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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)
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Popularity
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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 trans-formative desert journey he begins with his 6 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 gunfighter in black, riding a horse through a spiritual, mystical landscape strewn with old Western movie, 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 legendary cult classic See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Mexico

Language:

Spanish

Release Date:

15 April 1971 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

The Gopher See more »

Filming Locations:

Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Producciones Panicas See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Klangfilm)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the scene in which El Topo's female companion tries to drink water from a river, only to discover that it is bitter in taste, El Topo tells her that Moses found water in the desert and that the people tried drinking it but that it was bitter and so they called it "marah". In Hebrew, "marah" means "bitter". Marah is also one of the locations which the Torah identifies as having been traveled through by the Israelites during the Exodus. 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Deconstructing Griffith (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

El Topo as a spiritual metaphor & journey.
30 April 2006 | by tonydelplatoSee all my reviews

I saw this movie about a dozen times from the early to mid '70's. It was labeled "a cult movie." While I never joined a cult, I was moved to see it a many times as I did because it was a metaphor that spoke strongly to my own spiritual searches at the time. The western motif and travels of our hero/anti hero spoke eloquently of the "mole's search for the light." While the violence was overwhelming at times, I didn't think is redundant or too much. Western society, perhaps all great civilizations, was built on a tremendous amount of violence. The scenes in the mountain with those marginalized from society and their subsequent "liberation" out of the mountain and into the light was an awesome scene. The violence that took place after wards and our own here's self immolation was very poignant. I continue to look for the movie today and hope that whatever is preventing it from being available in North America will be resolved soon. I am very curious to observe my own responses to this film today. I have seen other movies by Jordorowsky and none equaled the impact that El Topo had upon me.


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