Great Performances (1971– )
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La pastorela 

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It is the day before Christmas. Gila Diaz is a young adolescent girl, the oldest child in a large rural Tex-Mex family. She is frustrated with her family's poverty and the drudgery of her ... See full summary »


Luis Valdez


Luis Valdez



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Linda Ronstadt ... San Miguel (archangel)
Paul Rodriguez ... Satanas
Robert Beltran ... Luzbel
Karla Montana Karla Montana ... Gila
Anahuac Valdez Anahuac Valdez ... Bato
León Singer ... El Hermitano
Lalo Guerrero Lalo Guerrero ... Tebano the Elder
Cheech Marin ... El Cosmico
Don Novello ... Father Guido Sarducci
Freddy Fender ... Tebano the Younger (pastore)
Mario Pardo ... Cucharon (pastore)
Miguel Sandoval ... Bartolo (pastore)
Lupe Ontiveros ... Parranda (pastore)
Flaco Jiménez Flaco Jiménez ... Meliso (pastore)
Rosa María Escalante Rosa María Escalante ... Maria Diaz


It is the day before Christmas. Gila Diaz is a young adolescent girl, the oldest child in a large rural Tex-Mex family. She is frustrated with her family's poverty and the drudgery of her life in caring for her many younger siblings. Gila's parents drag her and the family to midnight Mass. They go to hear the Pastorela, a traditional play about the shepherds who are told of the the birth of Christ and the triumph of the God's angels over Satan's diablos. Gila is knocked unconscious by a prop and suddenly she is transported into the real story of the Pastorela and begins a frightening fantastic quest to Bethlehem to find the Christ Child's manger. Written by Thomas McWilliams <>

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Release Date:

23 December 1991 (USA) See more »

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Did You Know?


Hermanos Pastores
Performed by Los Lobos
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User Reviews

26 December 2003 | by gonzalezrv1See all my reviews

I first saw "La Pastorela" (A Shepard's Play) on PBS's Great Performance, and recorded it to show to my family. It was originally performed by a Non-Profit Northern California group called El Teatro Campesino (The Farmer's Theater). (Note: I purchased a Legal VHS tape from them several years ago). It's a Wizard-of-Oz type adventure/musical; a demonstration of the Mexican-American or Chicano culture, as this movie is replete with a mixture of English and Spanish dialog also known as Tex-Mex or Spanglish. If you're not Mexican-American or familiar with the culture, you may not be entertained by "La Pastorela." My family and I enjoy watching this movie every Christmas as a tradition along with "It's A Wonderful Life," "White Christmas" and "Home Alone." If you watch it for the first time, you may be surprised to see (beside Linda Rhonstadt), some now well-known faces such as Comedians Paul Rodriguez and Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci); Musicians Freddy Fender and Falco Jimenez and Actor Lupe Ontiveros (The murderous Yolanda in the movie "Selena"). La Pastorela is both funny and moving, and has a great message of hope and good triumph over evil.

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