The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez

1983 Western

There was a genuine ballad behind The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez, 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, inadvertently killing a sheriff in the process. His subsequent life and death as a fugitive from the Texas Rangers forms the core of this independently produced project. Adapted from a novel by Americo Paredes, Ballad of Gregorio Cortez stars Edward James Olmos (who wrote some of the film's incidental music) in the title role. Originally produced for PBS' American Playhouse, the film was released to theatres in 1984.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide