6.8/10
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19 user 2 critic

Zoot Suit (1981)

A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped ... See full summary »

Director:

Luis Valdez

Writer:

Luis Valdez (play)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Valdez Daniel Valdez ... Henry Reyna
Edward James Olmos ... El Pachuco
Charles Aidman ... George Shearer
Tyne Daly ... Alice Bloomfield
John Anderson ... Judge F.W. Charles
Abel Franco Abel Franco ... Enrique
Mike Gomez ... Joey / Jose Torres
Alma Martinez ... Lupe (as Alma Rosa Martínez)
Francis X. McCarthy ... Press (as Frank McCarthy)
Lupe Ontiveros ... Dolores
Ed Peck ... Lieutenant Edwards
Robert Phalen Robert Phalen ... District Attorney
Tony Plana ... Rudy
Rose Portillo ... Della
Marco Rodríguez ... Smiley / Ismael Torres
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Storyline

A kind of musical accompanying the story of the early 1940's and the effect that the "zoot suit" (a man's suit of long jacket and pegged pants, always worn with a long keychain that looped almost to the ankle.... the rebellious fashion of young men) had on the morals and attitudes of the people of that era. Written by BOB STEBBINS <stebinsbob@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Musical

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chicanos Story See more »

Filming Locations:

Prescott, Arizona, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,356, 4 October 1981

Gross USA:

$3,256,082

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,256,082
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Sensurround

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Daniel Valdez and Rose Portillo originated the roles of Henry Reyna and Della Barrios in the original 1978 stage production as well as in this film. They later went on to play Enrique and Delores Reyna, Henry's parents, in the 2017 stage revival at the Mark Taper Forum, once again directed by Luis Valdez. See more »

Goofs

Most of the male characters in the film are sporting late 70's-early 80's hairstyles which men didn't wear during World War II. See more »

Quotes

El Pachuco: The idea of the original chuco is to look like a diamond, to look sharp, hip, bonaroo, finding a style of urban survival in the rural skirts and outskirts of the brown metropolis of Los, Cabron.
Press: It's an afront to good taste!
El Pachuco: Like the Mexicans, Filipinos and blacks who wear them?
Press: Yes!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film opens with the 1940's Universal logo. See more »


Soundtracks

St. Louis Blues
(uncredited)
Written by W.C. Handy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Outstanding focus on an overlooked and important culture.
30 May 2002 | by mjmarkicSee all my reviews

Having seen the original stage production at the Mark Taper Forum & Aquarius Theatres, in Los Angeles. I was quite blown away by both the production and performances. This was one of my all time favorite stage productions.

An attempt to mount the play in New York was a disappointing failure. I guess the "snobs" of the New York Theatre world, at that time weren't appreciative of something they just didn't get.

When I hear about the film being in production, I awaited it's release with anticipation. It's impossible to replace the presence of live performance with film. This filmed version was a truly impressive attempt to relay the success of the "live" production. I have long had my own copy of this film on Laser Disc and wish it was on DVD.

If you haven't seen the film and are ready for something different with some cultural insight, rent it on VHS, the only format currently available.


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