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Cabeza de Vaca (1990)

A handful of survivors from a disastrous 1528 Spanish expedition to Florida journey across the coast until they reach Mexico.
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Juan Diego ... Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca
Daniel Giménez Cacho ... Dorantes
Roberto Sosa ... Cascabel / Araino
Carlos Castañón Carlos Castañón ... Castillo
Gerardo Villarreal Gerardo Villarreal ... Estebanico
Roberto Cobo ... Lozoya (as Roberto 'Calambres' Cobo)
José Flores José Flores ... Malacosa
Eli 'Chupadera' Machuca Eli 'Chupadera' Machuca ... Sorcerer
Farnesio de Bernal Farnesio de Bernal ... Fray Suárez
Josefina Echánove ... Anciana Avavar
Max Kerlow ... Man in Armor
Óscar Yoldi Óscar Yoldi ... Esquivel
Ramón Barragán Ramón Barragán ... Pánfilo de Narváez
Julio Solórzano Foppa Julio Solórzano Foppa ... Alcaraz
Javier Escobar Villarreal Javier Escobar Villarreal ... Young Iguase Indian
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Storyline

An international award winning saga of old Mexico. In 1528, a Spanish expedition founders off the coast of Florida with 600 lives lost. One survivor, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, roams across the American continent searching for his Spanish comrades. Instead, he discovers the Iguase, an ancient Indian tribe. Over the next eight years, Cabeza de Vaca learns their mystical and mysterious culture, becoming a healer and a leader. But soon this New World collides with the Old World as Spanish conquistadors seek to enslave the Indians, and Cabeza de Vaca must confront his own people and his past. Written by Concorde - New Horizons (with permission).

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [France]

Country:

Mexico | Spain | USA | UK

Language:

Spanish | Latin

Release Date:

17 April 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cabeça de Vaca See more »

Filming Locations:

Coahuíla, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$789,127
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The huge figure of a naked man wielding a club which is created by the Indian sorcerer is an accurate representation of the ancient Celtic chalk carving known as the Cerne Abbas Giant, which is 60 metres in height and is located on a hillside overlooking the village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset, England. See more »

Connections

Featured in Conquistadors (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Welcome to Hell? Nope, it's just Florida !
22 September 2001 | by z_crito2001See all my reviews

For the time this film is set, which is 1528, that's a very early era of western exploration (only 36 years after Columbus). I personally would love to see the Americas (North and South) before the full arrival of Europeans. Not because Europeans were "bad" but simply to see something before it's changed dramatically. Unfortunately for many of the early explorers and visitors -- English and Spanish -- a trip to the New World didn't give a feeling of wonder but of life in hell. I'm also aware of the fact that most extant written history of exploration of the New World was written by English authors so it's probably: bad Spanish explorers, good English explorers. But apparently not for this particular story.

As for this film I can only recommend its first hour, which is its best.

The first hour of this film does an excellent job of showing the problems these early explorers faced and how something so promising could turn so bad. Once Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (a copy and paste on that name!) leaves Florida it loses its sense of adventure and mystery (well a good part of it) and the film moves too quickly from Florida to the western shore of Mexico. So quickly you'd think Florida had mountains or terrain that looks like Colorado. The lead character also spends the rest of the time walking about like he fried his brain on drugs. For me, I'm more interested in and want to see and know about the journey and the people on the way.

I would love to talk to these early explorers or see what they saw and I admire them for their courage and sense of adventure, and if they still exist somewhere, how funny it all must seem to them now. Just wait 400+ years and you've got an area with beaches people flock to and Disney World. Does one man's hell eventually becomes another man's vacation spot ?!?!

This film's first hour does surpass all of "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" (1972) but loses something when it turns into a Conquistador "Apocalypse Now" (1979).

If anyone out there knows of any other good films about early exploration of the New World then e-mail me. Thanks.


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