El Diablo (TV Movie 1990) Poster

(1990 TV Movie)

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A fun western
cdipatri6 August 2001
Anthony Edwards plays Billy Ray Smith, a school teacher who sees a young, female student of his kidnapped by a ruthless Mexican known only as "El Diablo" played by Robert Beltran. Billy Ray sets out after this known killer not knowing how to shoot a gun, ride a horse or just about anything other cowboys could do. He is seeking the help of "Kid Durango" who he's read about and thinks is the fastest gun in the west. Along his journey, he meets and teams up with Thomas Van Leek, played by Louis Gossett, Jr. Van Leek is a no-nonsense gunslinger who shoots opponents in the back because "their back is to me." A few more mercenaries join the duo including "Preacher" played excellently by John Glover. When they find Kid Durango. played by Joe Pantoliano, Billy Ray discovers that his western hero is just a convincing novelist. This film was apparently made for TV and should have been seen by many more people. It's a hoot and lots of fun to watch.
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Great, fun western comedy. Gossett steals the show...
smokehill retrievers22 October 2001
Wonderfully fun film that sometimes takes itself seriously, but mostly just has a lot of fun with the genre. Anthony Edwards is very well cast in his part, and Gossett is just fabulous as the "rode hard" old gunslinger who tries to turn Edwards into a western hero...sort of. Gossett's glorious line about why he shot someone in the back is no doubt destined to become a classic -- "Cuz that's the side he was pointing toward me." Whether you like westerns or not, this is definitely worth watching. And probably more than once.
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i Viva El Diablo!
FightingWesterner20 August 2009
Before degenerating into an endless series of heavy handed political screeds, HBO Pictures delivered many great made-for-TV movies including a half dozen or so respectable westerns.

El Diablo is a fun comedy that simultaneously celebrates and debunks the mythology of the old west. The plot involves Anthony Edwards (in his Revenge Of The Nerds persona) as a meek, bumbling schoolteacher from the east who idolizes the cowpokes and gunmen of the pulp magazines he uses to teach his pupils.

When a pretty teenage student is kidnapped by the infamous bandit El Diablo (Robert Beltran who's terrific), he sets out single handedly to rescue her, gathering together a colorful group of "badmen" each with his own agenda.

Edwards and Louis Gossett Jr. head a great supporting cast with standout performances by John Glover and Joe Pantoliano as Kid "Durango". In fact, there's no slackers here!

Though no Magnificent Seven, El Diablo is worth watching and worthwhile for fans.
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Why did you shoot him in the back?
helpless_dancer31 December 2000
Because that's the way he was facing. I loved this western, it was one of the best I've ever seen. Gossett played a practical gunslinger who shot a man in the back if he had to in order to win and stay alive, not because he was a gutless wonder. He took a school teacher with 2 left hands under his wing after the man's fiancee is captured by a notorious murdering bank robber, El Diablo. Watching the instructor learn the ways of the west while becoming a tougher man was both amusing and exciting. Thumbs up.
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appealing comedy-western
loupgarou-25 February 2001
A very appealing comedy western. Anthony Edwards is very good as a tenderfoot schoolteacher from Boston who attempts to rescue one of his students (who is captured by the infamous El Diablo) without really knowing anything about the West or what his quest is going to entail. Luckily he meets up with a down-to-earth gunman who can help him along the way. Lou Gosset is excellent as the laidback, do whatever it takes gunfighter. When asked by Edwards why he shot a bad guy in the back he replies "Why, his back was to me." They meet up with a few other colorful characters and proceed to attempt the rescue. Good humor, good acting and colorful characterizations abound in this above average made for TV oater.
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Chuckles along the trail ..................
merklekranz11 May 2011
Colorful characters, played by colorful actors almost push "El Diablo" beyond average, but not quite. There are several laugh out loud situations, but not enough to cover 108 minutes of this uneasy mixture of comedy and western. Lou Gossett and Anthony Edwards carry the film, with nice support from John Glover, Joe Pantoliano, and Robert Beltran. Unfortunately the straightforward fish out of water story is too simple and seems stretched to the max. There are a couple of instant classic lines however, my favorite being "You look a man straight in the back and then shoot him". I'm sure no horses were harmed during this movie either. LOL - MERK
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Should Have Fun Watching This One
sixshootersonny18 April 2019
A young student named Nettie (Sarah Trigger) is kidnapped from an oh so sleepy Texas town. Problem is she was kidnapped by the notorious El Diablo (Robert Beltran). Her teacher Billy Ray Smith (wonderfully played by Anthony Edwards) finds it is his duty to find Nettie and bring her back. Next problem is Billy Ray is the worst shot in the west. It is quite funny watching Billy Ray leave town on his horse (which he can not ride). Along the way he meets up with Van Leek (Louis Gossett Jr., who as usual puts in a great performance) who is going to assist him and might turn Billy Ray into a gunslinger.

A pretty good film that you have fun watching. May not even need to be a huge western fan to enjoy it either. Leaves laughs and dead horses in its wake. On a side note does have some good music by William Olvis, but I did find it at times reminiscent of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST by Ennio Morricone.

Written by legendary director John Carpenter, Tommy Lee Wallace and Bill Phillips (who both worked with Carpenter on other film projects as well). Also starring John Glover as The Preacher and Joe Pantoliano as Kid Durango.
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Awesome style western
kardayathomas10 April 2018
John Carpenter who wrote and executive produced this film had often said that he was a big fan of westerns. He must have jumped at the opportunity to make this film and another western the following year, titled Blood River. True to form this is a Western in the truest sense with some fine adjustments.
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An Honest Review
generationofswine17 April 2017
It seems that HBO reinvents itself every so often. I remember my dad defending it back when we first got it, saying that, "no it was not porn." Today HBO is serious political dramas and about a decade ago it was stunning original series.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s it was the comedy king. Stand up, Comic Relief, Mr. Show, and original movies that were simply hysterical.

El Diablo was made at the height of HBO's comedy agenda and it shows. The film is comedy played straight. One of the funniest Westerns that was ever released and one of the first and few released in the all to short Western Revival
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