Born in East L.A.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Born in East L.A.
BorninLAposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCheech Marin
Produced byPeter MacGregor Scott
Screenplay byCheech Marin
StarringCheech Marin
Daniel Stern
Paul Rodriguez
Music byLee Holdridge
CinematographyAlex Phillips Jr.
Editing byDon Brochu
Stephen Lovejoy
David Newhouse
Mike Sheridan
StudioClear Type
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • August 21, 1987 (1987-08-21) (United States)
Running time85 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$17,355,263 (US)[1]
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Born in East L.A.
BorninLAposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCheech Marin
Produced byPeter MacGregor Scott
Screenplay byCheech Marin
StarringCheech Marin
Daniel Stern
Paul Rodriguez
Music byLee Holdridge
CinematographyAlex Phillips Jr.
Editing byDon Brochu
Stephen Lovejoy
David Newhouse
Mike Sheridan
StudioClear Type
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release dates
  • August 21, 1987 (1987-08-21) (United States)
Running time85 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$17,355,263 (US)[1]

Born in East L.A. is a 1987 American comedy film written and directed by Cheech Marin of the Cheech & Chong comedy team.

The film is about a Mexican-American from East Los Angeles who is mistaken for an undocumented immigrant and deported. It is based on a 1984 novelty parody song of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." and "I Love L.A." by Randy Newman. Written by Marin and released on the 1985 Cheech & Chong album Get Out of My Room, the parody was made a music video the same year. Marin used the song as the basis of his first solo film.

Plot[edit]

Rudy Robles (Marin) is told by his mother to pick up his cousin Javier (Paul Rodriguez) at a factory before she leaves for Fresno. Robles arrives shortly before immigration officials raid the factory looking for undocumented workers. Because he is carrying no identification, and his mother and sister are not available to verify he is a US citizen, Robles is deported with the undocumented workers to Mexico.

Ironically, Robles cannot speak more than very simple Spanglish, though he is fluent in German from having served in Germany in the United States Army.

In Tijuana, Robles becomes friends with ex-con Jimmy (Daniel Stern) and a waitress named Dolores (Kamala Lopez-Dawson). Unable to contact his mother, Robles makes repeated attempts to cross the border, all ending in failure.

Jimmy offers to get him back to home for a price. Having left home without his wallet, Robles works for Jimmy as doorman at a strip club, earning extra money selling oranges and teaching two Central Americans and three others would be undocumented immigrants to walk and talk like East Los Angeles natives. They become called the "Waas Sappening Boys" or "What's Happening Boys".

Robles falls in love with Dolores and finally raises the money needed to be smuggled across the border. He goes on a date with Dolores and the next day, Robles bids farewell to Jimmy, receives a last kiss goodbye from Dolores and climbs into the Coyote's truck. He sees a woman pleading to be taken for free because her husband is already in the truck and their family is in the United States. Robles gives the woman his place.

Robles stands for the last time on the hill of the Mexico – United States border while two Immigration Officers sit in their truck watching in laughter. The song "America" by Neil Diamond is heard as hundreds appear and race forward to reach the American Dream. The Immigration Officers hide in their truck. Rudy, Dolores, and their "Waas Up" friends walk with their heads up high into the United States.

Rudy and Dolores are kidnapped by Coyotes and held for ransom, coincidentally, across the street from Rudy's home. He calls his cousin Javier from across the street to bring him his wallet, which he does to pay off the kidnappers. Then la migra storm in, headed by the man in the sunglasses and cowboy hat who had deported Rudy in the beginning.

Rudy shows his identification this time to the immigration officer, who says he's going to send Dolores back to El Salvador. Rudy and Dolores make a dash and escape during the East Los Angeles Cinco de Mayo parade. Not knowing where to turn, Rudy and Dolores hop onto the float with a priest; Rudy asks if he can marry them. Rudy and Dolores both look at each other in happiness as they are wed.

The immigration officer arrives to place Dolores under arrest. Rudy then explains that they've just been married, making Dolores a legal resident. The crowd, witnessing everything, cheers.

At the end as the titles roll, the song version of "Born in East L.A." plays.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Box Office[edit]

The movie debuted well in its first week but dropped by 40% in its second week at the box office.[2]

Critical response[edit]

The film was popular, but was panned by the critics. Film critic Richard Harrington of The Washington Post wrote:

The filming is often flat, as is much of the acting. In fact, the short musical video of "Born in East L.A." is far superior to the film.[3]

Caryn James, film critic for The New York Times, wrote:

Born in East L.A. is enormously good-natured—exactly the wrong tone for a comedy that needs all the rambunctious lunacy it can get. Instead, this story of an American mistakenly deported to Mexico as an illegal alien is amiable and plodding, the very last things you'd expect from Cheech, with or without Chong.[4]

Accolades[edit]

Wins

Home Media[edit]

The movie was released in VHS and DVD format.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Born in East L.A. (1987)". Box Office Mojo. Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 19, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Weekend Box Office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  3. ^ Harrington, Richard (August 31, 1987). "Born in East L.A. review". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 19, 2011. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  4. ^ James, Caryn (August 24, 1987). "Born in East L.A. review". The New York Times. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  5. ^ "VIDEO CHARTS : Babies Booming, 'East L.A.' Rising". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 

External links[edit]