6.8/10
935
19 user 2 critic

Zoot Suit (1981)

A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped ... See full summary »

Director:

Luis Valdez

Writer:

Luis Valdez (play)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Valdez Daniel Valdez ... Henry Reyna
Edward James Olmos ... El Pachuco
Charles Aidman ... George Shearer
Tyne Daly ... Alice Bloomfield
John Anderson ... Judge F.W. Charles
Abel Franco Abel Franco ... Enrique
Mike Gomez ... Joey / Jose Torres
Alma Martinez ... Lupe (as Alma Rosa Martínez)
Francis X. McCarthy ... Press (as Frank McCarthy)
Lupe Ontiveros ... Dolores
Ed Peck ... Lieutenant Edwards
Robert Phalen Robert Phalen ... District Attorney
Tony Plana ... Rudy
Rose Portillo ... Della
Marco Rodríguez ... Smiley / Ismael Torres
Edit

Storyline

A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped almost to the ankle.... the rebellious fashion of young men) had on the morals and attitudes of the people of that era. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicanos Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Prescott, Arizona, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,356, 4 October 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,256,082
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Sensurround

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniel Valdez and Rose Portillo originated the roles of Henry Reyna and Della Barrios in the original 1978 stage production as well as in this film. They later went on to play Enrique and Delores Reyna, Henry's parents, in the 2017 stage revival at the Mark Taper Forum, once again directed by Luis Valdez. See more »

Quotes

Henry Reyna: I was supposed to report to the Navy tomorrow!
El Pachuco: They'd give you those tight pants to make your ass look like an apricot.
Henry Reyna: So what business is it of yours? It's my ass!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1940's Universal logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Soldado Razo
Written by Felipe Valdés Leal
Performed by Pedro Infante
courtesy of Fabrica de Discos Peerless S.A.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
East LA's "Angels With Dirty Faces"
19 April 2011 | by rajah524-3See all my reviews

While I am willing to agree with the one reviewer here who takes Luis to task for staging a somewhat lopsided revision of history, I'm surprised at the 6.4 rating for this very artfully laid out rundown of the Sleepy Lagoon screwiness in wartime LA. My father was in fact one of the sheriff's deputies involved. His version was understandably authoritarian and legalistic. But all that aside...

This is the best examination I've ever seen or even heard of regarding the psyche of the Mexican-American gang bangers on the east side of that dry wash that separated the fix-is-in boys downtown from the second- and third-generation campesinos of mid-century SoCal. I went to Woodrow Wilson Junior & High School in El Sereno. There is nothing in Eddie James's =stunning= (to me, anyway) real-ization of "El Pachuco" that is off the mark. Nada. He had the peculiar, paranoid-delusional, narcissistic-machismo, defense mechanism menudo of the vato loco =down=, ese.

And anyone who understands even a =little= of what it really means to be =Hispanically= antisocial in hyper-starched khakis & Sir Guys =or= peg pants & porkpies -- and =dig= it -- ought to be fascinated. (Go see the outfits some of the guys in El Chicano, Tierra and Thee Midnighters are sporting to this day.)

Lalo Guerrero's "Marijuana Boogie" and the rest of the "bop" lend further flavor to this nifty little play-turned-film. Watch it =carefully=. Valdez's script is subtle. This is sophisticated trabajo.


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