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The San Patricios

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Irish Films Discussion:     The San Patricios

Though I asked no one has yet informed me of anything good on tele in Ireland even though the schedule is live inside Ireland.

And so ye gets I only caught the back end of the San Patricios movie

What a sadistic and vindictive lot them 19th century land grabbing Americans (and the Irish foolishly fighting for them) were, there is an irony in how now US folks talk of Mexicans as the immigrants! when the plain fact is part of the now USA was their land and they were effectvely forced off them as the brits did in Ireland and has now the likes of Paisley calling it british soil! (well that is my opinion as I see it now in a bit of ignorance but for sure there were Mexicans living in vast swathes of what is now the USA long before any American did if that makes sense Laughing )

I think they get a harder time because these injuns aint nquite dead yet! When they are dead and culture gone, then they can nbe reinvented and with romance of course thrown in for free.

Until then, invented history rewrote and the working class (as usual) ordinary folks doing the dirty work on behalf of industrial scale thieves.

The San Patricios took the harder honest route

But thats not for most folks! Money ye see! once ye start to have a bit, more is wanted until more than enough is had! and when they all see it they there is apparent spare to share out, that has the folks all believing it was always their right to own it, Laughing not even stopping for the dead! Todays insecure selfish fecks actually relish the wait until the family will; Ye wait and see the day of the dead starts and ye will see its effect Laughing (that's mine Mammy always wanted me to have it) it may not be the route of all evil but it for sure is a curse on a thing called what is right a thing called honour and a thing called what the true story is.

I don't know if it is a good film or not but the ending was very dramatic and it looked a decent attempt to portray another side of Irish Americans that should at least be known about, for sure the Irish here should know that many Irish are in other parts of America.

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Irish Movies Reviews:


Summary: Great story, bad movie!
Comment: This is a mediocre movie about an interesting period of history. During the Mexican War (1846-1848), a group of Irish immigrants serving in the U.S. Army deserted to the Mexican side. They were led by an artillery sergeant named John Reilly (played here by Tom Berenger). During the 1840's immigration to the U.S. had reached an alltime high, and the majority of the newcomers were from Ireland and Germany. Because many of them were Catholics, Nativism took on a strong anti-Catholic bent and that poured over into the military, where Protestant officers and NCO's didn't bother to hide their prejudices. This movie tells the story of how Sergeant Reilly and his fellow Irish soldiers (a few Germans also went along) crossed the Rio Grande to join the enemy during wartime. They formed their own unit, the San Patricio Battalion, and they made a name for themselves as one of the best units in the Mexican Army. They knew what wait in store for them if they were captured. At the Battle of Chapultepec in 1847, when the Mexicans were about to lower the flag in surrender, the San Patricios kept them from doing so. This is a fascinating and little known story, but I'm sorry to say this movie is something of a disappointment. The acting is often more than a bit stiff, and the writing itself isn't all that great. But the cinematography is very good and the story itself is so interesting that you overlook a lot. Tom Berenger is less than credible with his fake Irish brogue, and the film itself tries but fails to do credit to the story. As far as I can tell, this is the only full length treatment of the Mexican War on screen, and perhaps for that reason alone is worth watching. I watched it for this very reason, but I must say this is a highly disappointing film per se.

Summary: Ouch
Comment: This boring movie tells the story of a group of Irish Immigrants who joined the United States Army only for the sake of getting the citizenship. Once they did, they betray this very army because "they're" discriminated on religious and ethnic views.

A smart man once said "Believe nothing what you hear, and only half of what you see". Apart from historical dates, I don't think any of what we've seen in this movie actually happened. It possibly couldn't.

If Oscars were given for the bad movies - this one surely would get at least 10.

Summary: Has its flaws, but well worth a look
Comment: Without going into the plot (others below have done it) I'll just say that this a fairly good historical pic about a period in U.S. history you don't hear much about, the Mexican War. It was not the most shining moment in our history, as basically we were the aggressors and the war was a land grab. Those who call this movie "anti-American" must be the "we-can-do-no-wrong" types (as opposed to the blame-America-first liberals, who think we are the source of the world's problems! The truth, of course, is somewhere in between.)

Anyways, while obviously not a big-budget film, director Lance Hool does a good job with what he has. Go into this expecting it to be at the quality level of a good made-for-TV pic and you won't be disappointed. Also, if you're the type of viewer who needs an action scene every five minutes or else you think the movie is "boring," give this one a miss. It has more to do with story and character than with battle sequences. Berenger is quite good in the lead (although I couldn't help picturing Mel Gibson in this role, what with its William Wallace-type overtones) and most of the rest of the cast is ok too, with a couple exceptions in secondary roles. I do agree with the other reviewers that the romance should have been scrapped. As important as the film's quality, though, is the story it tells, and it's apparent that those who made this film cared about that story. Some sequences are quite moving, and even though I am not a Catholic, I can sympathize with the characters in this story who have to make a choice between loyalties to their country and their faith.


Summary: A different perspective
Comment: I enjoyed the movie. Granted, I am a HUGE Tom Berenger fan, but I enjoyed the premise. I didn't think the story moved too slowly. The romance was a bit dry, but I think it kept the story from being overshadowed. I find that alot of T. Berenger's roles are more about character conflict than event driven, and I think this qualifies. I thought the history was interesting, enough to make me want to go read about it myself, and I enjoyed finding something interesting about St. P's day (besides green beer, which is obviously the influence of American consumerism) I would recommend this movie to anyone who is willing to watch with an open mind, if not for the filming alone.

Summary: Liberty and Justice for All?
Comment: This movie is by no means an example of film making excellence with its sub-par acting and props and sets indicative of a parsimonious budget. However, it successfully conveys the message that the United States wasn't the bulwark of liberty, justice, equality, freedom, and other human virtues we were all led to believe it was while attending history classes in school. Without a distinctive anti-American "flavor", this flick displays the pervasive human flaws of prejudice, discrimination, ignorance, and hypocrisy that unfortunately were ubiquitous in the United States Army during that period of time. It indeed has a story to tell; of the little-known band of immigrants who initially risked their lives for the United States, but defected to Mexico to fight for the other side after being victimized by the cruelties inflicted on them by the American Army. Unless you have a genuine interest in the period of history depicted in this picture, you probably won't find this film too interesting.

This historical drama set during the Mexican War is ambitious and tries to grapple with some serious themes, but it also tends to meander before finally finding a dramatic conclusion. Tom Berenger, who puts in a credible performance as an Irishman serving as an officer in the U.S. Army of the late 1840s, impulsively rides off with band of deserters, fellow Irish immigrants who have been persecuted for practicing their Catholic religion in the ranks. Berenger's character and the rebellious Irish lads flee into the hills of Mexico, where they are quickly taken captive by banditos who happen to be encamped with beautiful señoritas wearing dresses that can just never stay up on both shoulders at once. A romantic plot begins, but is put aside while Berenger and his men form their own Irish brigade to fight with the Mexicans against the U.S. troops invading from the north. After a series of hard-fought battles, their endeavors end disastrously. The setting of the Mexican War is a welcome change from most military adventure films, but unfortunately the screenplay seldom breaks away from a languid pace and clichéd situations, and what drama can be mustered plays out predictably. --Robert J. McNamara

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