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The Milagro Beanfield War Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

It's advisable to know from the beginning of The Milagro Beanfield War that "milagro" is the Spanish word for "miracle." The scene is a rundown Hispanic community in New Mexico, bordering a posh housing development. In full control of the local water rights, the powers-that-be are secure in the belief that they'll be able to expand their development without resistance from the locals. No one can foresee that impoverished farmer Joe Mondragon (Chick Vennera), during a burst of frustrated rage, will accidentally open a heretofore hidden sluice, thereby providing free water for his bean field. At first, the locals are against Mondragon's "insurrection," reasoning that the new housing development will provide jobs. But with the help of Charlie Bloom (John Heard), a burned-out '60s activist who now runs the community newspaper, Mondragon becomes the hero of the hour, the spiritual leader of an ever-growing "no development" movement. The evil land developers send their minions to intimidate or coerce Mondragon; each time, however, he is seemingly protected from harm by divine intervention. When Mondragon is forced to shoot a trespasser on his land, it looks as though his luck has run out. Chased into the hills by private detective Kyril Montana (Christopher Walken), Mondragon is once more rescued in the nick of time by what appears to be a miracle. And there are more wonders to behold before fade-out time!Whimsical, yes, but thanks to its hand-picked ensemble cast (including Sonia Braga, Rubén Blades, James Gammon, Daniel Stern, Freddy Fender, M. Emmet Walsh, and Melanie Griffith) the film remains totally credible throughout. Adapted by John Nichols and David Ward from Nichols' own novel, The Milagro Beanfield War may be the most likeable "liberal-tract" film of the 1980s. Robert Redford's appropriately Capraesque direction is matched by Dave Grusin's vibrant Oscar-winning musical score. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

  • Release date:March 18, 1988

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Dave Grusin Best Score 1988 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Dave Grusin Best Original Score 1988 Nominee

Cast

Rubén Blades
as Sheriff Bernabe Montoya
Richard Bradford
as Ladd Devine
Sonia Braga
as Ruby Archuleta
Julie Carmen
as Nancy Mondragon
John Heard
as Charlie Bloom
James Gammon
as Horse Thief Shorty
Melanie Griffith
as Flossie Devine
Carlos Riquelme
as Amarante Cordova
Daniel Stern
as Herbie Platt
Chick Vennera
as Joe Mondragon
Christopher Walken
as Kyril Montana
M. Emmet Walsh
as The Governor
Tony Genaro
as Nick Rael
Jerry Hardin
as Emerson Capps
Trinidad Silva
as Milagro Townsperson
Rudy Fernandez
as Milagro Townsperson
Sam Vlahos
as Governor's Office Staff
Basil Hoffman
as Governor's Office Staff
Tom Connor
as Dancing Angel
Lynda Witz
as Governor's Office Staff
Margo Cutler
as Devine's Friend
Mario Arrambide
as Carl
Mike Gomez
as Milagro Townsperson
Nat Shipman
as Devine's Friend
Natividad Vacio
as Senile Brigade
Olga Merediz
as Milagro Townsperson
Pablo Trujillo
as Senile Brigade
Patricio Chavez
as Devine's Friend
China Bell
as Devine's Friend
Alberto Morin
as Senile Brigade
Eloy Vigil
as Senile Brigade
Eric Treisman
as Devine's Friend
Frederico Roberto
as Senile Brigade
Fredrick Lopez
as Milagro Townsperson
Gene Ornales
as Governor's Office Staff
Ronald G. Joseph
as Jerry G
Ronald C. Frazier
as Governor's Office Staff
Philip L. Mead
as Governor's Office Staff

Crew

Robert Redford
Director
Frank Pierson
Screenwriter
David S. Ward
Screenwriter
John Nichols
Book Author
John Nichols
Screenwriter
Robbie Greenberg
Cinematographer
Dave Grusin
Composer (Music Score)
Stanley Frazen
Editor
Jim Miller
Editor
Dede Allen
Editor
Joe Aubel
Production Designer
Joe Aubel
Art Director
Robert Redford
Co-producer
Charles B. Mulvehill
Co-producer
Moctesuma Esparza
Co-producer
Gary Hendler
Executive Producer
Thomas Roysden
Set Designer
Bernie Pollack
Costume Designer
Nancy Foy
Casting
David Wisnievitz
Production Manager
Kay Rose
Sound Editor
Tom Hoerber
Makeup
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