Zoot Suit

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Released 1981

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Movie Summary

Director:
Luis Valdez
Released:
1981
Rating:
R

Zoot Suit is a dramatic musical about a young teenager from Los Angeles that is accused of murder. Henry Reyna (Daniel Valdez) is, to some, a typical teenager, and to others, an out of control menace. Like many chicanos during the era of World War II, Reyna and his friends can be found wearing zoot suits, the baggy, rebellious attire of many youth of the day, especially latinos. No stranger to trouble, Reyna gets mixed up with an altercation with a gang of young men at the local "Sleepy Lagoon," and he and three of his friends are sent to prison based on very little evidence. Seeing the inherent injustice done, lawyers Alice Bloomfield (Tyne Daly) and George Shearer (Charles Aidman) take on the case, fighting both a murder charge and a general era of racial injustice in the process. Written and directed by Luis Valdez, and based on his critically acclaimed stageplay, Zoot Suit also stars Edward James Olmos as El Pachuco, a metaphoric presence throughout the whole film, urging Reyna to fight his charge with violence and hatred.

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    Themes

    Thrillers, Crime, Historical