Mexico in its splendor fighting for freedom: The Cristero War (1926 -29). Who knows of this period of history when the Mexican Government attempted to secularize the country?
For Greater Glory is a beautiful film that tells the story of a small boy who stands up to the tyrants of his government. It tells the story of men who do not particularly have religious beliefs fighting for people who are Catholics. It tells the story of believers who bear arms against politicians, who want to suppress freedom resulting in a people's revolt that rocked the 20th Century.
The film begins with Peter O'Toole playing a priest who is murdered by the Mexican government. A little boy who is about to be O'Toole's altar boy witnesses the brutal slaying and vows to seek justice for his beloved priest. This is the first attack of the government on the people to repress freedom to worship. Mexicans begin to fight all over Mexico, but are disorganized. They need a leader.
Enter Andy Garcia as Enrique Gorostieta Velarde who becomes the reluctant hero who is impassioned and leads Mexico to unity and freedom. Garcia is believable as the clever staunch general who knows what the enemy has plotted until one night when he is taken off guard. Garcia's wife is Eva Longoria who stands by her man. Cuban Oscar Isaac as Victoriano (el Catorce) Ramírez López is splendid as he challenges Garcia's authority only to concede when he realizes his mistake. Santiago Cabrera portrays the sympathetic Father Vega with caring and a surprising sensuality that adds depth to his portrait,
The music is a problem as director Dean Wright uses it as punctuation. Too much Sturm und Drang. Unfortunately the film would have had a greater impact with a more subtle sound track.
But if you do not know your Mexican history, For Greater Glory will fill in some gaps, and though it is a bit too long, it makes up for this with the scenic vistas and mountainous countryside that only Mexico has in its Rolodex.
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