming of Age: The Soul of Revolution
26 November 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is certainly one of the finest films of the year

  • a daring, compassionate re-creation of the journey of two young,

well-to-do Argentinean lads who leave their privileged positions of biochemist and fourth year Medical student to follow their idea of traveling by motorcycle from their native Buenos Aires down to Patagonia, up through Chile, Peru, Colombia to Venezuela. Sounds like a light hearted Trip Movie, but instead this journey, factually made by one Ernesto (aka 'Che' and 'Fuser') Guevara de la Serna and his close friend Alberto Granado ('Chubby'), is one of the most touching and sensitive passages into self acceptance and awareness of the world as a place where equality of people is a microscopic speck of illusion that is revealed by a carefully constructed script by Jose Rivera based on the diaries of both of these men made during and after their journey. Walter Salles ("Behind the Sun", "Central Station") once again proves himself a director who can infuse his vision of a story with uncomplicated directness of approach, having the sensitivity to allow his well-chosen actors to create wholly believable, three-dimensional characters, whether the actors are the leads or simply minor roles that hold the camera's eye for seconds.

Taken as simply a movie to enjoy, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is as beautiful as a National Geographic Magazine feature on the Amazon and the deserted and populated lands of South America. But given his re-creation of Che Guevara's and Alberto Granado's meaningful excursion into manhood this movie goes far beyond entertainment and enters that rarefied arena of psycho biography. Traveling on an old motorcycle, the two lads encounter hunger, accidents, lusting after women at every stop, ingratiating panhandling, and the gradual revelation of the quality of life of the indigenous peoples of South America. They are touched by the plights of the people, the people in turn love the boys, and they eventually spend three weeks living and working in a leprosarium run by the nuns, adding their knowledge of medicine to helping not only the physical needs of the lepers but finding ways to break the psychosocial ostracism that historically curses the 'unclean'. Breaking down these barriers, forming strong relationships with those tending the lepers as well as the lepers themselves, lays the seeds of 'revolution' or Change in the minds of the lads, especially Ernesto or 'Che'. The film does not begin to preach or to make the Che Guevara of Cuban militancy fame a hero: it doesn't have to, as the transformation in the mind of Che is so beautifully subtle. The journey has given him the insight that he must devote himself to changing the inequality and poverty of his America. The events that followed this Motorcycle journey are provided in voice over, black and white footage of people's faces, and a final scene in Havana at the ending of the film. No more need be said.

Gael Garcia Bernal gives an incredibly thoughtful, stunning portrayal of Che, saying so much more with his eyes, his body language (especially as he suffers through his own physical demon of asthma attacks), and his perfect embodiment of the spirit of a man who becomes enlightened by the peasants he comes to love. Bernal is already a brilliant actor and a magnetic screen presence, and if he is not nominated for an Oscar for this unique, artful role it will be a major surprise. His is a career to watch! Likewise Rodrigo de la Serna is completely immersed in his role as Alberto and shows the same quality of quiet growth as a character as the movie progresses. ALL of the many extras in this huge cast are memorable: the leper colony abounds with some of the most touching human beings ever captured on film. The camera work, the musical scoring, the obvious commitment on the part of everyone involved in this glorious picture - every aspect of THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES is exactly right. Ten Stars for this one! In Spanish with English subtitles

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