- 1 hr 35 min
Walker is a 1987 American historical drama film directed by Alex Cox and starring Ed Harris, Richard Masur and Rene Auberjonois. The film is based on the true story of William Walker, a real-life adventurer and filibuster who attempted to overthrow the government of Nicaragua in the mid-19th century. The film takes place in the 1850s and opens with a brief introduction to the character of William Walker, played by Ed Harris. Walker is a lawyer and journalist who is fascinated by the idea of creating his own nation. He becomes involved with a group of American businessmen who want to take control of the Central American country of Nicaragua in order to gain access to its natural resources. Walker and his group travel to Nicaragua to begin their crusade, but they quickly discover that the country is in the midst of a civil war. The ruling party is supported by England, while the rebels are backed by the United States. Walker decides to align himself with the rebels, and quickly becomes their leader. Over the course of the film, Walker and his followers engage in a series of battles with the ruling party. They are able to capture the capital city of Granada, but are ultimately defeated by a coalition of Central American forces led by Costa Rica. Throughout the film, we see Walker's descent into madness. He begins to see himself as a messianic figure who has been chosen by God to lead the people of Nicaragua. He orders the execution of anyone who opposes him, including women and children. As his mental state deteriorates, his followers begin to question his leadership. The film is notable for its black comedic tone and its use of anachronistic elements. For example, the film's soundtrack features punk rock music, and some of the characters wear contemporary clothing. Ed Harris delivers a powerful performance as William Walker, capturing both his charisma and his madness. The supporting cast, which includes Richard Masur as Cornelius Vanderbilt and Rene Auberjonois as Dr. Samuel Ferguson, also turn in strong performances. The film's political commentary is also noteworthy. Although it takes place in the 1850s, the film is clearly commenting on American politics in the 1980s. The character of William Walker serves as a metaphor for American interventionism, while the character of Cornelius Vanderbilt is a stand-in for American corporations. In conclusion, Walker is a thought-provoking historical drama that explores the consequences of American imperialism. It features strong performances from its cast, a black comedic tone, and anachronistic elements that make it stand out from other films of its genre.