7.5/10
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An American photojournalist gets caught in a political struggle at El Salvador in 1980.

Director:

Oliver Stone
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
James Woods ... Richard Boyle
Jim Belushi ... Dr. Rock (as James Belushi)
Michael Murphy ... Ambassador Thomas Kelly
John Savage ... John Cassady
Elpidia Carrillo ... María (as Elpedia Carrillo)
Tony Plana ... Major Max
Colby Chester ... Jack Morgan
Cynthia Gibb ... Cathy Moore (as Cindy Gibb)
Will MacMillan ... Col. Hyde
Valerie Wildman ... Pauline Axelrod
José Carlos Ruiz ... Archbishop Romero (as Jose Carlos Ruiz)
Jorge Luke ... Col. Julio Figueroa
Juan Fernández ... Army Lieutenant
Salvador Sánchez ... Human Rights Leader
Rosario Zúñiga ... HIS Assistant (as Rosario Zuniga)
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Storyline

A journalist, down on his luck in the US, drives to El Salvador to chronicle the events of the 1980 military dictatorship, including the assasination of Archbishop Oscar Romero. He forms an uneasy alliance with both guerillas in the countryside who want him to get pictures out to the US press, and the right-wing military, who want him to bring them photographs of the rebels. Meanwhile he has to find a way of protecting his Salvadorean girlfriend and getting her out of the country. Written by Tony Bowden <t.bowden@qub.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Dateline: 1980 El Salvador - Correspondent: Richard Boyle, Photojournalist Guatemala, Iran, Vietnam, Chile, Belfast, Lebanon, Cambodia... [Salvador] See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | Thriller | War

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

23 April 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Outpost: Salvador See more »

Filming Locations:

Alameda County, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,500,000, 31 December 1986
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to James Woods, he went to watch the film at a local theatre and while he was leaving, a refugee from El Salvador knelt before him and kissed his hand, thanking him for telling the story of her family's massacre. See more »

Goofs

Boyle refers to rebels possessing Belgian FLNs. He probably means FALs. See more »

Quotes

John Cassady: You know what made photographers like Robert Cappa great, Rich? They weren't after money, they captured the nobility of human suffering!
Richard Boyle: That was a great shot in Spain. The one flying through the air.
John Cassady: Yeah but it was more than just bodies, Rich. He got... why they died.
See more »

Alternate Versions

According to the biography "Stone: The Controversies, Excesses, and Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker" by James Riordan, the film was originally meant to be a two and a half hour release from a 150 page script, and much extra footage was cut due to box office concerns and by the original studio, Orion, who saw that a lot of the footage was too excessive or violent (one such scene described in the book was of an orgy scene with Rick Boyle and Dr. Rock and a bag of ears casually tossed on to a table). Stone regrets this decision as the film ended up, and was criticized for being, choppy in some of its editing. Some of this deleted footage is included on the Special Edition DVD. See more »

Connections

Featured in Music for the Movies: Georges Delerue (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

El Salvador Ta Venciendo
Written by Victor Y Alejandro of Chile
Performed by Yolocamba Ita
Courtesy of Discos Pentagrama S.A.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Fear and Loathing in El Salvador
17 February 2005 | by ill_behaviorSee all my reviews

With a touch of the Hunter Thompsons, Oliver Stone created a quality film about reporter Richard Boyle and his troubles in El Salvador during a civil war that breaks out around him.

Compared to other Stone films, I think this is his best, he has managed to take the true story of Boyle and craft it into a film in which you actually care about the on-screen characters, something he lost later on.

The performances are classic; James Woods, he was clearly on edge and it shows, he produces one of his finest to date. Doc would really have been only a fringe character if it wasn't for the fact he was played by James Belushie in fine form, he fits into the role of the degenerate with ease, he begins as somewhat uptight, but slowly dissolves into the seedy culture of Salvador in contrast to Boyle being ostracised by everyone he deals with.

As with most Stone biopics, there is an element of "you weren't there man!" anger as he unleashed another tirade against the US government and military through this film. You can take that as you like, what I found most fascinating about this film is the similarity to Fear and Loathing, right down to the battered red car they make most of the journey in. I found it fascinating that Boyle could live the kind of story that Thompson made his name creating, the two would make a cracking team, should they not die getting the story, just make it up.

If you're undecided on Olly Stone, but haven't seen this film, give it a try before you decide whether he is an overrated paranoid madman or an impassioned filmmaker with a message in there somewhere if you can get past all the shouting.


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