Ranch foreman Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Director:

Tommy Lee Jones
5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Lee Jones ... Pete Perkins
Barry Pepper ... Mike Norton
Julio Cesar Cedillo ... Melquiades Estrada (as Julio César Cedillo)
Dwight Yoakam ... Belmont
January Jones ... Lou Ann Norton
Melissa Leo ... Rachel
Levon Helm ... Old Man with Radio
Mel Rodriguez ... Captain Gomez
Cecilia Suárez ... Rosa
Ignacio Guadalupe ... Lucio
Vanessa Bauche ... Mariana
Irineo Alvarez Irineo Alvarez ... Manuel (as Irineo Álvarez)
Guillermo Arriaga ... Juan
Josh Berry ... Border Patrolman
Rodger Boyce ... Salesman
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Storyline

A man is shot and quickly buried in the high desert of west Texas. The body is found and reburied in Van Horn's town cemetery. Pete Perkins, a local ranch foreman, kidnaps a Border Patrolman and forces him to disinter the body. With his captive in tow and the body tied to a mule, Pete undertakes a dangerous and quixotic journey into Mexico. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody is beyond redemption. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During a diner scene between Melissa Leo and January Jones, Dwight Yoakam can be heard singing on the radio in the background See more »

Goofs

After Pete exits the hospital where Mel's body was taken, the sign says Cibolo County General Hospital. There is a Cibolo County (Grants), New Mexico, but none in Texas. Cibolo County, NM is about 450 NNW of the movie setting. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Mike Norton: You gonna be all right?
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Crazy Credits

The title of the film and the various title cards are in both English and Spanish. See more »

Connections

References Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974) See more »

Soundtracks

9 Million Pictures
Written by Augie Meyers
Performed by Augie Meyers
© Brujo Music, Administered Worldwide by Bug Music Inc.
Courtesy of French Fried Music
Courtesy of Brujo Music
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User Reviews

 
Nobody is beyond redemption...
2 December 2005 | by auberusSee all my reviews

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada is for me the film that saved 2005. Written by Guillermo Arriaga, also writer of "Amores Perros" and "21 grams" and the first movie of Tommy Lee Jones as a director (but also lead actor), "The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada" tells the story of Ranch hand Pete Perkins (Tommy Lee Jones) who wants to fulfill the promise he made to his recently deceased Mexican friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico. The power of this modern western and initiatic journey resides in the complexity of the characters, their depth and their controversial behavior. None of the protagonists are one dimensional; none of them are right or wrong but all of them do right and wrong things. They are not always rational, and most of the time they feel lost. In one word they all appear profoundly human. Build over a chase dynamic fueled with contrasts and paradoxes, the film opposes Wild West landscape and Modern carton built houses, 4WD tracking hunt and horse back journey, fake TV soaps and true friendship but maybe most of all Freedom and Prison. Indeed most if not all characters are trapped in their apathetic lives from which they can't or don't want to escape forcing us to ask ourselves how close is our lives to the spectacle projected in front of our eyes. Melquiades Estrada embodies this possibility of Escape and now that he has been buried 3 times he transcends this Freedom making redemption possible not only through death but also through rebirth, suggesting that nobody is beyond it.


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Details

Country:

France | Mexico | USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 February 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The 3 Burials of Melquiades Estrada See more »

Filming Locations:

Shafter, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$23,859, 18 December 2005

Gross USA:

$5,027,684

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,045,362
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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