Theatrical release poster
|Produced by||Luc Besson|
Robert Mark Kamen
Ismael 'East' Carlo
|Music by||Éric Serra|
|Edited by||Frédéric Thoraval|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$18.4 million|
Bandidas is a 2006 French-Mexican-American Western action comedy film starring Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz directed by Norwegian directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg and produced and written by Luc Besson. It tells the tale of two very different women in late 19th century Mexico who become a bank robbing duo in an effort to combat a ruthless enforcer terrorising their town.
This is the first film that Cruz and Hayek starred in together. It was a co-production among France, the United States and Mexico. Filming took place in Sierra de Órganos National Park in the town of Sombrerete, Mexico, Durango, Mexico and San Luis Potosi, Mexico.
In 1890s Mexico, María Álvarez (Penélope Cruz) is an uneducated, poor farm-girl whose caring father is being forced off his land by a cruel U.S. land baron named Tyler Jackson (Dwight Yoakam). Sara Sandoval (Salma Hayek) is the highly educated, wealthy daughter of the arrogant owner of the nearby properties, and has recently returned from Europe where she attended numerous grade schools and colleges in England, Spain, and France for several years. In one fell swoop, both María's and Sara's fathers fall under attack by the baron, (Sara's father is killed, María's is shot but survives) giving him free rein in the nearby territories. As an act of revenge, María and Sara team up to become bank robbers, stealing and giving back to the poor Mexicans who have lost their lands.
At first, the pair's relationship is characterized by petty cattiness stemming in part from their different backgrounds, but under the tutelage of famed bank robber Bill Buck they learn to trust each other. During their crucial training session at the edge of a cliff, the two women test their strength by hanging from a metal bar over a wide river. At the point of exhaustion María tells Sara she cannot swim before losing her grip on the bar. Sara voluntarily drops into the river and saves her. The two women put aside their differences and agree that, while they are not friends yet, they can at least work together as partners. María turns out to be a crack shot and, while Sara can barely hold a gun, she shows that she is an expert with throwing knives.
Angered by the recent attacks by two women, who are now known by the public as the "Bandidas", Jackson brings in a specialist criminal investigator named Quentin Cooke. When Sara and María learn this, and they capture Cooke and seduce him to help them. He has already figured out that Sara's father was murdered and therefore discovers that his client is a criminal.
The trio embark upon bigger, more ambitious heists, during which María and Sara compete for Quentin's affections. In a move to make the money they have stolen useless, Jackson moves the gold that backs the money on a train up towards U.S. territories. Midway, he decides to steal the gold, betraying the Mexican government. The Bandidas hunt him down, but when they get their chance to kill him, they decline to do so, feeling it would make them no better than him. Jackson manages to draw his gun and almost gets a shot off at María but Sara shoots first, killing him. Quentin meets with his fiancée, much to María's heartbreak. She and Sara ride off into the sunset, their eyes set on Europe, where Sara says the banks are bigger.
- Salma Hayek as Sara Sandoval
- Penélope Cruz as María Álvarez
- Steve Zahn as Quentin Cooke
- Dwight Yoakam as Tyler Jackson
- José María Negri as Padre Pablo
- Audra Blaser as Clarissa Ashe
- Sam Shepard as Bill Buck
- Ismael 'East' Carlo as Don Diego Sandoval
- Edgar Vivar as bank manager
Release and reception
- "Bandidas (2006) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". Boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
- "Bandidas (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 September 2013.