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ˇAlambrista! (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (1977)

Ned Beatty , Trinidad Silva , Robert M. Young  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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ˇAlambrista! (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + El Norte (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Ned Beatty, Trinidad Silva, Edward James Olmos, Robert M. Young, Julius Harris
  • Directors: Robert M. Young
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: April 17, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B006X64S9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #249,411 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In Alambrista!, a farmworker sneaks across the border from Mexico into California in an effort to make money to send to his family back home. It is a story that happens every day, told here in an uncompromising, groundbreaking work of realism from American independent filmmaker Robert M. Young (Dominick and Eugene). Vivid and spare where other films about illegal immigration might sentimentalize, Young's take on the subject is equal parts intimate character study and gripping road movie, a political work that never loses sight of the complex man at its center. Alambrista!, winner of the Cannes Film Festival s inaugural Camera d'Or in 1978, remains one of the best films ever made on this perennially relevant topic.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
When it comes to take on films about a certain ethnicity or country, Award-winning filmmaker Robert M. Young is no stranger when it comes to taking on those challenges.

From his award-winning documentary "The Eskimo: Fight For Life" (1970), to covering a civil war in Angola to his long collaboration with actor Edward James Olmos in many of his films, including the acclaimed TV series "American Me". If there was one film that stands out in Young's oeuvre is his 1977 film "¡Alambrista!", a film which won four awards including the Camera d'Or award for "Best Feature" at the Cannes Film Festival.

Before there were films about immigrants risking their life to find jobs and trying to survive in America such as Gregory Nava's 1983 film "El Norte" or Chris Weitz' 2011 film "A Better Life", in 1977, Robert M. Young would write and direct his groundbreaking film "¡Alambrista!". And now this film will received its Blu-ray and DVD release courtesy of the Criterion Collection in April 2012.


"¡Alambrista!" is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:66:1 aspect ratio). For a 1977 film that was shot in 16 mm, one thing that you can expect is a lot of grain and ""¡Alambrista!" features it throughout the film, most notable on outdoor scenes, the film looks good for its age. I didn't see any signs of DNR or artifacts, so overall, picture quality is good.

According to the Criterion Collection, the transfer was approved by director Robert M. Young, this new high-definition digital transfer was created in 2K resolution on a Spirit 2K Datacine from a 35 blow-up interpositive made from the original 16 mm A/B negatives.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Although this is a fictional tale, it plays out like a documentary in brilliant fashion. Using many real mexican immigrant workers in real work settings, the film sets a very realistic tone to their plight. You really feel for these people and the better life they are striving to create for themselves and their families. The director really takes you on a journey, and every step the lead character takes, you are taking with him. A very moving story and film. Storytelling at it's best. And a very nice performance from Edward James Olmos in his first role, albeit very brief, but still powerful. Watching this film has truly broadened my perspective of mexican immigrant workers and reminds me how blessed we are and how grateful we should be for all that we have. A life changing experience indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A unknown masterpiece March 8, 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Kudos to criterion for unearthing this cinematic gem. The underrated director Robert m. Young documentary film background serves him well with the straightforward story telling without the sentimentality associated with this subject matter in other films.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Illegal February 19, 2014
So much is written about the immigration issue but few take the time to see it from an illegal's point of view. Robert M. Young's tale of a poor Mexican farm worker is one of the first to show the plight of America's illegal immigrants, explaining why they come and what they have to put up with when they do without ever being preachy or sentimental. Simply directed with stellar performances from the cast, it's a film that holds up on an issue which seems never to disappear from American life.
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