Robert M. Young

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

Forced to run from the Texas Rangers after a heated misunderstanding leads to the death of a lawman, Mexican American farmer Gregorio Cortez sets off in desperate flight, evading a massive manhunt on horseback for days. Producer-star Edward James Olmos, seeking to shed new light on a historical incident that had been enshrined in a corrido (folk song), enlisted director Robert M. Young, a longtime practitioner of socially engaged realism, to helm this trailblazing independent film, a landmark of Chicano cinema. Shifting its perspective between the pursuers and the pursued, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez is a thrilling chase film and a nuanced procedural that peels away the layers of prejudice and myth surrounding Cortez, uncovering the true story of an ordinary man persecuted by the law and transfigured by legend.

Film Info

  • Robert M. Young
  • United States
  • 1982
  • 106 minutes
  • 1.85:1
  • English, Spanish
  • Spine #940

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with actor and producer Edward James Olmos
  • New interview with Chon A. Noriega, author of Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema
  • Cast-and-crew panel from 2016 including Olmos; director Robert M. Young; producer Moctesuma Esparza; cinematographer Reynaldo Villalobos; and actors Bruce McGill, Tom Bower, Rosanna DeSoto, and Pepe Serna
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Charles Ramírez Berg

New cover by Juan R. Fuentes

Purchase Options

Released Aug 14, 2018

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with actor and producer Edward James Olmos
  • New interview with Chon A. Noriega, author of Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema
  • Cast-and-crew panel from 2016 including Olmos; director Robert M. Young; producer Moctesuma Esparza; cinematographer Reynaldo Villalobos; and actors Bruce McGill, Tom Bower, Rosanna DeSoto, and Pepe Serna
  • PLUS: An essay by film scholar Charles Ramírez Berg

New cover by Juan R. Fuentes

The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez
Cast
Edward James Olmos
Gregorio Cortez
James Gammon
Frank Fly
Tom Bower
Boone Choate
Bruce McGill
Reporter Blakely
Brion James
Captain Rogers
Alan Vint
Mike Trimmell
Timothy Scott
Sherriff Morris
Pepe Serna
Romaldo Cortez
Michael McGuire
Sherriff Glover
Credits
Director
Robert M. Young
Screenplay by
Victor Villaseñor
Adapted by
Robert M. Young
Based on the book With His Pistol in His Hand by
Américo Paredes
Produced by
Moctesuma Esparza
Produced by
Michael Hausman
Executive producer
David Ochoa
Executive producer
H. Frank
Director of photography
Ray Villalobos
Music composed and adapted by
W. Michael
Music composed and adapted by
Edward James Olmos

From The Current

How Edward James Olmos Brought a New Historical Authenticity to the Western
How Edward James Olmos Brought a New Historical Authenticity to the Western

The star and producer of The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez made a trailblazing intervention in an iconically American genre, creating an indelible portrait of a Latino American hero.

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The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez: A Cinematic Corrido
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez: A Cinematic Corrido

Reimagining the story of a Mexican American folk hero, this revisionist western ushered in a new era in both Chicano and independent filmmaking.

By Charles Ramírez Berg

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