An american original.
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- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 44 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: March 4, 2003
- Originally Released: 1981
- Label: Universal Studios
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Interactive Features:
- Scene Access
- Interactive Menus
Performers, Cast and Crew:
|Starring||Daniel Valdez, Edward James Olmos & Tyne Daly|
|Performer:||Charles Aidman, John Anderson, Mike Gomez, Lupe Ontiveros, Tony Plana & Kurtwood Smith|
|Directed by||Luis Valdez|
|Edited by||Jacqueline Cambas|
|Screenwriting by||Luis Valdez|
|Director of Photography:||David Myers|
The staging is busy and clever, though it doesn't translate that well to film, given Valdez's tendency to cut the legs off his dancers. Full Review
[Zoot Suit] is a holy mess of a movie, full of earnest, serious intentions and virtually no achievements. Full Review
New York Times
Rating: 2/5 -- Except for the spirited musical numbers and an arresting performance by Edward James Olmos as the cynical conscience of gang member Daniel Valdez, the movie largely fails to bring the impact it had on stage. Full Review
Rating: 3/5 -- A curious film with a hint of authenticity. [Full Review in Spanish] Full Review
...A powerful dramatic treatment of prejudice in America...
Interesting. [Full Review in Spanish] Full Review
El Pais (Spain)
Valdez, who adapted his play for the screen, keeps the story and the camera moving nicely. Full Review
1940, Los Angeles. Henry Reyna is the leader of a group of Mexican-Americans being sent to San Quentin without substantial evidence. Two members of the defense committee fight the blatant miscarriage of justice for the freedom of Henry and his friends. Based on the actual Sleepy Lagoon murder case.
Fear of juvenile delinquents and street crime during the early 1940s leads to the mockery of a trial of a Chicano gang. The youths are sacrificed by a biased legal system eager to soothe an outraged community. While one committed attorney tirelessly works to remedy the miscarriage of justice, one of the young prisoners miserably contemplates his life sentence. To cope with his anger over this false imprisonment, he invents "El Pachuco", a zoot suit-wearing persona full of youthful machismo and vigor. His alter-ego communicates the prisoner's rage, and exemplifies the stylized, culturally complex life of Mexican-American hipsters in Los Angeles.
- This film was based on a play written by Luis Valdez, and actually captures a live stage performance.
- This film was shot on a $2,500,000 budget and an 11-day lensing schedule.
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