When a patrolman in a US border town mistakenly kills a Mexican illegal immigrant, he buries him in the desert. Then the dead man's friend finds out. With Tommy Lee Jones.
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This film contains strong language.
There's some coyotes hopping around across the road from that windmill.
-What are they doing?
-Hell, I don't know.
Looks like they're eating something, I guess.
-Wanna shoot a coyote?
That's a dead son of a bitch.
-When did they find him?
-Some time this morning.
-He was buried on the hill near Boracho Peak.
-Who killed him?
No clue. Was he involved in drugs, or smuggling, anything like that?
-I need a mask.
HE CONTINUES TO SPLUTTER
Jo Edna, let Earl tend to the hot dogs and the hamburgers.
He'll bring charcoal, the ice and the foldin' chairs - the whole nine yards.
You just be sure Aunt Minnie don't have to worry about a place to go
to the bathroom. Tell Charnelle she can forget about a car on Saturday
if she don't show up.
I love you, too, baby. Gotta go.
This beauty has two bedrooms, each one with its own bathroom.
Central AC and heat throughout.
All homes come standard equipped with electric oven,
washer, dryer and dishwasher.
The Waste King garbage disposal is optional, of course,
but it's a good option, because we charge a factory, wholesale price,
no installation fee, and it's top-of-the-line equipment.
We're strictly top of the line.
"Strictly top of the line all the time." That's our motto.
How much does this house cost?
But if you're really interested,
I can get you a 10% discount. I think.
-Where y'all from?
-Oh! Long way from home, huh?
What line of work brings you to Texas?
We're always a long way from home.
-Yeah. All right.
Well, actually this mobile residence has the highest resale value
of any domestic residence in its price range in the southwest
time and time again.
-I don't know.
-Well, we also have
some great previously-owned mobile residences in the lower price ranges
if that would be your requirement.
THEY ALL LAUGH
THEY WHOOP AND CHUCKLE
THEY FALL SILENT
Here's the stuff that your friend had on him.
-Do you know who they are?
-His wife and kids.
-Any idea how to get hold of them?
-Well, they live in...
Can I keep this?
Yeah, I guess. For a while. We're gonna have to do an autopsy on him.
When you get through, I want you to give Melquiades to me.
-Hell, I can't do that. Are you crazy?
SHE CHUCKLES AT TV
I gotta go.
-All right, see you tonight.
-Come back early, though. I get real bored here.
Haven't you made friends with the neighbours?
No. I don't like them.
-I'm gonna buy you a Nintendo so you don't get so bored.
And take me to the mall this Saturday in Odessa.
OK, babe. I know where it is.
The deceased died of a gunshot wound of an AR-15 .223 bullet.
It entered just left of the sternum between the fourth and fifth rib,
impact caused the lung to burst. Took him 15, 20 minutes to die.
I would estimate he died seven days ago. The trajectory of the bullet
-indicates the shot was fired from 300 yards away.
-He was gunned down.
Listen Bud, we need to bury him now.
Refrigeration in this dump has broke down
-and I gotta be back in El Paso tomorrow morning.
-OK. Bury him.
We need to notify his relatives.
He ain't got any.
'This is 749. I have a group of 15 people crossing at Piedras Negras.'
'About a half a mile in front of me. Over.'
-Where are they?
-Right down there in that drawer.
Alto! On the ground!
On the ground! On the ground!
Get down! Alto, goddamit!
Stay down, bitch.
-How many got away?
-Well, somebody's gotta pick strawberries.
You were way overboard there, boy.
Fuck it, they were trying to get away.
I want you to think about how much trouble I can get into
if you keep beating these people up. I don't like trouble. Not at all.
I'm awful sorry about Mel.
So am I.
He was a good Mexican.
Pete, you've been cooped up in here for two days.
You need to get outside and do something.
What's that to you?
Brought you some jerky.
I found these shells out there where Mel's goats is on the loose.
They was about 300 yards up the hill.
They might mean something.
# I got nine million pictures
# Stacked up in boxes in the hall
# I got nine million pictures
# Stacked up in boxes in the hall
# Let me tell you people something
-# I only got three pictures... #
-You ladies fine?
How's your eggs, sweetie?
Bob's watching us.
It's been a while since we've had some time together.
You dirty bitch.
I could see you tomorrow.
-Just a second.
What's it gonna be?
-What do you want?
-I want to talk to you.
We found that stuff where we found Melquiades' goats.
Don't you wanna look at it?
No, I don't. I wanna sit here and have my breakfast.
-Talk to me about that in business hours.
-It may be some kind of proof.
Hey. How many .223 shells you think there are laying out there?
Hell, some of 'em gonna have your fingerprints on 'em.
That shit won't mean shit in court just cos you found it under a bush.
I've got a legal system to think about here.
You goddamn son of a bitch!
-'You were out late last night and the one before.'
'You've been late for dinner the last four nights.'
'Work. Work is hard. Real hard.'
'I work hard.'
-Lou Ann, what's for dinner?
-Stuffed zucchini and broccoli.
-I'm on a diet.
'Is someone else paying the bills, putting a roof over your head?'
-'Johnny, I know there's someone else. I know it.'
You're not fat.
Yes, I am. A little bit.
You're my red-hot mama.
'She's prettier than me. She's free and happy and has long, red hair.'
-'I'm not stupid, Johnny. I've got eyes in my head.'
'That girl will wreck your life. And mine. That's what'll happen.'
'You're throwing your life away, Johnny. Don't do it. Please don't.'
'I need you. I love you. Please.'
'You see, right there. That's exactly what I'm talking about.'
'It's always the same. Always the same!'
'What's happening to us?'
'We used to be so happy.'
'Don't you remember when we were living in River Valley?'
'Yes, darling. I remember River Valley.'
'We were happy then. And we'll be happy again. I know it.'
'Please, don't cry.'
'There will always be a River Valley for us.'
'I hope so, Johnny. I hope so.'
# As I reach for the switch
# That turns out my lights
# I wonder who turned out the lights
# In your world tonight... #
You're getting to be a regular customer around here.
Well, I don't have a lot to do right now.
Hyar! Hyar! Hyar!
Come on. Bring 'em, bring 'em.
Yeah, she's good.
Ah, don't worry. This happens to Bob sometimes, too.
Well, it goddamn well don't happen to me. First fucking time it has.
-I don't give a shit what happens to Bob.
-Yeah, I know.
Viagra works for Bob.
I'll turn truck-stop queer and blow-job giver before I use that.
That's what Bob said.
BOTH CHATTER INDISTINCTLY
-What's your favourite rifle round?
-What kind of rifle do you all shoot? You all shoot the same?
-There are 15.
-.223 is standard. Why?
-I was just curious. I always use a .3030 myself.
THEY CHATTER INDISTINCTLY
-COUNTRY MUSIC PLAYS ON RADIO
-# ..with nine kids and a wife
# Yeah, but I've been a workin' man dang near all my life
# I'm gonna work, yeah
# As long as my two hands are fit to use
# I drink my beer at a tavern
# And sing a little bit of these workin' man's blues
# I keep my nose on the grindstone
# I work hard every day
# I might get a little tired on the weekend after I draw my pay
# But I go back workin'
-# From Monday... #
-How do we register him?
-Write down "Melquiades".
Melquiades what? Where was he from?
Mexico. Maybe Coahuila.
Cincinnati's really pretty in the springtime.
-There's lots of malls.
-I bet you miss it.
We're glad to be here.
-You know, wherever the job takes us.
-But this is different.
We were both real popular in high school.
Now it just seems like we don't know anybody any more.
-Ah, living out here takes some getting used to, I guess.
-I guess it does.
-It must seem...a little different.
Do you know where, like, the mall's at in Odessa?
Sure. It's easy to find.
These working hours?
Well, we're about to close.
You need to investigate them border patrols. They use a .223.
Want me to investigate the Kennedy assassination while I'm at it?
Before you start bitching, find out what that fucker was involved with.
Melquiades wasn't involved with nothing.
By the way, we already buried him.
I told you to notify me.
Seemed like you'd at least...
You're not his family. I don't have to notify you about a goddamn thing.
He was a wetback.
MUSIC: "The Cheatin' Hotel" by Hank Williams Jr
# When you check in the cheatin' hotel
# You'll be back
# For another spin at the wheel
# Or race at the track
# They're off and running down at the barn
# This is Heather and this is John
# They're all down at the cheatin' hotel... #
Hey, Bob, how long we been married?
Hell, I don't know.
What is it?
# ..Their husbands meet them an hour later
# She'll have friends all around the table
# And introduce the old man
# As one of her latest flames
# They go out on the dance floor... #
Could I see some photo ID, sir?
THEY ALL LAUGH
Girls, this is Melquiades. Melquiades, this is Rachel and...
-Oh. Lou Ann.
-Nice to meet you.
You work with Pete, right?
# Dang me, dang me
# They're gonna get a rope and hang me from the highest tree
# Woman, would you weep for me? #
That's y'all right down there. 205.
-Uh-uh. I gotta be back in two hours, so una hora.
Wanna watch TV?
-Oh. Si. Esta bien.
Ah. Musica. Si. OK.
COUNTRY & WESTERN MUSIC PLAYS
# This could be the one
# The night you love me... #
-You're not coming?
-No, I'll wait here.
-You've always liked the mall.
-But I don't wanna hurry. I wanna shop.
-I will wait for you here.
# ..then I wish you all the best
# It's your happiness
# That matters
# Most of all... #
-I love this song!
I understand you people, believe you me I do, and we are not locas!
# ..I'll be there
# Before the next tear drop falls
# Si te quire de verdad
# Y te da felicidad
# Te deseo
# Lo mas bueno
# Palos dos
# Pero si te hace llorar
# A mime puedes hablar
# Y estare
# Contigo cuando... #
-Shit, what time is?
-Oh, fuck! Bob's gonna kill me.
-When will I see you again?
-Oh, I can't all next week.
-Is it the sheriff's turn?
-Stop it! You know how things are.
Don't mix things up. You're the one I love, darling. The only one. Belmont's somethin' else.
-What about Bob?
-That's different. Bob's my husband. You understand!
# ..And if he ever leaves you blue
-# Just remember I love you... #
# ..And I'll be there
# Before the next teardrop falls
# And I'll be there
# Before the next
# Teardrop falls. #
Tch! Tch! Tch! Tch! Tch!
Come on. Come on, come on, come on!
You bueno? Huh?
-There you go.
-Hi. I need to talk to you about that dead Mexican y'all found.
What about him?
-I'd rather talk outside.
Sir, our new officer, Mike Norton, the, er, little prick...
..apparently he was out there on Boracho Peak, OK?
Shots were fired. And he returned.
Now, there was only two of 'em out there -
Mike Norton, new kid from Cincinnati, and that wetback.
-Shots were fired. Who fired at who?
-He fired at him first.
Now, I don't want any shit.
-What are you doing here?
-I need to talk to you.
-Belmont came by the cafe today.
-Border patrol by the name of Gomez came looking for him.
Gomez told him who killed that Mexican.
Don't fool with me, girl.
Hell, no. He told Belmont one of the other border patrols
-killed him in a shoot-out.
-Did he say his name?
A guy named Mike Norton.
-You heard him say that?
-Said his name like three times.
-What are they gonna do with him?
-He didn't say.
-What the hell's wrong with you?!
-You gotta arrest him.
-Who do you think you are?
-You gotta arrest the man who killed Melquiades.
-Who the hell would that be?
-With what evidence?
-You know damn well who killed Mel.
-I don't know a goddamn thing.
You know damn well who killed Mel. You ain't gonna arrest him, are you?
You'd better get out of here before I throw your ass in jail.
You ain't gonna arrest him!
-Who is it?
-I'm here for Patrolman Norton. Captain Gomez sent me.
Yeah, just a second.
-You scream again, I'll kill you.
Put your hands over your head.
-Have you got any handcuffs?
-Yeah. In my uniform belt.
Go get them handcuffs and the uniform and bring 'em here. And keep quiet.
Do what he says, Lou Ann.
Put that uniform on and then them handcuffs.
You tell her what you did?
What did he do?
Agh! Agh! Oh!
You need to try to relax.
You might get cold.
You call the police and I'm gonna have to kill him, darling.
TV: 'There's the rain coming now through Cincinnati.
'We could be looking at heavy amounts of rain on Friday,
'so flash-flooding will be a huge concern for us.'
Are you gonna kill me?
Dig him up.
-Melquiades Estrada, you stupid gringo son of a bitch.
You killed him, now dig him up.
'Today's storm that swept into Ohio sent dozens of vehicles
'sliding off the roadways, caused hundreds of businesses to close.
'The good news here is no-one was seriously injured.'
Get him out.
DISTANT CHEERING & SCREAMING
Agh. Oh! Agh!
HE CONTINUES TO SCREAM
PERKINS CHUCKLES SOFTLY
Get around here.
Take him in the house.
Sit him on that bed.
Turn that light on.
Sit down at this table. In that chair.
Melquiades lived here.
That was his bed.
He kept his clothes right over there.
That was his plate.
That was his cup.
Drink from that cup.
These was his work clothes.
Put them work clothes on.
Then put them dress clothes on Melquiades.
Sit down in that chair.
I'll take them boots.
HE GROANS AGAIN
Why'd he leave that uniform laying there like that for?
Because he's crazy.
What time'd we find this guy's wife?
About nine o'clock this morning.
It's goddamn crazy son of a bitch.
What do you think?
I think this son of a bitch is crazy.
Right now, they should be somewhere here heading for Mexico.
-What about that heat-seeking radar?
-It don't work.
They found four steers in a canyon this morning,
about three o'clock.
-What about the rangers?
-I told them we had it covered.
There's a thousand ways he can go to Mexico.
That son'bitch is so fucking nuts, he might head north for Canada.
We're gonna start with the Lago, the Sierra de Diablo,
and the Arroyo Negro. Where y'all going?
Rest of the United States, I reckon.
We'll head southeast over at Aldridge Canyon.
Where are we going?
THERE'S NOWHERE TO GO, MAN!
We're not going up there, are we?
This is Frank Belmont.
RACHEL: 'What are ya doing?'
I'm at work.
'Am I gonna see you tonight?'
Yeah, all right.
'Same time, same place?'
-Yeah. I guess.
'Stop at the store and pick up a pack of Kotex.'
What am I doing here?
It's our duty, sir.
Where are you going?
He stinks, man! I can't sleep.
Get back over there where you was at.
My name's Pete.
..the ants are eating your friend.
DISTANT RADIO VOICES
RADIO TALK BECOMES MORE ANIMATED
Get down. Don't try nothing.
HE KNOCKS LOUDLY
I don't speak Spanish. What do you want?
We want some water for our horses.
Well, help yourself, then.
I like listening to this Mexican radio station.
I can't understand anything,
but I like the way Spanish sounds, don't you?
Sounds all right.
Smells like something dead around here.
I killed a deer a coupla days ago. Starting to turn.
Well, you better throw it away. It's rotten.
I wanna keep the hide. You got any salt I could use to cure it?
No, son. I barely got enough salt to put on the dinner table.
Have you got any alcohol?
I got a jug of anti-freeze.
Would that work?
Suck on this hose.
Them ants won't eat him any more after this.
You're totally fucking crazy, man.
Y'all come and eat!
Let us pray.
we thank you for this meal,
and for bringing me these friends, and our daily bread,
and all the animals and all the beasts of the field.
Do you live alone?
I've got a son that comes and sees me every month and brings me food.
But it's been six months since he was here.
What do you live on?
I got some things stored away.
-I'd like to ask you a favour.
-Anything you want.
I wanted to ask you...
..if you can shoot me.
My son ain't coming back.
He'll come back.
No. He told me he had cancer.
He told me to go back to town with him.
But I don't wanna go cos I've always lived here.
We can't do it.
I don't wanna offend God
by killing myself.
It's a problem.
We don't wanna offend God, either.
It'd be the best thing to do!
You're good people.
You need to go ahead and shoot me.
You know, I'm innocent, actually.
I didn't mean to kill your friend, man.
H-He shot at me. All right?
And I swear to God, really, if I could...
If you let me go, I promise,
I promise I will not press charges.
-Where's that son'bitch at?
-I don't know.
You ought to. You've been fucking him.
We don't talk a lot.
Get this horse off me.
Get up! Get up!
Come on! Come on! Come on!
Goddamn! Get up!
HORSE WHINNIES Whoa, Bill!
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
HE WEEPS WITH FRUSTRATION
RATTLE SNAKE HISSES
HE CONTINUES TO SCREAM
SPANISH SONG PLAYS ON RADIO
-Good afternoon, sir.
-How do you do?
Sir, have you seen anyone coming through this general area
on horseback here lately? Like, maybe two men.
Horseback? Maybe with a coupla pack horses or a mule?
I ain't seen anybody in 30 years.
All right! I am sorry, sir.
Have you heard anyone come this way in the past few days or hours?
-Are y'all cops?
-No, sir. We're actually with border control.
-Ain't no Mexicans come through here!
-We're not looking for Mexicans.
-No-one come through.
-Are you sure?
The hell no, I'm not sure! But I don't think so.
OK. Do you need anything?
All right, we're moving on.
-We didn't do nothing, mister.
-I know it. What happened to him?
He was bit by a snake. He's dying.
You know where we can get some help?
I know a girl who is good with herbs. Maybe she can cure him.
But she lives across the border.
-Is it far?
-The border is not far.
It's all around.
They are looking for a gringo who kidnapped a migrant.
You're that gringo.
Can you help me get him across? I don't want him to die.
I hate this place.
Maybe he'll come back.
I don't care.
He'll come back, honey.
I don't care.
The son of a bitch is beyond redemption.
Can you get us across?
Yes. But I've never crossed people from this side to that side.
Especially on horses.
-OK, take us.
-What about the price?
The price to cross you.
One thousand a person.
I don't have a thousand dollars.
Three thousand dollars.
A thousand for you, a thousand for the gringo.
And a thousand for the dead guy.
I'll find a way to get across.
OK, let's make a deal.
Give me your rifle,
and your horse...
HELICOPTER WHIRRS No.
I'll give you the horse.
But not my horse. The other horse.
-And the rifle.
-Just the horse.
This is where we cross.
-Is the water deep?
NORTON GRUNTS IN CONFUSION
Hell! No, goddamn it!
-HE YELPS IN PAIN
Fuck you! Fuck you, sons of bitches!
To hell with this! You sons of bitches!
I don't need this bullshit! I mean it!
Agh! Fuck you! Fuck you!
HE YELPS IN AGONY
SHE PLAYS OFF-KEY
Sans Restaurant. How may I help you? This is Rachel.
Pete? Where are you?
'I'm in Mexico.'
You know that border patrol is on your ass?
What's Belmont doing?
He went on vacation. Said he had nothing to do with it,
it's between you and border patrol, and he wanted to go to Sea World.
..I want you to come to Mexico.
Marry me. Be my wife.
Are you crazy? I can't do that.
Because I love Bob, Pete.
You said I was the only one you loved.
Pete, you don't understand. I have to go. Take care.
We'll get you home pretty soon, Melquiades.
Any day now.
You look like hell, son.
Where am I?
-HE SPEAKS IN SPANISH
-Who are you, man?
-Your private friend, dude.
She's going to check you up.
We'll have to walk it from here.
You try to run away, I'll kill ya. I guess you know that by now.
TV: 'Do you even know how much they cost?'
'Do you even know what the mileage on your little foreign car is?'
'Do you even know when the oil change is due? Tell me.'
-'Johnny, is there someone else?
-What do you mean?
'Someone else what? Someone else putting a roof over your head -
'Johnny, you've been so distant, so far away.
'I cook, I clean house. I wonder what your mother would say.
Mother has no say. Do you think she cares about me or you?'
Si. Por favour.
-'You're throwing your life away, Johnny! Don't do it!'
I know this one! I know this one.
'That's it. That's exactly it right there! It's always the same!
'Johnny, what happened to us?'
-Yes. It's two dollars.
-You speak English?
Everyone here speak English.
We were worked on the other side.
-What are you doing here?
-Looking for a town called Jimenez.
Hmm, no. There's no place like that here.
No. Not around here.
They said it was a little village about ten kilometres away.
The only village around here is Coahuila.
Do you know this woman? Her name's Maria.
Yeah, I know her.
But her name's not Maria. It's Rosa.
Do you know that man?
His name is Melquiades Estrada.
What's he doing with that woman?
I don't know!
Why don't you ask her?
She lives around the corner.
Do you speak English?
..Melquiades was a good friend,
and I'm sorry to tell you he's passed away.
Who is... Melquiades?
Melquiades - your husband.
He's passed away. We brought his body back from Texas.
..this is you and that's him.
Please. You can tell me the truth.
He was a good friend of mine.
You were married to him, weren't you?
No... I don't know him.
-Do you know anything about a little town called Jimenez?
It doesn't exist around here.
-Your friend lied to you.
-No, he didn't.
-Sure, he did.
There's no Jimenez, man. Wake up.
-The place doesn't exist.
-Yes, it does.
THERE IS NO FUCKING JIMENEZ, MAN!
Don't you see? There's no Jimenez!
This looks like Jimenez.
It's just like Mel said it was.
That's the good water.
That's the house.
Store's right over yonder.
Garden right there.
Just like that right there.
This is it.
You found it, Pete.
HE SIGHS DEEPLY
You've got a grave to dig.
-Ask for forgiveness.
Ask for forgiveness right now or go to hell right now.
I don't believe in hell.
I'm sorry! I swear to God I'm sorry.
I swear to God! I swear to God!
I did not mean to kill him.
It was a mistake.
HE CONTINUES TO SOB
I didn't want it to happen.
That hurt me. I-I regret it...
every single day.
Forgive me... Melquiades.
For taking your life, forgive me.
You can go now.
To your wife.
I always thought that you'd end up killing me.
You can keep the horse, son.
Are you gonna be all right?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd E-mail [email protected]
When a rookie patrolman in a US border town mistakenly kills the Mexican illegal immigrant Melquiades Estrada, he hastily buries him in the desert. When the body is found, Estrada's friend Pete Perkins kidnaps the patrolman and takes him with him on a journey across the border, to bury the body in his home town.