Movie Analysis Essay on Zoot Suit

Paper Type:  Movie review
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  734 Words
Date:  2023-01-29


The paper is about a play referred to as zoot suit, which represents an outfit for the identity of the Chicano put on by 38th street gang. It showcases the incidence which occurred during World War II. It is based on a true story where two gangs, 38th street gang, and the neighboring gang met at the sleepy lagoon. The 38th gang gets involved in a war, and a man is murdered. The members of the 38th street gang are put on trial where 17 are found guilty. All the members of the gang found guilty are sentenced to life imprisonment in San Quentin in Los Angeles (Franco n.p). As all these take place, Henry's brother is also beaten. The film about this past tragic incidence was released in summer 2008 and it lasts for about 1 hour 58 minutes.

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It starts with the 38th street gang attending a local dance where they run into their rival gang, the Dawney gang. The fight between the two groups is ignited by Henry's brother, Rudy. The conflict between the two gangs create unconducive atmosphere and consequently making the 38th gang to leave the scene. As Della accompanies Henry to a local joint referred to the as sleepy lagoon where most youths meet, they overhear a noise which is suspected to be coming from William's ranch thus convincing them that there is an on-going party at William's ranch. Immediately they advanced to join in the "perceived party," a war immediately ensues. Henry was mistakenly identified as part of the Downey Gang that had caused a commotion. This ambush led to the death of a young man known as Jose Williams. Henry and the gang members are arrested, arraigned in court, and charged with murder. Alice and George Shearer try to advocate on their behalf, but the jury is against the street gang albeit evidence indicating Dawney Gang is responsible for the killing. The 38th Street gang are unfairly imprisoned. The gang members wait for appealing of their case. As the appealing procedure continues, Henry falls in love with Alice while still seeing Della (Gale n.p). Their lawyer is transferred to help in the war. Henry is dismayed by all this. While they serve in jail, a zoot suit riot breaks in the city of Los Angeles and all the neighboring region. At long last, the boys are released, and Henry returns to his family, and his fate is left for the audience.

The film followed the chronological events on how things occurred during World War II. It started by the two gangs clashing up, which is in line with how the original event took place in Los Angeles. The setting of the play also coincides with the original scene of the first clash, which occurred. The number of parties involved in the play is the same, the two gangs, the jury, and zoot suit riot are in both the historical event and the play. Accuracies have been maintained by movie maintaining the names of the characters such as Henry and place names, for example, Sleepy Lagoon (Rios 57). The interpretation of the film was noted through the attires worn by the characters, baggy clothing of the ancient period, the old model cameras used in the stage for dance floor authenticating that the play represented a historical event. The movie best suits college students based on the theme of conflict which is more common among the college students to help them relate the impact of their actions in school and make the learning environment more conducive for studies. The best audience for the movie would, therefore, be the college students who have specialized in literature. The underlying reason is on the associated literary analysis and techniques.


In summary, I like the movie because it allows the audience to think a little harder on several issues. For example, the path is taken by Henry, or rather the choice he made, left many in suspense. The historical representations also make it more pleasing and one that would be watched over and over.

Works Cited

Franco, Antonio. "Threads of the Zoot Suit Riots: How the initial explanations for the riots hold up today." Voces Novae10.1 (2018): 4.

Gale, Cengage Learning. A Study Guide for Luiz Valdez's" Zoot Suit." Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016.

Rios, Francine. "Zoot Suit: A Correction to American Public Memory." American Papers (2018): 57. Retrieved from

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Movie Analysis Essay on Zoot Suit. (2023, Jan 29). Retrieved from

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