Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo Image

After his release from prison, Danny Trejo set down the path that would form the persona we know today. He soon started appearing as an extra in movies, for $50 a day. The first movie was Runaway Train with Jon Voight and Eric Roberts. Set in a prison, Danny caught the director’s (Andrei Konchalovsky) eye and hired Danny to teach Roberts how to box. Here’s where the world came to know Danny Trejo and his over 360 IMDB film credits. Most in the role of “Inmate #1.”

The third act of the documentary presents the Danny Trejo we all know and love from film and television. After walking with Danny into the depths of hell, this is his rise to stardom. We love him because he’s got that tough exterior of a man who could kill you with his bare hands, but the heart of a man who’d mow your lawn if you asked him too.

“…the very definition of inspirational.”

Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo has everything you want from an inspirational biographic documentary. It’s a story of redemption for a man who went to prison for his crimes, and when he hits rock bottom changed for the better. His lows are lower than imagined, and his rise to the top has everything to do with his new outlook on life and then grabbing opportunity by the horns.

The film features Danny’s family and friends from his youth. Of course, you have to have celebrities such as director Robert Rodriguez, Michelle Rodriguez, Donal Logue, and Cheech Marin. Then there’s Danny himself—a literal open book. He gives us emotional interviews, and we follow him around Pacoima doing good deeds here and there. Let’s also add how he gives back by speaking at random recovery groups and prisons.

Danny Trejo is an amazing man with an amazing story and the reason why film fans love documentaries. Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo is the very definition of inspirational. Look…we can spend the rest of our lives on our phones trolling the President, or we can start doing some good for the people we meet and the communities we live in.

Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo (2020)

Directed and Written: Brett Harvey

Starring: Danny Trejo, Robert Rodriguez, Michelle Rodriguez, Donal Logue, Cheech Marin, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo Image

"…everything you want from an inspirational biographic documentary."

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