This week’s mystery movie was the 1982 film “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez,” with Edward James Olmos, James Gammon, Tom Bower, Bruce McGill, Brion James, Alan Vint, Timothy Scott, Pepe Serna, Michael McGuire, William Sanderson, Barry Corbin, Jack Kehoe and Rosana DeSoto. Music composed and adapted by W. Michael Lewis and Edward James Olmos, production design by Stuart Wurtzel, costume design by Hilary Rosenfeld, photography by Ray Villalobos, screenplay by Victor Villasenor, adapted by Robert M. Young, based on “With a Pistol in His Hand” by Americo Paredes. Produced by Moctesuma Esparza and Michael Husman. Directed by Robert M. Young.
“The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez” has been reissued on DVD and Blu-ray by the Criterion Collection.
Writing in the New York Times (June 29, 1982), John J. O’Connor said:
The film adopts, quite successfully, the almost stately pacing of a long ballad, of a myth in the making. Mr. Olmos’ superb performance is supported beautifully by a cast that includes Tom Bower, James Gammon, Rosana DeSoto, Victoria Plata, Bruce McGill, Brion James, Pepe Serna, Michael McGuire and, in a tiny role, Ned Beatty. “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez” is intended to be the first in a series of productions based on Mexican American literature. The project [on public television’s “American Playhouse”] is off to an extremely imposing start.
Writing in the New York Times (Oct. 14, 1983), Janet Maslin said:
“The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez,” which opens today at Cinema I, offers two different perspectives on a legendary Texas manhunt. The sincerity of Robert M. Young’s film is readily apparent, yet in its soft-spoken and serious way, “The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez” presents a no less exaggerated portrait of the old West than the wildest and wooliest cowboy sagas. If frontier characters didn’t truly rope and ride and yell “Yahoo!” without interruption, neither can they have been as solemn, quiet and reflective as the figures in this deliberately muted drama.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is Buddy Vigil.
For Tuesday, we have a mustachioed mystery gent.
Update: This is Brion James. You may recognize him from “Blade Runner,” which also featured Edward James Olmos.
Wednesday’s mystery guest is having a cup of coffee.
Update: This is Bruce McGill. You may recognize him from “Animal House.”
Brain Trust roll call: Benito (Tuesday’s mystery gent), Lee Ann, Megan and Thom (Tuesday’s mystery gent), Frank (Tuesday’s mystery gent) and Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery gent).
For Thursday, we have another mustachioed gent….
Update: This is Tom Bower, who appeared with Olmos in “American Me.”
… also a mystery woman.
Update: This is Rosana (Rosanna) DeSoto, who appeared with Olmos in “Stand and Deliver.”
Brain Trust roll call: Tucson Barbara (Wednesday’s mystery gent).
And for Friday, our non-mysterious leading man.
Update: This is Edward James Olmos.
Brain Trust roll call: Sue Slutzky (mystery movie and Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests), Tucson Barbara (Thursday’s mystery guests), Sylvia E (mystery movie and Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s and Thursday’s mystery guests) and Megan Lee Ann and Thom (mystery movie, Wednesday’s mystery gent and Thursday’s mystery woman).