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Zoot Suit

  • 1981
  • Luis Valdez
  • 99 mins

Summary

When barrio leader Henry Reyna (Daniel Valdez) and a group of his friends are unjustly convicted on circumstantial evidence during the "zoot suit riots" that rocked 1940s Los Angeles and sent to San Quentin, activist lawyers Alice Bloomfield (Tyne Daly) and George Shearer (Charles Aidman) fight the blatant racially motivated miscarriage of justice to win Henry and his friends their freedom.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

Luis Valdez directed this film adaptation of his hit stage musical, which is loosely based on the 1940s Sleepy Lagoon murder trial that unfairly convicted several Mexican-American zoot suit gang members. Except for the spirited musical numbers and an arresting performance by Edward James Olmos as the cynical conscience of gang member Daniel Valdez, the movie largely fails to bring the impact it had on stage. It's shot on a sound stage with a visible audience watching, which creates a barrier that makes it hard for the viewer to feel the anguish the characters go through. The exaggerated, theatrical acting style also doesn't help.

How to watch

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Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Henry ReynaDaniel Valdez
El PachucoEdward James Olmos
GeorgeCharles Aidman
AliceTyne Daly
JudgeJohn Anderson
EnriqueAbel Franco
JoeyMike Gomez

Crew

rolename
DirectorLuis Valdez

Details

Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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