El mariachi

February 26th, 1993


El mariachi

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Still of Carlos Gallardo in El mariachi

A traveling mariachi is mistaken for a murderous criminal and must hide from a gang bent on killing him.

Release Year: 1992

Rating: 7.0/10 (26,987 voted)

Critic's Score: 73/100

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Stars: Carlos Gallardo, Consuelo Gómez, Jaime de Hoyos

El Mariachi just wants to play his guitar and carry on the family tradition. Unfortunately, the town he tries to find work in has another visitor...a killer who carries his guns in a guitar case. The drug lord and his henchmen mistake El Mariachi for the killer, Azul, and chase him around town trying to kill him and get his guitar case.

Carlos Gallardo - El Mariachi
Consuelo Gómez - Domino
Jaime de Hoyos - Bigotón (as Jaime De Hoyos)
Peter Marquardt - Mauricio
Reinol Martinez - Azul
Ramiro Gómez - Cantinero (as Ramiro Gomez)
Jesús López - Viejo Clerk (as Jesus Lopez)
Luis Baró - Domino's Assistant (as Luis Baro)
Oscar Fabila - The Boy
Poncho Ramón - Azul's Rat (as Poncho Ramon)
Fernando Martínez - Azul's Rat (as Fernando Martinez)
Manuel Acosta - Bodyguard
Walter Vargas - Prisoner
Roberto Martinez - Prisoner
Virgen Delgado - Female Bodyguard

Taglines: With a guitar in his hand and a price on his head, he wasn't looking for trouble...but trouble came looking for him.

Release Date: 26 February 1993

Filming Locations: Ciudad Acuña, Coahuíla, Mexico

Box Office Details

Budget: $220,000 (after post-production) (estimated)

Gross: $2,040,920 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Many of the edits were necessitated by Robert Rodriguez's frugal nature. Any time the actors made some progress through a scene and then messed up, Robert Rodriguez cut to a different angle right before the mistake rather than re-shoot the whole scene.

Continuity: When Moco's men enter the prison looking for Azul, one of them gets shot several times in chest. Later, when he is dragged into a cell, his white shirt shows no signs of blood.

[first lines]
Mauricio: Good morning, Azul. Know who this is?

User Review

One of the greatest low budget movies of the last twenty years, and still an inspiration to wanna be movie makers around the world.


'El Mariachi' should still be regarded as an inspiration to wanna be movie makers around the world. For around US$7,000 Robert Rodriguez created one of the most enjoyable action movies to hit Hollywood since Peckinpah's 'The Getaway'. Once again Rodriguez proves the point that creativity and imagination beat million dollar budgets every time. An obvious concept to most people one would think, but going by the overblown CGI infested crapola at a theatre near you something that mainstream Hollywood STILL doesn't get! Carlos Gallardo played El Mariachi and co-produced with Rodriguez who did just about everything else - writer, director, cinematographer, editor, special effects,etc.etc. I first saw this movie not long after it hit video and I enjoyed it a lot. I recently watched it on DVD for the first time, ten years after I first saw it, and to me it really stands up. (Rodriguez' commentary is also highly recommended to any aspiring director) Personally my favourite Rodriguez movie is 'From Dusk Til Dawn', but 'El Mariachi' comes a close second. It's sequel cum remake 'Desperado' is a better known to most people but despite a budget 1000 times bigger(!) and some "name" actors involved I don't think it has half the energy and fun of the original, one of the greatest low budget movies of the last twenty years.


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