Sunday, Apr 2024
Director: Robert M. Young
Screenwriters: Américo Paredes from Victor Villaseñor's book
Length: 114 minutes
Released: 1970

ballad o fgregorio cortez posterA film based on a true story involving one of the most famous man hunts in Texas history. The movie is about Anglo-American tensions in Texas at the turn of the century and turns on an incident surrounding a gunned-down American sheriff resulting from a misunderstanding of Spanish vernacular. A reporter follows the posse in pursuit of Cortez and the movie does an admirably judicious job of presenting different interpretations of the same story. Cortez proves to be highly elusive -- almost mystically so -- and the lengthy chase provides ample time for examination of frontier/border justice. One crucial issue is whether Texas, in this notorious case, will be able to justly administer 'due process of law' and adequately move into the New Century. Among other things, we learn that under the laws of Texas at the time, a man may resist arrest with a firearm if a firearm is used against him.

This is a good, latter-day Western which does a fine job of focussing on the administration of justice on the frontier. Gregorio Cortez is generally considered one of the better independent films of the 80s. Edward Olmo does a fine job as Cortez. Because of its fine treatment of a very interesting true story, we recommend The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez as a Must See.


  • John Wayne....Col. Cord McNally
  • Jorge Rivero....Capt. Pierre Cordona
  • Jennifer O'Neill.... Shasta Delaney
  • Jack Elam.... Phillips
  • Christopher Mitchum.... Sgt. Tuscarora
  • Victor French.... Ketcham
  • Susana Dosamantes...Maria Carmen
  • Sherry Lansing.... Amelita
  • David Huddleston.... Dr. Jones
  • Mike Henry.... Sheriff Hendricks
  • Bill Williams.... Sheriff Pat Cronin
  • Jim Davis.... Deputy
  • Dean Smith.... Bide
  • Robert Donner.... Whitey Carter
  • George Plimpton.... 4th Gunman
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