Zoot Suit


Zoot Suit plays out against the real-life Sleepy Lagoon trial during which a group of young Mexican-American men were wrongfully accused of murder. The trial was a precursor to Zoot Suit Riots (1943).

EJO's Role

Edward James Olmos in Zoot Suit

Edward James Olmos is El Pachuco. He first played the role on stage in California then on Broadway, earning a Tony nomination for his performance.

The Numbers

Zoot Suit was released in January 1982.

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  • Edward James Olmos originated the role of "El Pachuco" in the stage version of Zoot Suit, first in Los Angeles then on Broadway in 1979.
  • Edward James Olmos' performance in the Broadway stage version of Zoot Suit earned him a Tony Award nomination (Supporting or Features Actor in a Drama).
  • The Broadway production of Zoot Suit opened at the Winter Garden Theater in New York on March 25, 1979, and ran for 41 performances.

  • 1981 Golden Globes: Zoot Suit was nominated for Best Motion Picture - Comedy/Musical


My Take

There is little more I can say about Zoot Suit than what has been said over the years, so I'll just say this: It's worth the time and Edward James Olmos gives an iconic performance. He captures the spirit Latin machismo perfectly and shows off a sort of athleticism that today's stars truly lack. And the man can sing!

This is the role that catapulted him to stardom and it's easy to see why. He is absolutely magnetic from start to finish. And the rest of the cast is quite wonderful, too.

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Eddie James and the <a href='/edward-james-olmos-pacific-ocean.html'>Pacific Ocean</a>

EJO began his entertainment career as lead singer of a band called Pacific Ocean.


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