THE BALLAD OF GREGORIO CORTEZ
DIRECTOR: ROBERT M. YOUNG
CAST: EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, JAMES GAMMON, TOM BOWER
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Gregorio Cortez Producer Michael Hausman, Costume Designer Hilary Rosenfeld, and Production Designer Stuart Wurtzel, moderated by film journalist Joe Neumaier.
A revisionist western set in turn-of-the-last-century Texas, The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez gives Edward James Olmos a career part in the title role, a Mexican-American farm worker who goes on the run
after he’s slapped with an unfair murder charge, trailing six hundred Texas Rangers behind him. A low-key and low-budget frontier epic told with total life-marred historical veracity, Young’s film breathes life into a legendary episode of immigrant resistance to nativist bullying.
The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez was restored in 2016 by the Academy Film Archive. Filmed in Super 16mm, it was adapted to widescreen 35mm for release. The original Super 16mm camera negative was left in 36 individual rolls, totaling nearly 16 hours of material, and was not in order of the final edit. Modern VideoFilm transferred all 36 reels of negative at HD quality, and additionally transferred a 35mm print, a 16mm television negative and the original 35mm magnetic audio tracks, all of which were used to build a map of the movie. The sections of original negative were scanned at 2K resolution and conformed to the final version. Color correction and digital restoration were performed, and the main and end credits had to be fully recreated.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.