The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

There was a genuine ballad behind this film, based on a real-life character. Cortez, a San Antonio cowpoke, was arrested in 1901 because he resembled the actual criminal. Unable to speak English, Cortez fights off the authorities. His subsequent life as a fugitive forms the core of this independently produced project.
Classics , Drama , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Edward James Olmos
as Gregorio Cortez
James Gammon
as Sheriff Frank Fly
Tom Bower
as Boone Choate
Bruce McGill
as Bill Blakely
Alan Vint
as Sheriff Trimmell
Timothy Scott
as Sheriff Morris
Pepe Serna
as Romaldo Cortez
Brion James
as Capt. Rogers
Barry Corbin
as Abernethy
Rosanna DeSoto
as Carolot Munoz
Michael McGuire
as Sheriff Glover
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

All Critics (2)

A subdued revisionist Western based on a Mexican ballad about a true story.

Full Review… | June 14, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

For Director Young, the tragic poignancy derives from the fact that despite rich heritage the alien Anglo culture forced Gregorio to become an outsider and to speak a language that needed translation.

Full Review… | March 30, 2006

Audience Reviews for The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez


One of the only movies that truly portrays the Latino struggle in the early west. You will never feel the same about Manifest Destiny...

Roberto Vasquez
Roberto Vasquez

I was so deeply affected by this movie that I made a commitment to become a professional translator. I have done so for the last 25 year in fact. This movie is so real to us who grew up listening to stories of Gregorio and the simple mistake that affected so many. The cinematography is absolutely spectacular as well as the music score. Bravo! Love the movie and would watch it proudly as a Texan and Mexican.

Maria Reyna
Maria Reyna

This movie is alright. The book by Americo Paredes is better. This is about the many versions of what happened with Gregorio Cortez. The facts are not certain in the movie, but when you read Paredes' book you understand more of the truth. Gregorio Cortez was a real man living on the border, along the Rio Grande. He just so happened to go through an incident that would change his life forever. This takes place at the turn of the century during a time of discrimination. The problems arise all because of a little miscommunication.


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