7.4/10
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El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | | Drama, Western | 15 April 1971 (Mexico)
A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director:

Alejandro Jodorowsky (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)

Writer:

Alejandro Jodorowsky (as Alexandro Jodorowsky)
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Alejandro Jodorowsky ... El Topo
Brontis Jodorowsky ... Hijo / Topo's son
José Legarreta José Legarreta ... Moribundo
Alfonso Arau ... Bandido 1
José Luis Fernández José Luis Fernández ... Bandido 2
Ali Junco Ali Junco ... Bandido 3 (as Alí Junco)
Gerardo Zepeda ... Bandido 4 (as Gerardo Cepeda)
René Barrera René Barrera ... Bandido 5
René Alís René Alís ... Bandido 6
Federico Gonzáles Federico Gonzáles ... Bandido 7
Vicente Lara Vicente Lara ... Bandido 8
Pablo Leder Pablo Leder ... Monje 1
Giuliano Girini Sasseroli Giuliano Girini Sasseroli ... Monje 2
Cristian Merkel Cristian Merkel ... Monje 3
Aldo Grumelli Aldo Grumelli ... Monje 4
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Storyline

El Topo decides to confront warrior masters on a transformative desert journey he begins with his six-year-old son, who must bury his childhood totems to become a man. El Topo (the mole) claims to be God, while dressed as a gun-slinger in black, riding a horse through a mystical landscape strewn with American Western and ancient Eastern religious symbols. Bandits slaughtered a village on his path, so El Topo avenges the massacred, then forcibly takes their leader's woman Mara as his. El Topo's surreal way is bloody, sexual and self-reflective, musing of his own demons, as he tries to vanquish those he encounters. Written by David Stevens

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Definitive Cult Spaghetti Western See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mexico's official selection as Best Foreign Language Film category at the 44th Academy Awards. See more »

Goofs

The opening scene is of a man on horseback riding through the desert, although the horse is on deep sand the sound is of a horse on hard ground. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
El Topo: [to his son] You are seven years old. You are a man. Bury your first toy and your mother's picture.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits in the English-dubbed version of El Topo state that ABKCO Films copyrighted the film in 1967; however, ABKCO didn't purchase (any rights to) it until June of 1971! See more »

Alternate Versions

Many Spanish and other non-English versions are censored, missing most of the sex and violence. Japanese prints on laserdisc have one piece of minor censorship (the scene with the Franciscan monks being ridden and humiliated). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nymphéas (2011) See more »

User Reviews

incredible stuff
10 May 2004 | by kevin-jonesSee all my reviews

Truly astonishing film from writer/director/composer Alejandro Jodorowsky. This is one of the most hypnotic films you'll ever see and is one that stays in the mind for days afterwards. Think Leone, Fellini and Peckinpah joining forces to make a mystical, existential and spiritual western and you're someway close to Jodorowsky's masterpiece. There are so many things to like and admire in this film from the sometimes purposely jarring editing and the beautiful music to the gorgeous vistas inhabited by a plethora of interesting and unusual characters. Track down a copy (Italy's Raro video currently has a decent dvd on release. I got mine from xploitedcinema) and you will not regret it. Be warned though - some of the images are pretty extreme, especially for 1971. A stunner and a definite must have for any serious film collector.


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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

15 April 1971 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

El Topo See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,857, 17 December 2006

Gross USA:

$80,302

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$160,468
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Producciones Panicas See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm)

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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