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Lou Diamond Phillips,
El Cortez is a film that presents Lou Diamond Phillips in an unusual character, an autistic soul who as most of them has an inability to relate to his surroundings. He reacted violently to one such situation and spent some time in a mental institution. Since his release he now has a menial job as a desk clerk in a fleabag hotel in Reno, Nevada named the El Cortez.
Being he's Lou Diamond Phillips he arouses the interest in Tracy Middendorf who is the girl friend of drug dealer Glenn Plummer. Plummer is the jealous type and only through some murky flashbacks do we get a hint that maybe the Lou we see is someone who can handle the situation if the need arises. Lou also has his arresting officer James McDaniel interested as well. McDaniel never believed in that 'not guilty by reason of insanity or mental defect' crap that got Phillips off. If he can't get him behind bars then he'll harass him so that Phillips will be his snitch.
But the worst of it for him might just be Bruce Weitz who is a paraplegic staying at the hotel whom Lou saves from some muggers. Turns out that Weitz is a con man and he's got some kind of gold mine scheme working on a mark played by Peter Onorati.
All these plot elements come together and it's interesting to see how it all works out.
El Cortez is a kind of poor man's Forrest Gump where Lou Diamond Phillips is hardly a fringe player in great events of our time the way Tom Hanks was. The film itself is a minor effort, but what Lou Diamond Phillips does with the character is fascinating. El Cortez is definitely for his legion of fans of which I am one.
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