7.4/10
35,685
201 user 175 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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Captain Gomez
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Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe ...
Lucio
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Irineo Alvarez ...
Manuel (as Irineo Álvarez)
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Salesman
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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

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,859, 18 December 2005

Gross USA:

$5,023,275, 4 June 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

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

Mike Norton shows no sign of beard growth during the entire stretch of his captivity. He should have had at least several days of beard growth by the time he and Pete made it to "Jimenez". See more »

Quotes

Rachel: Viagra works for Bob.
Belmont: I'll turn truck-stop queer and blowjob-giver before I use that shit.
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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

References Lonesome Dove (1989) 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
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User Reviews

 
Shades of 'Unforgiven'!
30 November 2005 | by See all my reviews

Ay, carramba! A diablo of a marketing challenge: a bilingual movie, with an impossible-to-remember title, a story of white trash, Mexican wetbacks (that's the film's language), cruel Border Patrol "cowboys," and Tommy Lee Jones as the director and the uniquely memorable lead character... and a film that's one of the year's best.

"The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" opens with a somewhat confusing sequence of flashbacks, and for the first half hour, you wish you were watching something more "orderly," but you'll be hooked anyway. For the next hour and a half, however, there is a crescendo of images and situations hitting the viewer over the head, amazing and moving.

Taking the corpse of a friend - and his very much alive killer - back to Mexico for a "proper burial" and to mete out justice, Jones' voyage is a quirky, epic adventure, based on the brilliant writing of Guillermo Arriaga (of "21 Grams"), and filmed to perfection by Chris Menges (of "The Killing Fields" and "The Mission").

Besides Jones (who won the 2005 Cannes Festival best actor award for this), "3 Burials" features fabulous performances by Barry Pepper ("25 Hours"), Julio Cedillo, and a large group of remarkable supporting actors on both sides of the border.

Jones says something in the production notes that could sound arrogant or affected... except that it's true: "Some visual influences have been the kabuki theater, the art of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, and the films of Akira Kurasawa, Sam Peckinpah, and Jean-Luc Godard." Amen.


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