AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
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Director: Steven Soderbergh (Dir)
Release Date:   12 Jan 2001
Premiere Information:   New York and Los Angeles openings: 27 Dec 2000
Production Date:   10 Apr--early Jul 2000
Duration (in mins):   147
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Cast: In order of appearance Benicio Del Toro (Javier [Rodriguez] Rodriguez)  
    Jacob Vargas (Manolo Sanchez)  
    Andrew Chavez (Desert truck driver)  
    Michael Saucedo (Desert truck driver)  
    Tomas Milian (General Arturo Salazar)  
    Jose Yenque (Salazar soldier/The torturer)  
    Emilio Rivera (Salazar soldier #2)  
    Michael O'Neill (Lawyer Rodman)  
    Michael Douglas (Robert Wakefield)  
    Russell G. Jones (Clerk)  
    Lorene Hetherington (State capitol reporter #1)  
    Eric Collins (State capitol reporter #2)  
    Beau Holden (DEA Agent "CalTrans")  
    Peter Stader (DEA Agent "CalTrans")  
    James Lew (DEA Agent "CalTrans")  
    Jeremy Fitzgerald (DEA Agent "CalTrans")  
    Russell Solberg (DEA Agent "CalTrans")  
    Luis Guzman (Ray Castro)  
    Don Cheadle (Montel Gordon)  
    Don Snell (DEA Agent "Trailer")  
    Enrique Murciano (DEA Agent "Trailer")  
    Gary Carlos Cervantes (DEA Agent "Trailer")  
    Leticia Bombardier (Ruiz's secretary)  
    Miguel Ferrer (Eduardo Ruiz)  
    Carl Ciarfalio (Ruiz's assistant)  
    Steve Lambert (Van driver)  
    Gilbert Rosales (Van passenger)  
    Rick Avery (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Mario Roberts (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Eileen Weisinger (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Ken Johnston (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Mike Watson (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Kurt Lott (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Lincoln Simonds (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Steve Tomaski (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Buck McDancer (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    John Callery (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Ousaun Elam (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Brian Avery (DEA Agent "Public storage")  
    Corey Spears (F*****-up Bowman)  
    Majandra Delfino (Vanessa)  
    Topher Grace (Seth Abrahms)  
    Erika Christensen (Caroline Wakefield)  
    Alec Roberts (David Ayala)  
    Catherine Zeta-Jones (Helena Ayala)  
    Rena Sofer (Helena's friend)  
    Stacey Travis (Helena's friend)  
    Jennifer Barker (Helena's friend)  
    Dean Faulkner (Parking valet)  
    Albert Finney (Chief of staff)  
    D. W. Moffett (Jeff Sheridan)  
    James Brolin (General Ralph Landry)  
    Daniella Kuhn (Tourist woman)  
    Brandon Keener (Tourist man)  
    Governor Bill Weld (Himself)  
    George Blumenthal (Partygoer #1)  
    Stephen Dunham (Lobbyist)  
    Senator Don Nickles (Himself)  
    Margaret Travolta (Economist)  
    Senator Harry Reed (Himself)  
    Jeff Podolsky (Himself)  
    Jewelle Bickford (Partygoer #2)  
    Senator Barbara Boxer (Herself)  
    Senator Orin Hatch (Himself)  
    Senator Charles Grassley (Himself)  
    Dave Hager (Partygoer #3)  
    Tucker Smallwood (Partygoer #4)  
    Steven Bauer (Carlos Ayala)  
    Marisol Padilla Sanchez (Ana Sanchez)  
    Amy Irving (Barbara Wakefield)  
    Dennis Quaid (Arnie Metzger)  
    Clifton Collins Jr. (Francisco [Frankie Flowers] Flores)  
    Victor Quintero (Salazar soldier)  
    Toby Holguin (Salazar soldier)  
    Ramiro Gonzalez (Salazar soldier)  
    Viola Davis (Social worker)  
    James Pickens Jr. (Prosecutor Ben Williams)  
    Peter Riegert (Attorney Michael Adler)  
    Elaine Kagan (Judge [Evelyn] Reed)  
    John Slattery (ADA Dan Collier)  
    Jim Ortega (Arrested man in apartment)  
    Greg Boniface (Tackled man #1)  
    Tom Rosales (Tackled man #2)  
    Rudy M. Camacho (Customs official)  
    Vonte Sweet (Dealer [in Cincinnati])  
    Ed Breving (Hotel deskman)  
    Yul Vazquez (Tigrillo/Obregon assassin)  
    Jack Conley (Agent Hughes)  
    Eddie Velez (Agent Johnson)  
    Craig N. Chretien (Director of EPIC)  
    John Brown (Assistant director of EPIC)  
    Mike Siegel (DEA representative)  
    Salma Hayek (Madrigal's mistress)  
    Joel Torres (Porfilio Madrigal)  
    Steve Rose (Marty)  
    Kimber Fritz (Rehab counselor)  
    Harsh Nayyar (Witness #1)  
    Mary Pat Gleason (Witness #2)  
    Vincent Ward (Man on street)  
    Benjamin Bratt (Juan Obregon)  
    Jsu Garcia (Pablo Obregon)  
    Gregory Estevane (Polygraph administrator)  
    Alex Procopio (Polygraph assistant)  
    Rita Gomez (Mrs. Castro)  
    Kaizaad Navroze Kotwal (Teacher)  
    David Jensen ("John")  
    Jay Fernando Krymis (Waiter #1)  
    Mike Malone (Waiter #2)  
    Rene Pereyra (Doctor)  
    Kymberly S. Newberry (Press secretary)  
    Carroll Schumacher (Ayala security)  
    Michael Showers (Meeting leader)  

Summary: On a deserted road near Tijuana, while Mexican policemen Javier Rodriguez Rodriguez and Manolo Sanchez wait to intercept an incoming plane carrying a cargo of illegal drugs, they see a truck. The suspicious Javier stops it, finds a large cache of drugs in the back and arrests the drivers. Several cars then speed toward them, and General Arturo Salazar exits one to tell Javier that he has done an excellent job, but his own men will take over. As Ohio Supreme Court Judge Robert Wakefield leaves for Washington to accept the position of U.S. Drug Czar, DEA agents Ray Castro and Montel Gordon are finalizing a sting operation in San Diego, California. Ray and Montel are about to complete the bogus drug buy with dealer Eduardo “Eddie” Ruiz, when pandemonium ensues following the unexpected arrival of local police. Ray and Montel chase the escaping Eddie, who is wounded, and corner him in a children’s play palace. In the large Wakefield home in Cincinnati, Robert’s daughter Caroline freebases cocaine for the first time with her prep school friend Seth Abrahms, while in San Diego, pregnant Helena Ayala lunches with her friends at the country club. Now in Washington, Robert meets with the Chief of Staff and learns from outgoing drug Czar General Ralph Landry that he will not be able to achieve long-lasting results. Later, Robert attends a cocktail party and listens patiently as Washington insiders offer him advice. In San Diego, Helen’s husband Carlos is arrested in front of her and their young son David, while in Mexico, Javier is summoned by Salazar, who tells him that he wants his help in wiping out the Tijuana drug cartel run by the Obregon family. He then shows Javier a picture of ruthless Obregon hitman Francisco Flores, known as “Frankie Flowers,” and asks him to bring Frankie to him. After returning to Cincinnati, Robert is annoyed by Caroline’s flip comments about his new position, causing friction between himself and his wife Barbara. While a tearful Helena seeks advice from Carl’s business partner, Arnie Metzger, in another section of San Diego, Javier makes contact with Frankie in a gay bar, and soon a blindfolded Frankie is driven to Salazar’s desert headquarters. At night, in the Wakefield house, Caroline, Seth and several others take drugs and philosophize about life until one of the boys overdoses and goes into convulsions. Seth then drives everyone to an emergency room, where they dump the boy and attempt to flee, but are arrested by the police. At Salazar’s headquarters, Javier is disturbed to hear Frankie’s screams, while in San Diego, a worried Helena is visited by Arnie, who surreptitiously warns her that the house is bugged. After Caroline is released into her parents’ custody, she claims she was only smoking marijuana and barely knew the boy who overdosed, but Robert senses she is lying and later argues with Barbara, who used drugs in college and seems unconcerned about Caroline’s experimentation. Some time later, Salazar explains his methods to Javier: first torture, then get the prisoner to love and trust him like a father, after which he will learn everything. Salazar then goes to see a now-broken Frankie and scolds the guard for treating him so badly. In San Diego, Carl is denied bail, while in Cincinnati, Robert asks Assistant District Attorney Dan Collier to drop the charges against Caroline. Collier agrees, but tells Robert that the boy overdosed on heroin and cocaine. In a San Diego hospital, Eddie smugly tells Ray and Montel about the drug pipeline, saying that the war on drugs has been lost, but is afraid to testify against his life-long friend Carl. Frankie, still unnerved by torture, is now dining with Salazar, who cajoles him into revealing the names of the top men in the Obregon cartel. As Javier, Manolo and others arrest the men, telling reporters that credit goes to Salazar, news is broadcast that Porfilio Madrigal, head of the rival Juarez cartel, died during a plastic surgery procedure. A short time later, Javier and Manolo release the terrified Frankie, knowing that he is a marked man. At the border in San Ysidro, California, Robert is frustrated to learn that less than half of the drugs being smuggled into the U.S. are intercepted. When Robert visits El Paso, he is shocked to learn that he has no Mexican counterpart and chagrined that no one on his staff can suggest new strategies. Meanwhile, Caroline and Seth buy drugs in the Cincinnati slums, then get high while having sexin a cheap hotel. In a San Diego park, Helena, who has tearfully told Carl about their dire financial straits, sees a man approach David and is terrified when the man, Tigrillo, threatens the boy, saying that Carl owes $3,000,000 to the Obregons. Across the border, Javier is visited by Ana, Manolo’s wife, who tells Javier that she is worried about Manolo. Javier then warns Manolo, who wants to make more money, to be careful of Salazar. Later, Javier is approached by an American who says that he has heard he is not happy with his work. In Arnie’s San Diego office, Helena desperately tells him about the $3 million demanded by the Obregons and her fear of being alone, but he says there is no money and tries to comfort her. A short time later, in Mexico City, Javier and Manolo drive a flashy young woman to the new house her older lover has bought her. Javier is stunned when Manolo informs him that the man is Madrigal, whose face has been surgically altered, and says that Salazar has been Madrigal’s partner all along. When Robert returns to Cincinnati, he and Barbara bitterly argue over his long absences and her frustration over Caroline’s behavior. Barbara leaves and when Robert goes to Caroline’s room, he discovers that she has been freebasing and angrily destroys her drug paraphernalia. In San Diego, Javier meets with DEA agents and insists that he will only talk to them in a public swimming pool. He refuses offers of money for information, but talks about a baseball park to prevent kids from becoming criminals. At night, unable to sleep, Helena thinks about what Carl has told her during her visits to him in jail and remembers something about a painting. She goes to the painting and finds hidden microfilm containing numbers and Frankie’s name. Robert now flies to Mexico City to meet Salazar and is dismayed by the general’s contempt for drug users and treatment programs. Some time later, as Carl’s trial begins in San Diego, Eddie, who has agreed to testify against him, is being guarded by Ray and Montel at a faded hotel near the court huse, while Helena hires Frankie to kill him. In Tijuana, as Ana tells Javier that she fears Manolo is selling information to the DEA and will get himself killed, Robert returns to Cincinnati after learning that Caroline has escaped from her expensive rehab facility. While he vainly searches for her, she has sex with a drug dealer and injects heroin for the first time. Outside the San Diego court house, as Frankie plants a bomb under Ray’s car, he is observed from a distance by Tigrillo. When court is recessed early, Eddie asks that they walk instead of drive to the hotel, causing a panicked Frankie to call Helena on her cellphone. Helena screams that he should just shoot Eddie in the head, but before he can, Frankie is shot and killed by Tigrillo. When Ray returns to the car, the bomb explodes, killing him. Elsewhere in San Diego, Manolo is nervously sitting at an outdoor café when he is pushed into a car by two of Salazar’s men, who had previously handcuffed Javier. Although Manolo protests that he acted alone, both he and Javier are forced to dig their own graves in the desert. When shots are fired, only Manolo is killed and Salazar’s men tell Javier that he is now “like family.” Javier later comforts Ana, then angrily wanders Tijuana and brushes past Helena as she goes to see Juan Obregon. She makes her deal to have the $3 million debt forgiven and be the Obregons' sole U.S. distributor for cocaine that will be smuggled into the country in teddy bears. At the same time, Javier takes a polygraph test to prove the veracity of his information to DEA agents, but feels like a traitor. Robert is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from his aide, who tells him that Salazar has been arrested, but Robert hangs up when Barbara discovers that Caroline has just stolen expensive items from their home. After kissing Barbara, Robert goes to Caroline’s school and pulls Seth from his classroom, then forces the belligerent adolescent into helping him look for her. After failing to find her with his drug dealer, Seth leaves, but Robert later follows him to the hotel room where Caroline is with a John. After breaking the door in, Robert sees the high and barely conscious Caroline, then starts to cry and comfort her. On the day of Eddie’s testimony, a phony room service waiter delivers his breakfast. After contemptuously telling Montel that his efforts to stop the drug traffic are futile, Eddie has a few bites of the meal then goes into convulsions and dies. Without Eddie’s testimony, the charges against Carl cannot be proven and he is set free. In Mexico, Javier has been promoted and is now working with DEA agents, while Salazar is being tortured at his old headquarters. At the White House, Robert begins a press conference but finds it difficult to deliver prepared remarks about the war on drugs. After faltering, he rhetorically asks how you can wage war against your own family and leaves the podium. With Carl now free, he and Helena host a large party at their house. In his study, Carl calls Arnie and confronts him with stealing the $3 million owed to the Obregons and plotting to take over his life. Arnie protests, but it is too late. As Carl hangs up the phone, hired killers enter Arnie’s office. A moment later, Montel breaks into Carl’s study and loudly accuses him of being a murderer. After Helena and several security people rush in, Montel is escorted out, but not before he plants a “bug” under Carl’s desk. In the mid-West, Caroline shyly tells her therapy group that she has good days and bad. When asked to comment, Robert, who is there with Barbara, says that they are just there to listen. At night, in Tijuana, Javier smiles as local boys play Little League in the newly built baseball field.
 

Production Company: Initial Entertainment Group  
  Bedford Falls  
Production Text: USA Films pres in assoc with Initial Entertainment Group of a Bedford Falls/Laura Bickford Prod
USA Films pres in assoc with Initial Entertainment Group of a Bedford Falls/Laura Bickford Productio
USA Films presentation in association with Initial Entertainment Group of a Bedford Falls/Laura Bick
Distribution Company: USA Films  
Director: Steven Soderbergh (Dir)
  Gregory Jacobs (1st asst dir)
  Trey Batchelor (2d asst dir)
  Basti van der Woude (2d 2d asst dir)
  Adrian Grunberg Kaufman (Asst dir, Mexico crew)
Producer: Edward Zwick (Prod)
  Marshall Herskovitz (Prod)
  Laura Bickford (Prod)
  Richard Solomon (Exec prod)
  Mike Newell (Exec prod)
  Cameron Jones (Exec prod)
  Graham King (Exec prod)
  Andreas Klein (Exec prod)
Writer: Stephen Gaghan (Scr)
Photography: Peter Andrews (Photog)
  Gary Jay (Cam op)
  Barry Idoine ("A" cam 1st asst)
  James Apted ("A" cam 2d asst)
  Duane C. Manwiller ("B" cam 1st asst)
  Glenn Brown ("B" cam 2d asst)
  Bob Marshak (Still photog)
  Stacy de la Motte (Cam loader)
  Caz Duffy (Cam prod asst)
  Joachin Cervera Buenfil (Asst cam, Mexico crew)
  E. J. Butch Ertel (Projectionist)
  James Plannette (Chief lighting tech)
  Eric Wycoff (Best boy elec)
  Russell Ayer (Elec)
  R. Michael De Chellis (Rigging gaffer)
  Eric Wolfson-Sagot (Rigging best boy elec)
  Herb Ault (Key grip)
  Kevin 'Rambo' Fitzgerald (Best boy grip)
  Paul Threlkeld (Cam grip)
  Kyle Carden (Grip)
  Andreas Crawford (Rigging key grip)
  Dustin Ault (Rigging best boy grip)
  Kelvin Hunter (Grip prod asst)
  Carlos Boiles (Grip, San Diego crew)
  Chapman/Leonard Studio Equipment, Inc. (Cam dollies)
Art Direction: Philip Messina (Prod des)
  Keith P. Cunningham (Art dir)
  Blair Huizingh (Asst art dir)
  Valerie Nadja Lancelot (Asst art dir)
  Wylie Young Griffin (Art dept coord)
  Eric Bryant (Art dept asst)
Film Editor: Stephen Mirrione (Ed)
  Douglas Crise (1st asst Avid ed)
  Keith Sauter (1st asst film ed)
  Norman Walker (2d asst ed)
  Denise Marquez (Ed prod asst)
  Gary Burritt (Negative cutter)
  Les Meek/Frank Holmes Laboratories, Inc. (Ektachrome reversal process)
  NT Audio Video Film Labs (Dailies telecine/Track negative)
  Masterwords (Cutting cont)
Set Decoration: Kristen Toscano Messina (Set dec)
  Shana Sigmond (Asst set dec)
  Greg Berry (Set des)
  Maya Shimoguchi (Set des)
  Barbara Ann Spencer (Set des)
  Steven B. Melton (Prop master)
  Lance Larson (Asst prop master)
  Melody Miller (Asst prop master)
  Jason Bedig (Leadman)
  Dale E. Anderson (Set dresser)
  Brent Blom (Set dresser)
  Gary Brewer (Set dresser)
  Alan Easley (Set dresser)
  Brooke Sartorius (Set dresser)
  Mike Malone (On-set dresser)
  Manuel Castillo (Set dresser, San Diego crew)
  Chris Snyder (Const coord)
  William Gideon (Gen foreman)
  Hank Giardina (Paint supv)
  Gerard Forrest (Loc foreman)
  John B. Bullard (Propmaker foreman)
  James Paniagua (Propmaker foreman)
  Dale Snyder (Propmaker foreman)
  Adam L. Barker (Plaster foreman)
  Robert Fidalgo (Labor foreman)
  Louie Esparza Jr. (Labor foreman)
  Anthony J. Saenz Jr. (Labor foreman)
  Bud Kucia (Welder/Ironman)
  Jeffrey Brooks (Propmaker gangboss)
  Jerrold F. Brooks (Propmaker gangboss)
  Bill Duffin (Propmaker gangboss)
  Michael Jon Duffin (Propmaker gangboss)
  Alfred J. Ransdell (Propmaker gangboss)
  Curtis A. Yackel (Propmaker gangboss)
  Christopher Forrest (Propmaker)
  Steven Kerlagun (Paint foreman)
  Clyde Zimmerman (Paint foreman)
  Jerry Miller (Signwriter)
  Jay E. Brooks (Painter)
  Joseph A. Northrop (Painter)
  Chad Simpson (Painter)
  Richard Boris (Greensman)
  Andrew Nowling (Greensman)
Costumes: Louise Frogley (Cost des)
  Joyce Kogut (Cost supv)
  Garet Reilly (Key cost)
  Lizz Wolf (Cost)
  Fran Allgood (Set cost for Mr. Douglas)
  Edward T. Hanley (Set cost)
  Annie Miller (Set cost)
  Shoshana Rubin (Set cost)
  Richard Schoen (Set cost)
  Francisco Mares (Tailor)
  Elizabeth Besio (Cutter/Fitter)
Music: Cliff Martinez (Mus)
  Jeff Rona (Mus programming & orch)
  SPLaTTeRCeLL (d. torn) (Textural const, guitar)
  Michael Brook (Guitar)
  Flea Flea appears courtesy of Warner Bros. Records (Master of the 4-string electric Bassius O'Phellius)
  Herbie Hancock (Electric piano)
  Mark Pelsone (Electric piano)
  Alex Acuna (Percussion)
  Paulinho Da Costa (Percussion)
  Frankie Pine (Mus consultant)
Sound: Paul Ledford (Prod sd mixer)
  Larry Blake (Supv sd ed/Re-rec mixer)
  Keenan Wyatt (Boom op)
  Joseph F. Brennan (Boom op)
  Earl Sampson (Addl boom op)
  Richard Kite (Utility sd)
  Aaron Glascock (Dial ed)
  F. Scott Taylor (Asst sd ed)
  Weddington Productions (Post-prod sd services)
  Mark Coffey (Weddington transfer)
  Rusty Amodeo (Weddington transfer)
  Alicia Irwin (Foley)
  Dawn Fintor (Foley)
  David Betancourt (Foley mixer)
  Twentieth Century Fox (Foley rec at)
  Rick Mitchell (Foley ed)
  John Murray (Foley ed)
  Swelltone Labs/New Orleans (Re-rec at)
  Matt Coby (Mix asst)
  Jay Gallagher (Mix asst)
  Alan Meyerson (Mus mixed by)
  Gregg Silk (Asst eng)
  Kevin Globerman (Asst eng)
  Tobias Enhus (Synth rec)
  David Low (Contractor)
  Media Ventures (Score mixed at)
Special Effects: Kevin Hannigan (Spec eff coord)
  Werner Hahnlein (Spec eff foreman)
  Anthony Simonaitis (Spec eff set foreman)
  Michael D. Roundy (Spec eff tech)
  William D. Harrison (Spec eff tech)
  Cinesite, Inc. (Mexico seq digital visual eff)
  Mike Sullo (Prod)
  Carole Cowley (Prod)
  Rick Benoit (Prod)
  Julius Friede (Senior colorist)
  Jill Bogdanowicz (Junior colorist)
  Steven Wright (Digital compositor)
  Kama Moiha (Digital compositor)
  Serena Naramore (Digital compositor)
  Shawn J. Broes (Ed)
  Paul Howarth (Ed)
  Brian Shows (Tech asst)
  Todd Sarsfield (Tech asst)
  Tony Sgueglia (Tech asst)
  Vincent Lavares (Digital asset mgr)
  Erik Hakanen (Digital imaging coord)
  Kristopher Gregg (Digital imaging op)
  Howard Anderson Company (Titles & opticals)
Make Up: Kathrine James (Makeup dept head)
  Loretta James Demasi (Key makeup artist)
  Bonnie Clevering (Hair dept head)
  Kathrine Gordon (Hair dept head)
  Roxanne Wightman (Hairstylist)
Production Misc: Debra Zane (Casting)
  Terri R. Taylor (Casting assoc)
  Pamela Lynn Thomas (Casting asst)
  Rich King Casting (Extras casting)
  Frederic W. Brost (Unit prod mgr)
  Patricia S. Chapman (Prod mgr, Cincinnati crew)
  Robin L. Le Chanu (Prod supv)
  Sonny Ritscher (Prod accountant)
  Anne Welles (Scr supv)
  Tim Golden (Consultant)
  Craig N. Chretien (Tech consultant)
  Chic Daniel (Tech adv)
  Reel Deal Technical Advisors (Tech adv)
  Alan Shaterian (Mr. Del Toro's dial coach)
  Keri Bruno (Set prod asst)
  Michael La Corte (Set prod asst)
  Lynn Struiksma (Set prod asst)
  Beryl Cohen (DGA trainee)
  Ken Lavet (Loc mgr)
  Daniel Martinez (Loc mgr, Mexico crew)
  Deirdre Costa (Loc mgr, Cincinnati crew)
  Peggy Pridemore (Loc mgr, Washington, D.C. crew)
  George Herthel (Addl loc mgr)
  Quentin Halliday (Asst loc mgr)
  P. Caleb Duffy (Asst loc mgr)
  Antonio Mata Sanchez (Loc asst, Mexico crew)
  R. Michael Charske (Loc asst, El Paso crew)
  Anthony Rico (Loc prod asst)
  Karen Jarnecke (Prod coord)
  Lilli Heinrich (Prod coord, El Paso crew)
  Angie Lee Cobbs (Asst prod coord)
  Clelio Boccato (Asst prod coord)
  Carrie Black (Asst prod coord, San Diego crew)
  Sylvia Remington (Asst prod coord, Mexico crew)
  Molly A. Donnellon (Asst prod coord, Cincinnati crew)
  Carrie Brody (Prod office asst)
  Will Sandoval (Prod office asst)
  Betsy Dennis (Prod office asst, San Diego crew)
  Amy Sterner (Prod office asst, San Diego crew)
  Meaghan F. McLaughlin (Prod office asst, Mexico crew)
  Diana C. Tulk (Prod office asst, El Paso crew)
  Keith Heileman (Prod office asst, Cincinnati crew)
  Sonya Lunsford (1st asst accountant)
  Lisa Carey (2d asst accountant)
  Jeffrey C. Harris (2d asst accountant)
  Jason Hinkel (2d asst accountant)
  Renee D. Czarapata (Payroll accountant)
  Marisol Jimenez (Constr accountant)
  Alice Prochazkova (Accounting clerk)
  Thomas J. McGowan (Studio teacher)
  Rene Pereyra (Translator)
  Luis M. Rodríguez Villa (Translator)
  Alan Shaterian (Mr. Del Toro's dialect coach)
  Spooky Stevens (Pub)
  Caitlin Maloney (Asst to Mr. Soderbergh)
  Valentina Aulisi (Asst to Ms. Bickford)
  Graham Larson (Asst to Mr. Zwick)
  Josh Gummersall (Asst to Mr. Herskovitz)
  Robin Cohen (Asst to Mr. Solomon)
  William Butler-Sloss (Asst to Mr. Newell & Mr. Jones)
  Andrea Tagliareni (Asst to Mr. King)
  Robert Mitas (Asst to Mr. Douglas)
  Julianne Berkowitz (Asst to Ms. Zeta-Jones)
  Brumby Broussard (Cast asst)
  Mark Dometrovich (Cast asst)
  John Falvey (Cast asst)
  Jason Rider (Cast asst)
  John Moore (Office foreman/Purchaser)
  Jon Carpenter (Transportation coord)
  Shane Greedy (Transportation capt)
  Richard Bennetti (Transportation co-capt)
  Doreen L. Carpenter (Transportation dispatcher)
  John Quittner (Film runner)
  James C. Alfonso (Driver)
  Chris Beanes (Driver)
  Loren Bess (Driver)
  Frank Alan Butler (Driver)
  Gary Cheek (Driver)
  Robert Chookhachian (Driver)
  Charles Conn (Driver)
  Gary D. Cruise (Driver)
  Dale A. Douglas (Driver)
  Robert W. Dulys (Driver)
  Guy A. Duquette (Driver)
  Bernard A. Glavin (Driver)
  Leon L. Glavin (Driver)
  Chris Gorden (Driver)
  Billy Grace (Driver)
  Phillip Helman (Driver)
  Mike Hutmacher (Driver)
  Jonny R. Johnson (Driver)
  J. T. Lannen (Driver)
  James V. Lingle (Driver)
  Tony Mercier (Driver)
  Ken Merritt (Driver)
  Tom Neal (Driver)
  Robert L. Neilson (Driver)
  Dominic Jack Pizzo Sr. (Driver)
  Curtis Randoll (Driver)
  Chance Robertson (Driver)
  George Chip Robinson (Driver)
  Sean C. Ryan (Driver)
  William Mark Spencer (Driver)
  Paul Tumber (Driver)
  Gordon R. Winkle (Driver)
  Dusty Tulk (Driver, El Paso crew)
  Keri Littledeer (Set medic)
  John Ramirez (Set security coord)
  Gourmet on Location (Catering)
  Antoine Mascaro (Chef)
  Carlos Flores (Catering asst)
  Manuel D. Cocar (Catering asst)
  Guillermo Villegas (Catering asst)
  Ronald E. Hairston (Craft service)
  Tamiko Hairston (Craft service)
  Ronald Hairston Jr. (Craft service)
  Robert Darwell (Prod legal)
  Troop Steuber Pasich (Prod legal)
  Reddick & Tobey (Prod legal)
  Jay Floyd/Now Clear This! (Clearance services)
  Great Northern Brokerage (Insurance)
Stand In: John Robotham (Stunt coord)
Color Personnel: Dana Ross (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: United States
Language: English

Music: "Piano Sonata No. 1 in F Minor" by Ludwig von Beethoven, performed by Wilhelm Kempff, courtesy of Universal International Music, BV, under license from Universal Music Enterprise; "An Ending (Ascent)," written and performed by Brian Eno, courtesy of Astralwerks Records.
Songs: "Give the Po' Man a Break," written by Norman Cook, performed by Fatboy Slim, courtesy of Astralwerks Records; "On the Rhodes Again," written by Skye Edwards, Paul Godfrey and Ross Godfrey, performed by Morcheeba, courtesy of Sire Records Group/Warner Music U.K. Ltd., by arrangement with Warner Special Products; "Going Under (Love & Insanity Dub)--K & D Sessions," written by Glyn Bush, Richard Whittingham and Patrick Plummer, performed by Rockers Hi-Fi, courtesy of Warner Bros. Records, Inc./Warner Music Germany, by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
Composer: Ludwig von Beethoven
  Glyn Bush
  Norman Cook
  Skye Edwards
  Brian Eno
  Paul Godfrey
  Ross Godfrey
  Patrick Plummer
  Richard Whittingham
Source Text: Based on the television mini-series Traffik , written by Simon Moore, produced by Carnival Films for Channel 4 Television (U.K.), 1989.
Authors: Carnival Films
  Simon Moore

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Gramercy Films, LLC 27/12/2000 dd/mm/yyyy PA1152486

PCA NO: 37805
Physical Properties: Sd: SDDS (Sony Dynamic Digital Sound); DTS Digital; Dolby Digital in selected theatres
  col:
  Widescreen/ratio: 1.85:1
  Lenses/Prints: Filmed with Panavision Cameras & Lenses
  Lenses/Prints: CFI; Kodak Film
  gauge: 35mm

 
Genre: Drama
 
Subjects (Major): Drug dealers
  Family relationships
  Police
 
Subjects (Minor): Baseball
  Cocaine
  Drug addicts
  Drug overdose
  Cincinnati (OH)
  El Paso (TX)
  Generals
  Heroin
  Murder
  Press conferences
  Prostitution
  San Diego (CA)
  Tijuana (Mexico)
  Trials
  Washington (D.C.)

Note: There are no opening credits on the film, other than a title card that reads “USA Films” followed by the start of the action with the word “Traffic” on the lower left side of the screen. In the end credits, following director Steven Soderbergh’s name, names of the principal cast members appear, beginning with Michael Douglas. The complete cast appears later, in order of appearance, as listed above. Salma Hayek, who appears briefly in the film as “Porfilio Madrigal’s” mistress, did not receive screen credit.
       Soderbergh also acted as the director of photography for the film, although he used the pseudonym “Peter Andrews” in the onscreen credits. According to the film’s presskit, he did so because the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) would not accept his proposed credit, “Directed and photographed by Steven Soderbergh.”
       Various news items and feature articles document the complicated distribution history of the film. Initially, Traffic was to be co-financed and distributed by Fox 2000, then was to picked up by USA Films after Fox put the project into turn around. A late Feb 2000 news item in Screen International noted that the film “had made a U-turn and gone back to Fox” with Fox Searchlight set to co-finance the film and North American distribution to be handled by Twentieth Century Fox. By May 2000, however, production charts confirmed another shift in domestic distribution, with USA Films again listed as the domestic distributor and Initial Entertainment Group set for international distribution. The film lists the following production and distribution credit: “A Bedford Falls/Laura Bickford Production//A USA Films Presentation//in Association with Initial Entertainment Group.”
       According to various HR and DV news items and HR production charts in early 2000, Harrison Ford was initially cast in the film as “Robert Wakefield.” When Ford withdrew from the project, actors Kevin Costner, Al Pacino, Tommy Lee Jones and Richard Gere were variously reported as being considered for, or pursuing, the role. In Mar 2000, Douglas, who news items noted had first been offered the role but declined, became interested in it again, especially after his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, was cast as “Helena Ayala.” Although they had no scenes together, Traffic marked the first film in which Zeta-Jones, who was pregnant in real life as well as in the story, appeared with Douglas.
       Traffic differed from the British television mini-series on which it was based, Traffik , in that the American film concentrated on the Mexican drug connection, whereas the British series dealt with the Pakistani connection. When the British mini-series was released on DVD in the U.S. in Jul 2001, several reviews compared it favorably to the American film, although some British reviewers expressed the opinion that the film was superior.
       Although Traffic was presented in a seemingly chronological order, the various storylines were interwoven, with the action switching back and forth among them. Occasionally longer sequences set in one place were intercut with shorter scenes or quick shots of action that was taking place in another. All of the scenes set in Mexico appeared in a yellow tone, and many of the scenes set in Cincinnati appeared in a blue tone. Most of the dialogue for the scenes set in Mexico was spoken in Spanish, with English subtitles.
       The film's presskit and news items note that extensive shooting was done in San Diego, CA. Additional locations included Nogales, Mexico, Las Cruses, NM, El Paso, TX, Columbus and Cincinnati, OH, Georgetown and Washington, DC and Los Angeles. Early news items estimated the film’s budget variously to be between $30 to $40 million or $60 to $65 million, however, a LAT article on 25 Dec 2000 estimated that the film’s final budget was $50 million.
       As noted in a LAT “Morning Report” news item on 27 Apr 2001, representatives for the exclusive Cincinnati County Day School announced that they had reached a settlement with USA Films and would not sue over Traffic ’s identification of the long-established school as the one attended by “Caroline Wakefield.” School officials said that they were never asked for permission to use their name.
       In addition to being selected as one of AFI’s top ten films of 2000, Traffic was included in numerous top ten lists and was honored with many awards. It also earned four Academy Awards, including Best Director for Soderbergh, Best Supporting Actor for Benicio Del Toro, Best Adapted Screenplay for Stephen Gaghan and Best Film Editing for Stephen Mirrione. The film was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to Gladiator . Soderbergh was also nominated in the Best Director category for Erin Brockovich . Del Toro won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, with other Golden Globe nominations going to Zeta-Jones for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Soderbergh for Best Director, Gaghan for Best Screenplay and the film Best Picture, Drama.
       Gaghan won the WGA award for Best Screenplay and Del Toro won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance in a Leading Role. The Traffic cast also won SAG’s Outstanding Cast Performance Award, and the film won three ALMA awards, for Outstanding Feature Film, Outstanding Latino Cast and Outstanding Soundtrack. In Mar 2001, Traffic also had the distinction of being selected as a topic for 5 shows on ABC’s prestigious Nightline news analysis program, the first film to be discussed on the program. In 2002, an American television mini-series, based on both the British series and the American film was produced by USA Network for broadcast in late 2003. The series, also titled Traffic , was directed by Eric Bross and Stephen Hopkins, and starred Elias Koteas.
 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   27 Jan 2000.   
Daily Variety   29 Feb 2000.   
Daily Variety   14 Mar 2000.   
Daily Variety   12 Dec 2000   p. 7, 10.
Daily Variety   12 Mar 2001.   
Daily Variety   16 Mar 2001   p. 2.
Entertainment Weekly   18 Aug 2000   p. 81.
Hollywood Reporter   24 Feb 2000   p. 1, 72.
Hollywood Reporter   11-17 Apr 2000   p. 28.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Apr 2000.   
Hollywood Reporter   23 May 2000.   
Hollywood Reporter   26 Jun-4 Jul 2000   p. 25.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Dec 2000   p. 26, 75.
Los Angeles Times   25 Dec 2000   Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times   27 Dec 2000   Calendar, p. 1, 8.
Los Angeles Times   27 Apr 2001.   
The New Republic   22 Jan 2001   pp. 22-23.
New York Times   27 Dec 2000   Section E, p. 1, 8.
New Yorker   25 Dec 2000 & 1 Jan 2001   pp. 154-55.
Newsweek   8 Jan 2001   pp. 62-63.
Screen International   25 Feb 2000.   
Variety   21 Feb 2000   p. 26.
Variety   18 Dec 2000   p. 21, 24.
Village Voice   2 Jan 2001   p. 101.

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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