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THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ

USA, 1982 (MIFF 1983)

Director: M. Young

Texas 1901

Robert M. Young's film is based on a popular ballad, commemorating the true story of a Mexican who outsmarted the Texas Rangers.

In a gunfight caused by a misunderstanding, the young Mexican cowhand, Gregorio Cortez, shoots and kills a sheriff. Claiming to have acted in self-defence, he then flees towards the Mexican border. Covering enormous tracts on foot and horseback, he manages to escape hundreds of Texas Rangers who set out to capture him.

Legends begin to spring up about him, but in the very last moment, the Rio Grande already in sight, Cortez is betrayed by a sheepherder for the offered reward of a thousand dollars. In the following trial he is sentenced to a fifty year prison term.

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