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Viva Villa! (1934)

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In this fictionalized biography, young Pancho Villa takes to the hills after killing an overseer in revenge for his father's death. In 1910, he befriends American reporter Johnny Sykes. ... See full summary »


, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »


(screen play), (suggested by the book by) (as Edgcumb Pinchon) , 4 more credits »
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Title: Viva Villa! (1934)

Viva Villa! (1934) on IMDb 6.6/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leo Carrillo ...
Rodolfo Fierro (as Sierra)
Donald Cook ...
Don Felipe de Castillo
Jonny Sykes
Henry B. Walthall ...
Gen. Pascal
Rosita Morales (as Katherine de Mille)
Emilio Chavito
Phillip Cooper ...
David Durand ...
Bugle Boy
Frank Puglia ...
Pancho Villa's Father
Wallace Calloway (as Francis X. Bushman Jr.)
Adrian Rosley ...
Alphonso Mendoza
Henry Armetta ...
Alfredo Mendosa


In this fictionalized biography, young Pancho Villa takes to the hills after killing an overseer in revenge for his father's death. In 1910, he befriends American reporter Johnny Sykes. Then a meeting with visionary Francisco Madero transforms Villa from an avenging bandit to a revolutionary general. To the tune of 'La Cucaracha,' his armies sweep Mexico. After victory, Villa's bandit-like disregard for human life forces Madero to exile him. But Madero's fall brings Villa back to raise the people against a new tyrant... Written by Rod Crawford <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A mighty saga of amazing. romantic adventures...with Beery as you love him...blustering, ruthless but with the lovable heart of a boy...swaggering through revolution and revelry...galloping to the thrilling cry...VIVA VILLA! See more »


Biography | Western


See all certifications »




Release Date:

27 April 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Viva Villa  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,017,400 (estimated)


$1,109,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


San Marcos, one of the film's prime locations was virtually a ghost town with cast and crew having to stay in abandoned buildings and dilapidated railway carriages without any amenities. See more »


When Villa announces the signing of the law at the banquet, the position of the papers in his hand changes multiple times between shots. See more »


Jonny Sykes: [typing] Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of Jonny Sykes.
See more »


Featured in Madero of Mexico (1942) See more »


The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on a gramophone at two of Pancho Villa's weddings
See more »

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User Reviews

It ain't really true then again it ain't really a lie.
6 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

The life of Mexican rebel and maverick Pancho Villa is brought to the screen is in this highly fictional but yet log-line or plot points accurate story. This is clear to anyone because the opening has one of those disclaimers that states that though the story is true, the movie has fictionalized certain scenes and scenarios but is in essence a true portrait. Whatever! That said, despite unexpected tonal shifts (Howard Hawks was the original director before Jack Conway was brought in and re-shot a lot of his footage. It makes me wonder how the new Exorcist movie that Renny Harlin is reshooting will play) the film is a touching portrait of a man of the people who could never lead a nation. It does not patronize the dastardly or generally inhumane tactics of Villa. As far as Villa was concerned, it is war and one must vanquish the enemies completely. Take no prisoners was his approach. It has the typical, rotten scoundrel and bandit to careful redemption of the soul arc but is handled atypical which is a plus. Beery, one of the biggest stars Hollywood ever produced is solid in the role and should have gotten an Oscar nomination. Directing is solid except for sudden comic ouvres among the chaos stopping the movie from achieving rich resonance but overall enabling it to still work. Sets are huge, action sequences are passable and scenarios and dialogue are either very good or cliched in certain respects. But I think the ending of the movie has one of the best written scenes and final lines I've ever heard. I won't spoil it but it lets you know that what you've seen and read about is essentially a myth and legend and that's what people choose to remember and live on. Kinda like the ending of the movie Big Fish.

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