May 4th, 2012
01:37 PM ET
Happy early Cinco de Mayo!
The approaching holiday, which has its roots in Mexico, got us thinking about some of our favorite Spanish-speaking movie heroes. Movies sometimes present Spanish speakers as caricatures (see El Guapo and Machete), but the characters listed below defy stereotypes.
I know, some of these movie aren't set in Mexico, nor are they all in Spanish (movies that incorporate Spanish into the dialogue being the criteria here), but all of the characters have brought Spanish to the big screen, and have resonated with me strongly enough to include in my top five.
Yours may be different, and as always, we welcome your personal top fives in the comments!
1. "El Mariachi" (1992) – “I lost my guitar, my hand, and her. With this injury, I may never play the guitar again.” – El Mariachi
2. "Stand and Deliver" (1988): “It was your ancestors, the Mayans, who first contemplated the zero. You *burros* have math in your blood...A negative times a negative equals a positive.” – Jaime Escalante
3. "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006): "Hello. I am Princess Moanna, and I am not afraid of you." – Ofelia
4. "Traffic" (2000): “A little bird told me.” – Javier Rodriguez
5. "Frida" (2002): “They say never trust a limping dog or the tears of a woman.” – Frida Kahlo
Honorable Mentions (Anti-heroes):
"Scarface" (1983): “Say hello to my little friend!” – Tony Montana
"Carlito’s Way" (1993): “He's got a good future if he can live past next week.” – Carlito Brigante
"Desperado" (1995): “Bless me, Father, for I have just killed quite a few men.” – El Mariachi
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