Miklo (Damian Chapa), Paco (Benjamin Bratt) and Cruz (Jesse Borrego) are three cousins living amongst the other Chicanos in East Los Angeles in 1972. The streets of their city are infested with gangs and the violence effects them all in some way when one day the three are caught up in a fight that will change all of their lives.
Paco will be convicted of an accessory to murder unless he enlists in the military. Later when he gets out he has the opportunity to take a seat with the LAPD. Cruz, no longer can has the desire to paint after he becomes injured and now crippled for life. Instead he chooses a life of drugs in order to mask his pain. Miklo was caught with the gun and must now spend his life behind bars at San Quentin. But even in jail, Miklo finds a way to belong with his home boys and is rising to the top of a new gang, the La Onda, becoming a serious player in the Chicano Mafia.
Buena Vista Pictures
Director: Taylor Hackford
Writers: Floyd Mutrux, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Ross Thomas
Producers: Jerry Gershwin, Stratton Leopold, Taylor Hackford