- Rated: R
- Closed captioning available
- Run Time: 2 hours, 2 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 29, 2000
- Originally Released: 1998
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Additional Products:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Box Office - 11/01/1999
"...A rattling good movie....It tackles the subject with diligence but still manages to be wonderfully entertaining..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/24/1999
"...ONE MAN'S HERO is a deeply felt and engrossing period epic....This is a tale worth telling..."
This serious-minded, large-scale historical saga casts light on a shadowy corner of American history, the "St. Patrick's Brigade" in the Mexican-American war of the 1840s. Near the front lines, John Riley (Berenger), a respected Irish-American officer, rebels when several US Army soldiers, fellow immigrants, are brutalized because of their Catholic faith. He goes AWOL with the men, eventually siding with the Mexicans in their fight to hold onto territories that would become the American southwest. It's a tragic tale, recalling the era when Catholics (and Irish ones in
particular) were widely mistrusted and despised by the country's Protestant majority. Still, it's no wonder that the whitewashed, remember-the-Alamo version of American history has persevered in previous dramas; between the factionalized Mexican side, the conflicted Riley and even the war-weary US "invaders," it's hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys here, who is fighting who and why, and Riley's romance with a Hispanic hottie muddies the picture even more. Still, ONE MAN'S HERO is worth comparing with another factual epic about a renegade warrior who casts his lot
with another culture - LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.
The intriguing true story of the St. Patrick's Battalion, a group of Irish immigrants who fled to Mexico during the Mexican-American War after being persecuted, religiously as well as ethnically, by the United States Army. Promised American citizenship if they volunteered to fight for the U.S., they learned a powerful lesson upon realizing that this was a conscious fabrication. When they finally took it upon themselves to fight for the other side, the captured soldiers were brutally tortured and hung by the American army. Berenger portrays John Riley, the Irish General who led his group with a confused dignity that helped them to rise above the prejudice they encountered on both sides of the border.