7.4/10
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199 user 173 critic

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

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5 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Melquiades Estrada (as Julio César Cedillo)
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Rachel
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Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe ...
Lucio
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Mariana
Irineo Alvarez ...
Manuel (as Irineo Álvarez)
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Juan
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Border Patrolman
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Storyline

A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. The body is found and reburied in Van Horn's town cemetery. Pete Perkins, a local ranch foreman, kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody is beyond redemption. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

24 February 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$759,792 (France) (2 December 2005)

Gross:

$5,023,275 (USA) (2 June 2006)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director/Actor Jones gave each cast member a copy of Albert Camus' "The Stranger" to read so that they would understand alienation, a big theme in both the novel and the film. See more »

Goofs

After the hotel scene, when Pete and Melquiades Estrada drop the girls off at their vehicle, Melquiades Estrada gets back in the truck and puts the window up, a crew member can be seen in the reflection of the window. See more »

Quotes

Pete Perkins: Thank you!
Old Man with Radio: I need to ask you a favor.
Pete Perkins: Anything you want.
Old Man with Radio: I need you to go ahead and shoot me. My son, he ain't coming back.
Pete Perkins: Oh, he'll come back.
Old Man with Radio: He said he had cancer. Told me to go into town with him. But I don't want to go. I've lived here all my life. I don't want to offend God by shooting myself. It's a problem, you see.
Pete Perkins: We don't want to offend God neither.
[Pete and Mike start to leave]
Old Man with Radio: You're good people. You need to go ahead and shoot me.
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Crazy Credits

The title of the film and the various title cards are in both English and Spanish. See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 21 January 2006 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Dang Me
(1964)
Written by Roger Miller
© Tree International, Administered by Warner Chappell Music
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User Reviews

 
Sad and sometimes quirky journey about friendship, loss and regret
1 November 2005 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

I just had the pleasure of seeing this wholly original modern-day American western. Just when you think you have this film's plot pigeon holed it takes you in a different direction. THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES ESTRADA is in part a revenge story, but it's also much more than that. There are no one dimensional characters. As much as you want to hate Barry Pepper's numbed border patrol officer, you can't help but feel sorry for him. And Tommy Lee Jones' Pete will break your heart. He and Pepper have never been better and Jones' direction is natural and subtle. My only problem with the film was sometimes it got a little too quirky for its own good. But for the most part I believed every moment and really cared for these lost characters. It's one of those films that really leaves you thinking about a lot of stuff, from mortality and loss to the very real problems of racism and inhumanity. It's never preachy or self aware and isn't out to impress, it's just telling a story. I highly recommend this movie. It's by far one of the best films I've seen recently.


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