YEAR: 2006

ROLE:  Bill Buck

DIRECTOR: Joachim Roenning & Espen Sandberg

US PREMIERE:  September 22, 2006

Plot Summary

Sara Sandoval (Hayek) is the daughter of a rich Mexican banker while Maria Alvarez (Cruz) is the daughter of a poor Mexican farmer. These two women, who seemingly have nothing in common, except their Mexican heritage, end up being thrown together by fate and circumstance, and along with Quentin Cooke (Zahn), a young idealistic New York City Police detective, battle the avaricious land grab by the Texas representative of the New York Bank and Trust, Tyler Jackson (Yoakam) in the year 1880. At first distrustful of each other, the two women learn through their shared tragedy,  to cooperate in their battle to defeat Jackson and his band of killers, and return the land he has stolen from the Mexican farmers of their State. The plan they devise to defeat Jackson is to rob all the banks he has taken over and used to illegally seize the farms of the Mexican peasants. Since neither woman has the skills to successfully carry out their plan they are sent by their the parish priest to Bill Buck (Shepard), retired curmudgeon of a bank robber, to learn their new found craft.

Film Details
Penelope CRUZ..............Maria Alvarez
Salma HAYEK................Sara Sandoval
Steve ZAHN...................Quentin Cooke
Dwight YOAKAM..........Tyler Jackson
Sam SHEPARD...............Bill Buck
Screenplay...............Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen
Cinematography.......Thierry Arbogast
Music.......................Eric Serra
Length......................93 minutes
Movie Stills
Production Notes

BANDIDAS was filmed entirely in Mexico. The exteriors were done in Durango and in Mexico City. Durango has been a popular place to film westerns serving as a major location during the '60s and '70s for a string of movies such as CHISUM and THE TRAIN ROBBERS.

Budgeted at around $30 million, the production had a 14-week shoot in the fall of 2004.

When interviewed, Salma Hayek was asked what scenes were the most fun and she replied, "All the action scenes with Sam Shepard. He is a genuine hero! How I admire his work as an actor and playwright... He has an unbelievably energizing intelligence."

When co-director Roenning was asked about working with Sam, he responded, "It was fantastic. At the beginning he was somewhat skeptical over a French-produced and Norwegian-directed western. But we succeeded relatively quickly in convincing him of our intentions and from then on it was a marvelous collaboration."

"To their credit, Hayek and Cruz are clearly giving the film their all, even if their comic banter are of the hit and miss variety... There is a welcome cameo by Sam Shepard as an aging outlaw hiding out in Mexico, but like his character's abrupt introduction, he leaves the show much too soon."  

Monsters and Critics:
"The only humans that seemed at all comfortable in this film were Yoakam and Sam Shepard, who would have stolen the movie if he had any more lines."

DVD Talk:
"'Bandidas' is a strangely entertaining action comedy that accomplishes a lot more Mexican fun and adventure than the last Zorro sequel could muster. Itís incredibly inconsequential, buttery entertainment, but itíll surely put a smile on your face if you can find a way to appreciate its rambunctious spirit."

DVD Verdict:
"Sam Shepard is a clever choice for the role as the girls' trainer, as a bit of an 'Apollo Creed boxing manager' equivalent of sorts."

Critic Society:
"Steve Zahn provides perfect support, Dwight Yoakam is effectively evil and Sam Shepard makes a too-small appearance which leaves a strong impression."

DVD Review:
"Shepard is certainly game, effectively portraying the wise, old mentor for Maria and Sara. It is a small role, but a nice showcase nonetheless."

Film Threat:
"Roenning and Sandbergís film excels not only in sporting a respectable cast from Dwight Yoakam (as entertaining mustache twirling villain, Mr. Jackson), Steve Zahn, and Ismael Carlo, but also wisely casts the experience of genre vet Sam Shephard in a walk on, as a reluctant confidant of the women."

"Even after Sara's radicalization, the nuevas bandidas still need some help in honing their criminal skills. Fortunately, they're able to locate a retired robber (Sam Shepard, in an effortlessly appealing cameo) who gives them a crash course in grand larceny.

Randy Cordoza, Arizona Republic:
"While it's not going to make any "10 best" lists, 'Bandidas' is silly, breezy fun, fueled by playful chemistry between its charismatic, appealing stars... It's fast and funny, and the mix of slapstick and personality clashes is rather endearing."
"Sam Shepard's cameo is a brief but welcome appearance."