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The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

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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

Tommy Lee Jones's theatrical directing debut. His only other directing credit was the TV movie The Good Old Boys (1995). See more »

Goofs

When Mike is digging up Melquiades he is wearing flip-flops. But later Pete pulls boots off his feet. See more »

Quotes

Pete Perkins: You try to run away again, and I'll kill you. I guess you know that by now.
Mike Norton: Yes, sir.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

This Could Be The One
(2000)
Written by Michael Morales
Performed by Flaco Jiménez (as Flaco Jimenez)
Produced by Michael Morales (as Michael) and Ron Morales at Studio M,
San Antonio, Texas
© Boom Tat Music Publishing / ASCAP
(P) 2000 Back Porch / Virgin Records Ltd.
From the album "Sleepy Town"
Courtesy of EMI Music France
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nobody is beyond redemption...
2 December 2005 | by (Lomé) – See all my reviews

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is for me the film that saved 2005. Written by Guillermo Arriaga, also writer of "Amores Perros" and "21 grams" and the first movie of Tommy Lee Jones as a director (but also lead actor), "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" tells the story of Ranch hand Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) who wants to fulfill the promise he made to his recently deceased Mexican friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico. The power of this modern western and initiatic journey resides in the complexity of the characters, their depth and their controversial behavior. None of the protagonists are one dimensional; none of them are right or wrong but all of them do right and wrong things. They are not always rational, and most of the time they feel lost. In one word they all appear profoundly human. Build over a chase dynamic fueled with contrasts and paradoxes, the film opposes Wild West landscape and Modern carton built houses, 4WD tracking hunt and horse back journey, fake TV soaps and true friendship but maybe most of all Freedom and Prison. Indeed most if not all characters are trapped in their apathetic lives from which they can't or don't want to escape forcing us to ask ourselves how close is our lives to the spectacle projected in front of our eyes. Melquiades Estrada embodies this possibility of Escape and now that he has been buried 3 times he transcends this Freedom making redemption possible not only through death but also through rebirth, suggesting that nobody is beyond it.


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Why was there no Jimenez and why the fake family picture? decflatte
Why didn't he shoot? mastholte
Pity For Mike (Pepper)? muse83
The most heartbreaking scene ever.... thirtymiles
Tommy Lee Jones's Spanish TheFlickChick
Manslaughter or murder? albertoribas

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