Moviedrome Mondays: Salvador (1986)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Oliver Stone’s 1986 breakthrough political drama Salvador. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was June 26, 1994 (read here). I pretty much agree with what Cox has so eloquently (as usual) stated here. As for myself, I would say that Salvador ranks as one of Stone’s best films.

Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Salvador

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer


13 thoughts on “Moviedrome Mondays: Salvador (1986)

  1. This is it. I think Salvador is the greatest film shown on Alex Cox’s run of Moviedrome. For me Salvador is a masterpiece. It’s in my top five favourite films ever. It’s the film where Oliver Stone arrived as a director and his great talent and directorial brilliance are totally on display in Salvador. Stone’s direction is brilliant in Salvador. It superbly captures a chaotic time. The film recreates the El Salvador civil war with documentary like realism.

    The photography and editing are also outstanding as Alex Cox points out. The script is brilliantly written. James Woods is brilliant and gives perhaps the best performance of his career. A fine cast all deliver excellent work. Salvador is a compelling, absorbing and riveting film. As are many Stone films. On a filmmaking level I can’t see anything wrong with Salvador, although Alex took issue with the scene where the rebels shoot prisoners. Overall Salvador is a brilliant and powerful film and it’s a classic if you ask me.

    Alex’s intro is brilliant. One of the best intros he did on Moviedrome. I echo everything he says about Salvador. The only thing I disgaree with is his opinion of Platoon. Otherwise it’s a perfect intro.

    I think Platoon is good but I think there are better Stone films than it.

    And John, the Moviedrome intro to The Last Picture Show is now on youtube. Type in ‘Moviedrome The Last Picture Show’ on youtube and you’ll find it.

  2. A great film, with Woods on tremendous form. I saw it at the cinema, then bought the VHS tape as soon as it was released. It is almost never shown on TV here, for some reason.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I appreciate Oliver Stone films more than I genuinely like them. Platoon is an exception. JFK is an exception. So is The Doors–though the latter two are too long. Watching “Salvador” back in the day was fresh…the psychological portrait of the lead character to me is reminiscent of William Friedkin’s “The French Connection” and “To Live and Die in LA.”

  4. It sounds like Alex Cox was really blown away by Salvador and he certainly expounds at length on Oliver Stone and his films. I am quite surprised by his opinion of Platoon, but who am I to disagree? Anyway, I really must try and watch this film, as Alex says it is all too rare to find “a well-made, thoroughly entertaining political film.” See you next Monday!

  5. Intriguing Steve 🙂 As for myself, I would choose Orson Welles 1973 experimental essay-like film F for Fake. What you say about Stone and where Salvador ranks in his career is right on the money.

    I also agree with you on your praise of all the other aspects of Salvador. Speaking of which, I hear that for the most part of his career, Robert Richardson was Oliver Stone’s regular director of photography. I question whether Cox is correct about the rebels shooting the prisoners, but then again, Cox can be a little nitpicky – this is not meant as a putdown, it is just the way we may perceive him.

    You will be happy to know that not only did I upload the youtube video link to Cox’s intro to The Last Picture Show, but I also saw another poliziotteschi – the one in this case would be Squadra Volante and as with the others, I loved every single minute of it 🙂

    P.S. great to have you back on my blog – I missed hearing your thoughts the last couple of weeks 🙂

  6. I think you will admire it Paul 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

    P.S. I am looking forward to your future post on One Fine Day and Addicted to Love 🙂

  7. Your comparison of Salvador to William Friedkin’s The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A. may lie in the filming on location aspect so I could see where you come from with that opinion 🙂 Anyway, thanks for dropping by 🙂

  8. I was looking at it from the psychological portrait of all three characters. The films of course are very different, but I think Stone’s unveiling and unraveling of the lead character’s personality and psychology are similar to the leads in The French Connection and To Live and Die in L.A.

  9. I’m pleased that you liked Squadra Volante. It is a great Poliziotteschi. Good script and direction and some great action. Tomas and Gaston Moschi are both great and as an added bonus we also get the lovely Stefania Casini. It’s a great film. I really like it.

    I have an Italian DVD of Squadra Volante. It has an interview with Tomas but he’s speaking Italian and there’s no English subs, unfortunately. I hope you get to see the other Poliziotteschis I recommended and I look foward to hearing your thoughts on those films.

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