Romero

Romero

5.0 3
Director: John Duigan

Cast: John Duigan, Raul Julia, Richard Jordan, Ana Alicia

     
 

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In El Salvador in the late '70s, the wealthy few rule the impoverished many. To maintain the status quo against peasant insurgents and labor organizations, the military regime brutalizes the populace, in particular, rebels who espouse Marxism. Assassinations, executions, and disappearances become commonplace. When the Vatican elevates conservative Oscar Arnulfo Romero… See more details below

Overview

In El Salvador in the late '70s, the wealthy few rule the impoverished many. To maintain the status quo against peasant insurgents and labor organizations, the military regime brutalizes the populace, in particular, rebels who espouse Marxism. Assassinations, executions, and disappearances become commonplace. When the Vatican elevates conservative Oscar Arnulfo Romero (Raul Julia) to archbishop, the military rulers believe he will quiet the masses and the activist priests who support them. "Blessed are the peacemakers," he will preach. At first, that is precisely what he does. But when soldiers thwart voters, shoot indiscriminately into crowds, torture dissidents, and kill a dedicated priest and friend of Romero, the archbishop condemns the regime in radio messages, rebukes quisling bishops, and leads a peasant march into a church occupied by soldiers. He also insults and defies the El Salvadoran president (Harold Cannon), an iron-fisted general, who, ironically, has the same last name as the archbishop Romero, but is not related. The country by this time is in the throes of civil war. In 1980, when military death squads continue their reign of terror even though the government institutes so-called reforms, Romero continues to speak out, gaining international attention. The film then builds to its climax, a scene recreating the events of Monday, March 25, 1980, when Romero is saying mass for his recently deceased mother. Attendees include four men who have no intention of reciting mea culpas or receiving the Holy Eucharist.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
This 1989 production faithfully chronicles Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero's struggle with his conscience, his brother priests, and a brutal military regime during the seismic social upheaval in El Salvador in 1980. In a deeply affecting performance, Raul Julia portrays the beleaguered Romero -- a kind of 20th century Thomas à Becket -- with such passion and dignity that it is hard to imagine anyone else right for the role. At the beginning of the film, Julia molds himself into a psychological and philosophical replica of Romero: a bookish, old-school prelate who eschews the political activism practiced by radical priests to bring down tyrannical government overlords. One must render to Caesar what is Caesar's, he believes. But after the murders of dissident peasants and priests, Julia's Romero abandons status-quo passivism for peaceful political activism. The transition is slow and subtle, sans epiphany, with Julia displaying as much fear and regret as courage and resolution. And then the day comes when Julia forms his character into a rock of defiance: "You are a liar," he tells the double-dealing El Salvadoran president. The gauntlet is down. Romero's fate is sealed. Like Becket eight centuries before, Romero meets his fate in a cathedral. And also like Becket, he does not die completely. His spirit lives on. Supporting performances are good, and the camera makes a significant contribution to the success of the film with scenes of peasant squalor and aristocratic plenitude. The Paulist Fathers, a Roman Catholic religious order, produced the film on a limited budget -- and prayers.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/19/2013
UPC:
0727985013039
Original Release:
1989
Source:
Vision Video
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
3,019

Special Features

Deleted scenes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Raul Julia Archbishop Oscar Romero
Richard Jordan Fr. Rutilio Grande
Ana Alicia Arista Zalads
Tony Plana Fr. Manuel Morantes
Lucy Reina Lucia
Tony Perez Father Rafael Villez
Rene Pereyra Cigarette Man
Harold Gould Francisco Galedo
Juan Peláez Ernesto Claramount
Eddie Velez Lieutenant Columa
Jose Chavez Trowe Don Manuel
Robert Viharo Colonel Ernesto Dorio
Eduardo Lopez Rojas Bishop Cordova
Ruben Rojo Archbishop Chavez
Antonio Serrano Corporal
Al Ruscio Bishop Estrada
Abel Woolrich Campesino
Álvaro Carcaño Soldier
Victor Carpinteiro National Guard
Arturo Rodriguez Doring Juan
Damián Alcázar Campesino
Claudio Brook Bishop Flores
Alejandro Bracho Father Alfonzo Osuna
Rocio Munoz Campesino
Martin Lasalle Bishop Rivera y Damas
Francisco Mauri Salvador Ramos
Evangelina Elizondo Josephina Gatedo
José Escandón National Guard
Regino Herrerra Campesino
Jose Antonio Estrada Man with Photo Album

Technical Credits
John Duigan Director
Geoff Burton Cinematographer
Roger Ford Production Designer
Ellwood E. Kieser Producer
Lawrence Mortorff Executive Producer
Frans Vandenburg Editor
Gabriel Yared Score Composer
John Sacret Young Executive Producer,Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Romero
1. Main Credits [2:58]
2. Subversive [5:19]
3. Appointment [2:54]
4. Beginnings [5:04]
5. Communion [3:11]
6. Freedoms [3:18]
7. Mourning [1:59]
8. Music [4:45]
9. Equal [3:25]
10. Questions [4:12]
11. Memories [3:26]
12. Patience [5:53]
13. Responsible [3:16]
14. Garbage [5:39]
15. Violence [2:55]
16. Divisions [2:47]
17. Barracks [3:36]
18. Unity [5:15]
19. Confession [2:38]
20. Abductions [3:25]
21. Storm [2:19]
22. Negotiation [1:49]
23. Ultimatum [2:39]
24. Human Beings [3:31]
25. Mistake [2:05]
26. Belief [2:36]
27. Voice [4:11]
28. Salvation [2:58]
29. Orders [2:51]
30. End Credits [3:30]

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