Film still from The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982). Moctesuma Esparza Productions.

Film and Television / Lectures and Workshops

What Is a Western? Film Series: The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez  (1982)

Part of the series What is a Western? Film Series

Saturday, September 18, 2021, 1:30 p.m.

The Autry in Griffith Park

Free for Members | Included With Museum Admission
Reservations Recommended | Space Is Limited

About the Event

Based on a historical incident enshrined in a corrido (folk song), this landmark of Chicano cinema tells the story of a Mexican American farmer as he evades a massive manhunt, following the accidental killing of a Texas Ranger. Both a thrilling chase film and a nuanced procedural that peels away the layers of prejudice and myth surrounding Cortez, it uncovers the true story of an ordinary man persecuted by the law and transfigured by legend. 

Screening introduced by Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times columnist and author of ¡Ask a Mexican! Followed by Q&A with the film's producer Moctesuma Esparza.

Directed by Robert M. Young | Starring Edward James Olmos, James Gammon, and Tom Bower 

The What is a Western? Film Series explores the wide range of movies that can be considered Westerns, and the ways in which they shape our understanding of the American West. Each screening includes a guest lecturer who will introduce the film and explain its significance in the genre.