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When school teacher Harriet Winslow goes to Mexico to teach, she is kidnapped by Gen. Tomas Arroyo and his revolutionaries. An aging American, Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce also in Mexico, ... See full summary »

Director:

Luis Puenzo

Writers:

Carlos Fuentes (novel), Aída Bortnik (screenplay) (as Aida Bortnik) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Fonda ... Harriet Winslow
Gregory Peck ... Bitter
Jimmy Smits ... Arroyo
Patricio Contreras ... Col. Frutos Garcia
Jenny Gago ... La Garduna
Gabriela Roel Gabriela Roel ... La Luna
Sergio Calderón ... Zacarias (as Sergio Calderon)
Guillermo Ríos Guillermo Ríos ... Monsalvo (as Guillermo Rios)
Jim Metzler ... Ron
Samuel Valadez De La Torre Samuel Valadez De La Torre ... Consul Saunders
Anne Pitoniak Anne Pitoniak ... Mrs. Winslow
Pedro Armendáriz Jr. ... Pancho Villa (as Pedro Armendariz Jr.)
Stanley Grover Stanley Grover ... Gen. Saunders
Josefina Echánove ... Clementina (as Josefina Echanove)
Pedro Damián ... Capt. Ovando (as Pedro Damian)
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Storyline

When school teacher Harriet Winslow goes to Mexico to teach, she is kidnapped by Gen. Tomas Arroyo and his revolutionaries. An aging American, Ambrose "Old Gringo" Bierce also in Mexico, befriends Gen. Arroyo and meets Harriet. Bierce is a famous writer, who knowing that he is dying, wishes to keep his identity secret so he can determine his own fate. Though he likes Arroyo, Bierce tries to provoke the General's anger whenever possible in an attempt to get himself killed, thus avoiding suffering through his illness. Winslow is intrigued by both Bierce and Arroyo, and the men are in turn attracted to her. She becomes romantically involved with Arroyo. When Winslow learns of Bierce's true identity (a writer whose work she has loved and respected for years), she is singlemindedly determined to fulfill his dying wish. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Some people spend their whole lives searching for something. Some people find it. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

6 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gringo viejo See more »

Filming Locations:

Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$34,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$3,574,256
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to the American Humane Association, the scene involving the shooting of General Arroyo's horse had no humane representative present but the AHA spoke with Gregory Peck, who was present during the entire filming of the scene. Peck described in great detail how the shocking effect was achieved, and assured the AHA that the horse, Twister, was not harmed. The AHA went to the California ranch where Twister is kept so that we could observe him recreate his specialty fall. Twister performed beautifully and is in excellent condition. See more »

Goofs

At the end of the movie as Harriet Winslow is crossing the Rio Grande, the river flows from right to left. If she were actually crossing the border from Mexico to America (northward), the river would flow from left to right (eastward). See more »

Quotes

La Garduna: When gentlemen start talking about principles, we poor people lose what we don't even have!
See more »

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User Reviews

A journey of a beginning and an end
16 March 2004 | by RachelLoneSee all my reviews

In 1913, Harriet Winslow (Jane Fonda) is hired by a Mexican family as a governess, but she then is kidnapped by Gen Tomas Arroyo (Jimmy Smits) and along with other revolutionaries. She also meets Ambrose Bierce (Gregory Peck), who conceals his true identity and who is ready to die on this foreign land. The three of them form a love triangle, Harriet becomes Tomas's lover and her affection towards Bierce is rather like a daughter to a father. But when Tomas invades the house of Miranda, where his birth father, the master, rapes his mother and where his shoots Mr Miranda dead when he is seventeen, he becomes so haunted by his past and obsessed with the old papers. As he befriends Bierce, he also turns into a ruthless commander. In the end, things get tragic- Harriet is determined to fulfill Bierce' dying wish of not being publicised and Tomas has to face his ultimate punishment. Harriet now is the sole survivor who remembers her two beloved men. 'He said I would forget. But how could I not remember?'

I really like this film. Jimmy Smits is excellent as the tormented general and Gregory Peck was marvellous as the disillusioned writer and journalist. Jane Fonda is not too bad. The direction is okay, the story is very poignant and twisted. All in all, a nicely done drama.


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