7.0/10
992
16 user 6 critic

Cabeza de Vaca (1990)

A handful of survivors from a disastrous 1528 Spanish expedition to Florida journey across the coast until they reach Mexico.
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

It is May 1520 in the vast Aztec Empire one year after the Spanish Conqueror Hernán Cortés' arrival in Mexico. "The Other Conquest" opens with the infamous massacre of the Aztecs at the ... See full summary »

Director: Salvador Carrasco
Stars: Damián Delgado, José Carlos Rodríguez, Elpidia Carrillo
El Dorado (1988)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The film tells the epic story of an expedition that took place between 1560 and 1561, headed by Pedro de Ursúa, in search of "El Dorado." The territory they explored subsequently became ... See full summary »

Director: Carlos Saura
Stars: Omero Antonutti, Eusebio Poncela, Lambert Wilson
Red Dawn (1989)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A Claustrophobic experience which involves a Mexican middle class family into the atrocities made by wild and heartless army forces whose main objective seems to be students who do not permit the 1968's Olimpic games' to develop normally.

Director: Jorge Fons
Stars: Héctor Bonilla, María Rojo, Jorge Fegán
Duck Season (2004)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Flama and Moko are fourteen years old; they have been best friends since they were kids. They have everything they need to survive yet another boring Sunday: an apartment without parents, ... See full summary »

Director: Fernando Eimbcke
Stars: Diego Cataño, Daniel Miranda, Enrique Arreola
Atlantiques (2009)
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Directed by Mati Diop (35 rhums), Atlantiques recounts the odyssey of Senegalese friends who attempt a life-threatening boat crossing. Melancholic and mysterious, the film urgently and elegantly addresses the perils of illegal migration.

Director: Mati Diop
Stars: Alpha Diop, Cheikh M'Baye, Ouli Seck
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Beckermann's parents met in Vienna after the Holocaust. Tracing the migratory paths of her family before World War II, Beckerman returns to the European Jewish communities which inspired her childhood stories.

Director: Ruth Beckermann
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Shot in the real-life contemporary art world, FEMALE HUMAN ANIMAL is a psychothriller about a creative woman disenchanted with what modern life has to offer her. When writer Chloe Aridjis ... See full summary »

Director: Josh Appignanesi
Stars: Chloe Aridjis, Marc Hosemann, Angus Wright
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A very hard drought devastates an ancient Mexican empire. Warriors and priests fight for power while people are dying. A group of priests return to Aztlan, the mythological place where ... See full summary »

Director: Juan Mora Catlett
Stars: Rodrigo Puebla, Rafael Cortes, Amado Sumaya
El Amparo (2016)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

At the end of the 80's, by the creeks of the Arauca river, near the Colombian-Venezuelan border, two men survived the brutality of a shooting in which 14 of their mates were killed. They ... See full summary »

Director: Rober Calzadilla
Stars: Vicente Quintero, Giovanni García, Vicente Peña
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A woman faces a variety of emotional crises as she spends the summer interacting in various ways with friends, family, and lovers.

Director: Angela Schanelec
Stars: Ursina Lardi, Andreas Patton, Anne Tismer
Marseille (2004)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Marseille describes an interlude in the life of young Berlin photographer Sophie. Wanting a change, Sophie does an apartment swap, so she can go photograph the city of Marseille, and most of all get away from Berlin.

Director: Angela Schanelec
Stars: Maren Eggert, Emily Atef, Alexis Loret
Macario (1960)
Drama | Fantasy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Poor, hungry peasant Macario longs for just one good meal on the Day of the Dead. After his wife cooks a turkey for him, he meets three apparitions, the Devil, God, and Death. Each asks him... See full summary »

Director: Roberto Gavaldón
Stars: Ignacio López Tarso, Pina Pellicer, Enrique Lucero
Edit

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
Edit

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).

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$789,127
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)
See full technical specs »
Edit

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 »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

a journey through the Southwest
11 December 2003 | by jg1972See all my reviews

In a strange and fantastic film, the Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca interacts with American Indians before any other Europeans and becomes integrated into their world before he his torn out of it by the arrival of more Spanish.

To answer a common question . . . Why does Florida look like Arizona in this film? Because it's not Florida. It's not even supposed to be Florida.

The makers of this film (and the makers of this film's packaging) have their facts wrong but their scenery right. Cabeza de Vaca landed in Texas, probably at the site of today's Galveston. That explains the slow-moving, brown water streams and the thick vegetation and mosquitoes. He then walked west or southwest. West Texas and northern Mexico do have semi-desert conditions and modest sized mountains and mesas and some canyons. The real Cabeza de Vaca left Florida on a flimsy raft -- depicted in the film -- hoping to make it to Cuba. Instead, he landed on the Texas gulf coast. I don't know why the filmmakers labeled the landscape as Florida.

This film is odd. It is exceptionally slow paced. There is little intelligible dialogue: lots of grunts or dialogue in indigenous languages (but no subtitles). We are as lost as Cabeza de Vaca. This film is from his point of view, and no explanation for his healing powers is offered. Nor do we receive an explanation of the tribal dynamics (some accept him, some enslave him, another seems to wish to execute him).


4 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 16 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed