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Promotional release poster
Directed byFrancis Ford Coppola
Written byFrancis Ford Coppola
Produced byFrancis Ford Coppola
StarringVincent Gallo
Alden Ehrenreich
Maribel Verdú
Klaus Maria Brandauer
Carmen Maura
CinematographyMihai Mălaimare Jr.
Edited byWalter Murch
Music byOsvaldo Golijov
Distributed byAlta Films
American Zoetrope
Release date
  • June 11, 2009 (2009-06-11)
Running time
127 minutes
CountriesUnited States
Box office$2.6 million[2]

Tetro is a 2009 American-Argentine drama film written, produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Vincent Gallo, Alden Ehrenreich and Maribel Verdú. Filming took place in 2008 in Buenos Aires, Patagonia, and Spain. An international co-production between the United States, Argentina, Spain and Italy,[1] the film received a limited release in the U.S. on June 11, 2009.[3]


Set in Argentina with a high content of film noir, this story of the reunion of two brothers follows the rivalries born out of creative differences passed down through generations of an artistic Italian immigrant family.[4]



In February 2007, Coppola announced that he would produce and direct the film Tetro, based on a script that he had written while editing Youth Without Youth. Production was scheduled to begin in Buenos Aires, Argentina in late 2007.[11] Coppola was attracted to Argentina as a location, "I knew Argentina has a great cultural, artistic, literary, musical, cinema tradition, and I like those kinds of atmospheres very much because you usually find creative people to work with."[12] Production did not begin as scheduled, and by March 2008, Vincent Gallo and Maribel Verdú joined the cast.[5] The Spanish company Tornasol Films and the Italian company BIM Distribuzione signed with the director to co-produce the film.[13] Production began on March 31, 2008 with a budget of $5 million,[14] with Coppola using the production style similar to his previous film Youth Without Youth.[5] Filming took place in La Boca in Buenos Aires and other parts of the capital city. Filming also followed in the Andean foothills in Patagonia and at the Ciudad de la Luz studios in Alicante, Spain.[13] Production concluded in June.[3]

In May 2008, during filming in Argentina, the Argentina Actors Association, an actors' union, claimed that production of Tetro was shut down due to union members working on the film without a contract. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Local press reports say that script changes and communication problems between the multi-national cast and crew have extended filming days beyond regularly scheduled hours, and that some of the Argentine actors are still not certain of their salary." The director's spokesperson, Kathleen Talbert, denied that production was halted, saying, "There are no holds on shooting, no problem with actors. In fact, the majority of the Argentine actors have already wrapped the shooting."[15] By the end of the month, the union said the issue was resolved, reporting, "The lawyers for the producers presented the necessary documentation and recognized the errors that they had made. So now they are able to continue with production." In contrast, Talbert reiterated that there had been no issue, and production was never halted.[10]

Interview with Francis Ford Coppola & Alden Ehrenreich at SIFF

The entire project was edited using Final Cut Pro on Apple Mac computers in a specially designed large screen edit suite built by Masa Tsuyuki.[16]

The cast includes Rodrigo de la Serna, Leticia Brédice, Mike Amigorena and Jean-Francois Casanovas.[13] The film features a brief cameo by Argentine film star Susana Giménez in her first performance after a ten-year hiatus from film acting.[17]


The film received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the film has an average score of 65/100 based on 26 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[18] Rotten Tomatoes reported a 71% approval rating, based on 109 reviews with an average score of 6.40/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "A complex meditation on family dynamics, Tetro's arresting visuals and emotional core compensate for its uneven narrative."[19]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars, praising the film for being "boldly operatic, involving family drama, secrets, generations at war, melodrama, romance and violence". Ebert also praised Vincent Gallo's performance and claimed Alden Ehrenreich is "the new Leonardo DiCaprio".[20] Todd McCarthy of Variety gave the film a B+ judging that "when [Coppola] finds creative nirvana, he frequently has trouble delivering the full goods."[21] Richard Corliss of Time magazine gave the film a mixed review, praising Ehrenreich's performance, but claiming Coppola "has made a movie in which plenty happens but nothing rings true."[22]

Tetro was sixth on the 2009 Cahiers du cinéma Top Ten list.[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tetro". 14 May 2009.
  2. ^ "Tetro (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Byrnes, Brian (May 29, 2008). "All's cool with Coppola, Argentine actors union". The Hollywood Reporter.
  4. ^ "Tetro". ComingSoon.net. Coming Soon Media, L.P. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c Miller, Winter (March 9, 2008). "French cops lead in 'Tetro'". Variety. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  6. ^ Bartyzel, Monika (9 March 2008). "Vincent Gallo Replaces Matt Dillon in 'Tetro'". moviefone. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  7. ^ a b Kit, Borys (November 15, 2007). "Movie newbie joins Coppola's 'Tetro' family". The Hollywood Reporter.
  8. ^ a b Goldstein, Gregg (April 2, 2008). "Carmen Maura to replace Javier Bardem in 'Tetro'". The Hollywood Reporter.
  9. ^ Bartyzel, Monika (3 April 2008). "Javier Bardem is Replaced by a Woman!". moviefone. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  10. ^ a b Byrnes, Brian (May 28, 2008). "Argentinean 'Tetro' dispute over". The Hollywood Reporter.
  11. ^ McNary, Dave (February 13, 2007). "Coppola cops Italo Argentina tale". Variety. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  12. ^ Riehn, Astrid (March 29, 2008). "Coppola starts shooting new film Tetro in Buenos Aires". Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
  13. ^ a b c Newberry, Charles (March 27, 2008). "Tornasol, BIM join Coppola's 'Tetro'". Variety. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Tetro (2009) - IMDb".
  15. ^ Byrnes, Brian (May 23, 2008). "Union claims 'Tetro' shut down". The Hollywood Reporter.
  16. ^ Francis Ford Coppola (director), Walter Murch (editor). Crafting Tetro (mov). Apple Inc. Archived from the original on January 13, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2010.
  17. ^ Bartyzel, Monika (15 May 2008). "Susana Giménez takes place in Coppola's film". minutouno.com. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  18. ^ "Tetro (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  19. ^ "Tetro (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  20. ^ "Tetro Movie Review - Roger Ebert". Chicago Sun-Times. June 17, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  21. ^ McCarthy, Todd (May 14, 2009). "Tetro Review - Variety". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  22. ^ Corliss, Richard (June 11, 2009). "Coppola's Tetro: An Offer You Can Refuse". TIME Magazine. Archived from the original on June 15, 2009. Retrieved June 23, 2009.
  23. ^ Cahiers du Cinema: Top Ten Lists 1951-2009. Retrieved June 16, 2010.

External links[edit]