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For Greater Glory: The True Story of Cristiada, also known as Cristiada and as Outlaws, is a 2012 epic historical war drama film directed by Dean Wright and written by Michael Love, based on the events of the Cristero War. It stars Andy García, Eva Longoria, Oscar Isaac, Rubén Blades, Peter O Toole (in his last film appearance released in his lifetime), and Bruce Greenwood. The film is the directorial debut for Wright, a veteran visual effects supervisor on films including The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003), and was released on June 1, 2012.
The film opens with screen titles describing the anti-Catholic provisions of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Civil war erupts when newly elected Mexican President Plutarco Elías Calles (Rubén Blades) begins a violent crackdown against the country s Catholic faithful. The film depicts the carnage by showing churches being set on fire, Catholic priests murdered, and countless faithful peasants killed and having their bodies publicly hanged on telegraph poles as a warning to others.
The story shifts to Father Christopher (Peter O’Toole), a Catholic priest, who is ruthlessly murdered by the Federales. A 13-year-old boy, José Luis Sánchez (Mauricio Kuri), witnesses the killing. Driven by love for his Faith and anger against the injustices committed against Fr. Christopher and the Church in Mexico, he joins the rebels, the Cristeros ( soldiers for Christ ) fighting against Calles. Their battle cry is ¡Viva Cristo Rey! ( Long live Christ the King ). The rebel leader, retired General Enrique Gorostieta (Andy García), an agnostic, takes an interest in young José, who soon becomes his protégé. While fighting against the Federales, José is later captured in a firefight and tortured to force him to renounce his belief in God. When he resolutely defends his faith, he is executed. The next year, Gorostieta is killed in a battle at Jalisco after he becomes a Catholic. In 1929, however, agreements were made to restore religious freedoms. Pope Benedict XVI beatified José in 2005, along with 12 other martyrs of the religious persecution.
- Andy García as Enrique Gorostieta
- Eva Longoria as Tulita Gorostieta
- Mauricio Kuri as José Sánchez del Río
- Peter O Toole as Father Christopher
- Oscar Isaac as Victoriano El Catorce Ramírez
- Santiago Cabrera as Father Vega
- Eduardo Verástegui as Anacleto González Flores
- Rubén Blades as President Plutarco Elías Calles
- Nestor Carbonell as Mayor Picazo
- Catalina Sandino Moreno as Adriana
- Bruce Greenwood as Ambassador Dwight Morrow
- Bruce McGill as President Calvin Coolidge
- Adrian Alonso as Lalo
- Joaquín Garrido as Minister Amaro
- Karyme Lozano as Doña María del Río
- Alma Martinez as Señora Vargas
- Andrés Montiel as Florentino Vargas
- Roger Cudney as Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg
The film is based on The Cristero Rebellion, the 1976 chronicle of the war written by French historian Jean Meyer who resides in Mexico.
Filming started in May 2010 and shot for 12 weeks. Production took place between 31 May 2010 and 16 August 2010. The film was shot in Mexico City, Durango, Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Tlaxcala and Puebla. Including an ecological reserve, Sierra de Órganos National Park in the town of Sombrerete, Mexico.
At one point the director recreates a famous photograph of the bodies of executed Cristeros hanging from telephone poles, but they are seen in the film from a moving train.
The film had a robust opening in Mexico taking first place in gross admissions at the box office, and second in total receipts, behind Titanic 3D. As of May 11, 2012, it had grossed $2.2 million.
The film has received negative reviews, noting its performances and ambition but criticizing the screenplay and presentation of events. As of 2021, it holds a 35% rating on Metacritic based on 17 critics, and a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 49 reviews. The latter site states: It has laudable aspirations, but For Greater Glory ultimately fails to fulfill its goals due to an overstuffed script, thinly written characters, and an overly simplified dramatization of historical events.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two and half stars, and concluded that it is well-made, yes, but has such pro-Catholic tunnel vision I began to question its view of events. Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter criticized the film as being melodramatic and overlong , but noted that Despite its profusion of violent battle sequences, the film is most effective in its quieter moments, such as the scenes in which Calles warily negotiates with the American ambassador (Bruce Greenwood) who is mainly intent on preserving U.S. oil interests . Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club panned the film and called it, an endless, plodding educational tool of unusual bluntness and dull force, a blood-soaked primer on intolerance and religious persecution that would benefit from even the faintest tinge of moral ambiguity or narrative sophistication.
In more positive reviews, Stephen Holden of The New York Times described the film as an old-fashioned, Hollywood-style epic and said that it compared favorably to Christian mega-hits of the 1950s such as The Robe. He was most satisfied with Dean Wright, referring to his direction as impressively spacious. The composer James Horner also scored high marks for his score, which Holden found uplifting without being syrupy and which set an inspirational mood. Phil Boatwright of the Baptist Press called the film a compelling, thoughtful homage to religious freedom and said that it brought back memories of El Cid and A Man for All Seasons.
According to Steven D. Greydanus of Decent Films, For Greater Glory may help to change the obscurity of the Cristero War in the United States. He observed that the film is one of the most lavish and ambitious films ever produced in Mexico and a sweeping, handsome epic with strong performances, solid production values and magnificent locations across Mexico. However, he found the screenplay overbearing and would have liked to have seen more character development.
The movie received the following awards and nominations:
At ALMA Awards 2012, got nominations:
- Favorite Movie
- Favorite Movie Actor – Andy García
- Favorite Movie Actress – Drama/Adventure – Eva Longoria
- Favorite Movie Actor – Supporting Role – Oscar Isaac
- Favorite Movie Actor – Supporting Role – Rubén Blades
At Ariel Awards 2013:
- Silver Ariel Best Art Direction (Mejor Diseño de Arte)
- Salvador Parra
At Image Awards 2013:
- Image Award Outstanding International Motion Picture
At Movieguide Awards 2013
- Faith and Freedom Award
- Grace Award – Most Inspiring Performance in Movies – Andy Garcia
- Epiphany Prize – Most Inspiring Movie
- Grace Award – Most Inspiring Performance in Movies
|Plot||A chronicle of the Cristeros War (1926-1929); a war by the people of Mexico against the atheistic Mexican government.|
|Awards||Awards, 3 wins & 9 nominations|
|Stars||Andy Garcia, Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno|
|Produced by||Carl Anderson, Pablo Jose Barroso, Juan Domingo Beckmann, Sandra Solares|
|Music by||James Horner|
|Cinematography by||Eduardo Martínez Solares|
|Film Editing by||Richard Francis-Bruce, Mike Jackson|
|Casting By||Dianne Crittenden, Karen Rea, Manuel Teil|
|Production Design by||Salvador Parra|
|Art Direction by||Ezra Buenrostro|
|Set Decoration by||Daniela Rojas|
|Costume Design by||María Estela Fernández|
|Makeup Department||Fernanda Duran Blanc, Virginia Campos, Francis Day, Lourdes Delgado, Rosy Flores, Jorge Fuentes, Alfredo Garcia, Marco A. Garcia, Esther Lomeli, Jorge Alberto Senderos Mendez, Daniel Minakata, Cesar Perlop, K.G. Ramsey, Carla Tinoco, Edgar Vazquez, Marisela Viñas|
|Production Management||Brad Arensman, Lisa Dennis, Mauricio Lule, Claudia Nemer, Jorge Eduardo Ramírez, Carlos Taibo, Juan Uruchurtu|
|Second Unit Director or Assistant Director||Stephanie Beauchef, Álvaro Curiel, María Raquel Dioni, Gabriela Gavica, Martín León, Eduardo Ruiz, René Villarreal|
|Art Department||Francisco Cruz Borges Alvarez, Manuel Andrade, Pablo Angeles, Victor Bernal, Mariana Castañeda, Edgar Chavez, Ricardo Chavez, Angel Cielo, Fernando Clamont, Dante Comunidad Vallejo, Rene Corona, Gabriel Cortes, Javier Cortes, Juan Hector Garcia Cuellar, Patricia Cuevas, Victoria Cuevas, Samuel Daza, Armando El Feria, Jorge Fernandez, Christian Galindo, Devorah Galván Caballero, Eleazar Cruz Gonzalez, Rodolfo Granados, Luisa Guala, Juan Padilla Guati-Rojo, Juana Ines Guzman, Aaron García Guzmán, Ismael Sanchez Hernandez, Juan Hernandez, Daniel Hernández, Carlos Y. Jacques, Sandra Jalife, Jose Juan Jara, Angel Jimenez Leon, Felipe Linares, Heráclito Lopez, Macardo, Connie Martinez, Gilberto Miñón, Daniel Chavez Moranchel, Adrián Munguía, Vanessa Nazir, Gabriel Olguín Trejo, Raymundo Olguín Trejo, Noyolotl Orrante Mata, Adan García Palomares, Gabriel Perez, Santiago Cruz Perez, Jose Luis Pinal, Jose Luis Gallardo Pineda, Roberto Pizarro, Benitta Rafel, Abraham Paulino Ramos, Elicio Tenorio Rivera, Arturo Jimenez Rodriguez, Ubaldo Lopez Romero, Oscar Miguel Rosas Ruiz, Carlos Salas, Mario Salcedo, Alvaro Lara Saldana, Daniel Salgado, Eduardo Sanchez, Germán Serrano, David Soto, Humberto Tellez Ramirez, Israel Rojo Trejo, Jessica Alejandra Vazquez, Jorge Vega Perez, Alonso Velasco Guzman, Mark Zepeda, Irma Ávila|
|Sound Department||Christopher Alba, Christopher S. Aud, Jaime Baksht, Gregg Barbanell, Stephanie Brown, Fernando Camara, Michelle Couttolenc, Fernando Cámara, Dane A. Davis, Bill R. Dean, Sergio Diaz, Thom Coach Ehle, Julie Feiner, Raoul Zavala Haro, Matthew W. Kielkopf, Rick Kline, Mark Larry, Tim LeBlanc, Kimberly Ellen Lowe, Tom Ozanich, Unsun Song, Lucy Sustar, David A. Whittaker, Felipe Zavala, John Soukup|
|Special Effects by||José Luis Pérez Arias, Salvador Servin Casas, Sergio Jara, Guillermo Jiménez, Carlos Ochoa, G. Roberto Flores Ramirez, Alejandro Vazquez, Noé Vergara|
|Visual Effects by||Aurelia Abate, Jeff Allen, Deb Asch, Tara C. Beavers, Sandro Blattner, Eglantine Boinet, Lersak Bunupuradah, Steward Burris, Kris Cabrera, Angelo Caruso, Roy Chang, Chad E. Collier, Craig Crawford, Kevin Del Colle, Brian Delmonico, Colin Doncaster, Andrey Drogobetski, Olivier Dumont, Max Ehrlich, Phillip Feiner, Erin Ferguson, Tim Fescoe, Bradley Friedman, Edwin Gamez, Dan Glass, Pam Gonzales, Gabby Gourrier, Kerry Graham, Richard Grandy, Joseph Hall, Briana Hamilton, Stephanie Ide, Elbert Irving IV, Shinya Ishii, Drew Jones, James Kirk, Jay Lalime, Tom Lamb, Samuel P. Larson, Seong Joon Lee, Jack Lilburn, Kenneth Lui, Julia MacMullen, Matthew Maude, Michael Grayson Maxer, Rachel McPherson, Andy Mower, Masa Narita, Jack M. Nugent, John P. Nugent, Eileen O Connor, Eddie Offermann, Caleb Owens, Christopher Perkowitz-Colvard, Olivier Pron, Nordin Rahhali, Lauren Ritchie, Luis Amaury Rodriguez, Bruce Schluter, Matt Seckman, Tom Stanton, Dottie Starling, Stephanie Sweeney, Lauren van Houten, Aaron Vest, Jeff Willette, Steven Young, Fabio Zapata, Tom Zils, Melody Woodford|
|Stunts||Hugo Aguilera, Tristan Arzate, Alejandro Avendano, Odín Ayala, Omar Ayala, Balo Bucio, Bernardo Bucio, Julian Bucio, Toni Bucio, Jeronimo Bucio Fernandez, Felipe Franco, Jorge Alberto Gallegos, Gabriel Godínez, Eduardo Gomez, Nadia Hernandez, Victor Hugo Ramirez, Daniel Lee, Carlos Licea, Felipe Lopez, Evelio Luna, Carlos Marroquín, Joan Sendra Morales, Juan Carlos Olalde, Carlos Ortiz, Carlos Rodriguez, Marco Rodriguez, Alonso Rosado F., Mariana Rosas, Jordi Sendra, Priscilla Solorzano, Gerardo Soublette, Rafael Valdez, Pablo Vinós|
|Camera and Electrical Department||Gustavo Aranda, Guillermo Vidal Beltran, Alejandro Casas, Gustavo Castillón, Antulio Raul Palacios Dominguez, Jin Sahn Fung, Alejandro Galvan, Hugo Garcia, Pepe Gutierrez, Francisco Javier Hernandez Ordaz, Mario Hernandez, Victor Hernandez, Daniel Jacobs, Daniel Jacobs, Sergio Leon, Gerardo Manjarrez, Jorge Martinez, Hana Matsumoto, Rodrigo Miguel Medina, Salvador Mercado, Felipe Morales, Juan Manuel Moreno Morales, Fernando Moreno, Miguel Angel Nava, Israel Orozco, Hugo Enrique Orozcoluna, Ricardo Zamora Pérez, Ricardo Zamora Pérez, Fido Pérez-Gavilán, Miguel Robles, Juan Manuel Rodriguez, Jesús Rodríguez Barajas, Manuel Rodríguez Davalos, Jose Jesus Romero, Raúl Salazar Caballero, Andres Salazar, Antonio Sanchez, Stefania Villarreal, Diego Villasenor, Antonio Zárate|
|Casting Department||Kate Carlin, Ramiro Cervantes, Jorge Guerrero, Sonia Guerrero, Ricardo Lorenzana, Ricardo Ramirez Pena, Andrel Uriegas, Luis Zertuche Gonazales|
|Costume and Wardrobe Department||Patricia Arias, Carlos Brown, Claudine Castillo Espinosa de los Monteros, Víctor Castillo Rosales, Oscar Castillo, Eliseo Cervantes, Adolfo Cruz Martínez, Ricardo Vazquez de Loera, Angel Love Dela Cruz, Marco T. Escobar, Gabriela Fernandez, Pedro Raúl Flores, Refugio Gomez, Francisco Rodriguez Gonzales, Cresencio Hernández, Mayra Juárez, Alfredo Lazaro, Gabriel Lopez, Ignacio Lopez, Leticia Pichardo Luna, Mary Luna, Noe Escobar Martinez, Mariana Mazon, Jose Luis Montero, Carlos Pollo Munguia, Laura Ocampo, Francisco Pina, Rafael Ravello, Rodolfo Reveles, Rufino Rodríguez, Judith Salas, Gisela Sanchez, Raymundo Sanchez, Miguel Sandoval, Adriana Savarrete, Crystal Valencia, Mayra Juarez Vanegas, Rafael Villegas, Valente Villegas|
|Editorial Department||Mike Chiado, Lisa Cossettini, Petra Demas, Giovanni DiGiorgio, Toby Francis-Bruce, Annie Johnson, Rudy Lopez, Harry Muller, Stephen Nakamura, Paul C. Nesmith, Shane Reed, Nolan Reese, Aaron Rosenstock, Sean Phillip Rowe, Stefan Sonnenfeld, Jennifer Spenelli, Devin Sterling, Arthur Tremeau, Francisco Enrique Maya Vargas, Eduardo Viladoms, Colin Walter, Kyle C. Smith, Ian Sullivan|
|Location Management||Lucia Anduaga, Ruben Garay Araujo, Connie Casillas, Lily Flaschner, Monica Moyano, Tomas Nava, Juan Pablo Noval, Alejandro Rivas, Horacio Rodríguez, Luis Ruiz Tena, Cristina Salgado, Alejandro Uriegas|
|Music Department||Deva Anderson, David Arrowsmith, Bob Bernstein, Dick Bernstein, Mark Berrow, Bob Bornstein, Thomas Bowes, Peter Davies, Grant McFarlane Dowse, Terry Edwards, Dave Forte, Simon Franglen, Vic Fraser, Katie Greathouse, Isobel Griffiths, Jim Henrikson, Tony Hinnigan, James Horner, Aled Jenkins, Lewis Jones, Randy Kerber, Jon Kull, Diego Laverde, London Symphony Orchestra, London Voices, Thierry Malet, Polly Mallinson, Charlotte Matthews, Ben Parry, Tom Pigott Smith, J.A.C. Redford, Simon Rhodes, Delphine Robertson, Michael T. Ryan, Clara Sanabras, Darren Smith, Paul Thomason, Allen Walley, Sylvia Wells, Jonathan Williams, James Woodrow, Warren Zielinski, Rachel Bolt, Roger Linley, Steve Mair, Bruce White|
|Script and Continuity Department||Gabriela Herrera|
|Transportation Department||Jennifer Ponce de Leon, Adrian Flores, Carlos Ponce de León, Carlos Ponce, Angel Tovilla|
|Additional Crew||Enrique Acosta, Ruben Acosta, Laura Alderete, Conny Aguilar Archundia, Ana Del Carmen Ballesteros, Jose Manuel Ballesteros, Joel Baral, Martin Leon Bermea, Roberto Brondo, Julian Bucio, Edgar Canseco Hernández, Eduardo Carrera, Juan Fidel Carrera, Roberto Cassis, Mariana Fabiola Martinez Castillo, Tomas Chavez, Florencia Cruz, Fuad Abed Dalton, Fernando de la Flor, Rafael Del Toro, Isis Ileana Elizondo Delabra, Amaya Suarez Diez, Joe Drago, Scott Edel, Daniel Esquivel, Efrain Esquivel, Inocente Esquivel, Magdalena Esquivel, Fernando Fernandez, Kathy Fisher, Adrian Flores, Carlos Franco, Tina French, Vania Frias, Manuel Fuentes, Leonel Gabino, Guillermo Galindo, Andrea Gamboa, Juan Carlos Gamiño, Jorge Garcia, Jose Miguel Garcia, Josue Garcia, Oscar Garcia, Marle Ortiz Gaxiola, Paola Gomez, Margaret Gomollon, Joel M. Gonzales, David Paz Gonzalez, Otniel Gonzalez, Gabriel Gornell, Sergio Gutierrez, Claudia Hernandez, Sergio Hernandez, Alberto Hiranaka Hirata, Juan Jose Ibanez, Juan Luis Ibanez, Ronald J. Levin, Leopoldo Lopez, Alejandro Machín, Guadalupe Martinez, Isabel Martinez, Raul Martinez, Gerardo Medina, Jesus Medina, Jose Antonio Medina, Erika Gabriela Mendez, Guillermo Mendez, Isaac Montecillo, Salvador Montenegro, Bruno Montes de Oca Monge, Paula Moreno, Mario Olivares, Carlos Ortiz, Guillermo Panuco, Paola Pequignot, David Pereyra, Ihxel Perez, Vicente Prado, Sergio Ramirez, Evengelina Resendiz, Ignacio Revelo, Ruben Rolden, Mayte Romero, Andrea Salamanca, Cristina Salgado, Jose Luis Salgado, Carlos Salom, Lizardi Saucedo, Christian Galicia Schwarz, Nikola Sumberova, Carlos Buho Tames, Fernando Torres, Brenda Fernandez Ugalde, Antonio Vaca, Christina Villalobos, Diego Villasenor, Tabatha Vizuet|
|Thanks||Alejandro Alcala, Silvia Arellano, Micaela Avalos, Fuad C Amanero, Martin Angel Gamboa, Sergio Gutierrez, Lucila Mereno, Claudia Montelongo, Juan Gonzalez Morfin, Elizabeth Duran Palma, Martha Ramirez, Socorro Rivera, Juan Rodolfo Sanchez, Cynthia Serrano, Patricio Trevino, Martha Vallejo|
|Genres||Drama, History, War|
|Companies||Dos Corazones Films, NewLand Films|