Robert M. Young

¡Alambrista!

¡Alambrista!

In ¡Alambrista!, a Mexican farmworker sneaks across the border to California to make money to send to his family back home. It is a story that happens every day, told here in an uncompromising, groundbreaking work of realism from American independent filmmaker Robert M. Young. Vivid and spare where other films about illegal immigration might sentimentalize, Young’s take is equal parts intimate character study and gripping road movie, a political work that never loses sight of the complex man at its center. ¡Alambrista!, winner of the Cannes Film Festival’s inaugural Caméra d’Or in 1978, remains one of the best films ever made on this perennially relevant topic.

Film Info

  • Robert M. Young
  • United States
  • 1977
  • 96 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.66:1
  • English, Spanish
  • Spine #609

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary featuring director Robert M. Young and coproducer Michael Hausman
  • New interview with actor Edward James Olmos
  • Children of the Fields (1973), a short documentary by Young, accompanied by a new interview with the director
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A new essay by film historian Charles Ramírez Berg

New cover by Richard Mia

Purchase Options

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed stereo soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New audio commentary featuring director Robert M. Young and coproducer Michael Hausman
  • New interview with actor Edward James Olmos
  • Children of the Fields (1973), a short documentary by Young, accompanied by a new interview with the director
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: A new essay by film historian Charles Ramírez Berg

New cover by Richard Mia

¡Alambrista!
Cast
Domingo Ambriz
Roberto
Trinidad Silva
Joe
Linda Gillin
Sharon
Ned Beatty
Anglo coyote
Jerry Hardin
Man in café
Julius Harris
Second drunk
Ludevina Mendez Salazar
Roberto’s wife
Maria Guadalupe Chavez
Roberto’s mother
Edward Lopez
Contractor
Evelyn Chieko Saito
Strawberry field owners
Tom Tar
Strawberry field owners
Paul Berrones
Berto
George Smith
Cook in café
Dennis Harris
Sharon’s brother
Edward James Olmos
First drunk
Reverend J. D. Hurt
Revival preacher
Salvador Martinez
Mexican coyote
R. L. Dick Rautenberg
Junkyard owners
Kent Rautenberg
Junkyard owners
Félix José Álvarez
Junkyard cook
John Sandoval
Roberto’s father
Alfred Alvernaz
Watermelon field crew boss
Officer Constantine Copulos
Highway Patrol officer
Officer J. C. Lamont
Border officials
Officer Thomas Coffman
Border officials
Lily Álvarez
Pregnant woman
Credits
Director
Robert M. Young
Producer
Michael Hausman
Producer
Irwin Young
Executive producer
Barbara Schultz
Executive producer
Albert Camarillo, Ph.D.
Executive producer
Davíd Carrasco, Ph.D.
Executive producer
Jose B. Cuellar, Ph.D.
Written by
Robert M. Young
Director of photography
Robert M. Young
Editing
Edward Beyer
Editing
Norman Buckley
Music composed and adapted by
Francisco Herrera
Music composed and adapted by
Tomas Montoya
Associate producers
Sandra Schulberg
Associate producers
David Streit
Assistant director
Michael Hausman
Additional photography
Tom Hurwitz
Sound mixer
Martin Quiroz
Art director
Lili Kilvert
Lighting director
Michael Barrow
Assistant editor
Jay Dranch
Sound editor
Mitch Worth
Location coordinator
Donald Wylie
Production assistants
Shawn Hausman
Production assistants
Madeline Todd
Production assistants
Sarah Young
Still photographer
Andrew Young

From The Current

Shooting ¡Alambrista! with Edward James Olmos
Shooting ¡Alambrista! with Edward James Olmos

Though his role in it was small, the Oscar-nominated actor Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver, Battlestar Galactica) cites Robert M. Young’s ¡Alambrista! as one of the most important films he’s ever made. This authentic rendering of the worka…


Apr 18, 2012
¡Alambrista!: Inside the Undocumented Experience

¡Alambrista!: Inside the Undocumented Experience

When it was first released in 1977, ¡Alambrista! depicted something previously unseen in American fiction films—the lives of undocumented Mexican immigrants from their point of view. Though writer-director-cinematographer Robert M. Young was …

By Charles Ramírez Berg

On Film / Essays — Apr 17, 2012