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Viva Villa! (1934)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 781 users  
Reviews: 18 user | 14 critic

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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

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

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

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Cast

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

Storyline

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 <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

20,000 flaming headlines leap to life as this epic drama flashes across the screens of the nation! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 April 1934 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Viva Villa  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,017,400 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,109,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on October 10, 1938 with Wallace Beery reprising his film role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Bugle boy: [plays the "battle charge" on the bugle, and stops]
Pancho Villa: Play some more!
Bugle boy: That is all I know.
Pancho Villa: [laughs] That's okay. That's all you'll need!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Side of Heaven (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

La Cucaracha
(uncredited)
Traditional
New lyrics by Ned Washington
Sung by chorus at intervals throughout film
Played as background music often
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A very good movie, but not in tune with modern sensibilities
26 January 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is really a very well made movie, but its presentation of Pancho Villa will likely offend modern sensibilities. Those sensitive ones should notice that while Villa is portrayed speaking bad English, most of the other Mexican characters, such as Madero, are not. It was a perhaps unfortunate effort to suggest not that Mexicans are stupid, but that Villa came from a humble background - he repeats over and over that he is illiterate - and had a very different command of language than the government and military officials with whom he had dealings.

The movie starts by explaining that it is not based on archival documents, but is an effort to convey the "spirit" of the revolutionary. As a result, there's no point in complaining about the places where it differs from history. It makes an honest effort to present a complex individual, capable of greatness and horrors - the torture of the Mexican general; the attempted rape of a supporter's sister. For 1935, it's really a very sympathetic presentation of a poor, illiterate Mexican.

You can't watch this to learn about Mexican history. But you can watch it to see a fine presentation of an imperfect but remarkable man.


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