powered by AFI
The film opens with an offscreen narrator describing Tijuana in 1956 as the "sin town of the world." The narrator explains that Tijuana newspaper man Manuel Acosta Mesa was the only person willing to wage war against the "vice lords." Paul Coates, a television personality and reporter for the Los Angeles Mirror-News, then appears on screen to give a brief history of Acosta Mesa's paper El Imparcial and describe the paper's campaign against the forces of organized crime in Tijuana, a campaign that began in April 1956 and ended with Acosta Mesa's death on 31 July 1956.
Although Hollywood Reporter news items add Sam Scar, Michael Monroe, John Ayres, Troy Patterson, Don Diamond, Val Damian, Abel Fernandez, Lydia Paige, Charles La Torre and Gloria Rhoads to the cast, their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. A May 24, 1957 Hollywood Reporter news item adds that Gil Perkins, Sol Gorss, Wally Rose, Al Cantor and Rube Schaefer performed the stunts in the skid row brawl scene, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. The Tijuana Story marked character actor Rodolfo Acosta's only starring role.