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 »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Madero is shown being shot by Pascal at Madero's desk in his office in the Presidential Palace in Mexico City. In reality, Madero and his Vice President were shot by soldiers of Gen. Victoriano Huerta, who had overthrown Madero and was having him transported to a prison outside Mexico City. The car they were in stopped behind a building outside the prison, and Madero and his vice president were taken outside the cars and shot. See more »
After witnessing his father being whipped to death, grown-up Mexican bandit Wallace Beery (as Pancho Villa) becomes his country's revolutionary war hero. Boozy reporter Stuart Irwin (as Johnny Sykes) and peace-loving liberator Henry B. Walthall (as Francisco Madero) are important allies. Nurturing a taste for ladies and liquor, Mr. Beery marries Spanish spitfire Katherine De Mille (the real-life daughter of director Cecil B., as Rosita Morales). Later, Beery is tempted to add beautiful Fay Wray (as Teresa) to his harem.
The Mexican armies sing "La Cucaracha, la Cucaracha!" while future "East Side Kid" David Durand plays the bugle.
Beery's vanquished rival Joseph Schildkraut (as General Pascal) suffers a torturous fate, but dastardly Donald Cook (as Don Felipe) gets a last shot. MGM production values are high for this hammy, heavy-handed star vehicle, wisely introduced as "fictionalized." With "box office" Beery at the helm, "Viva Villa!" was a hit. It won critical acclaim at Venice, where Berry was the festival's "Best Actor". In a brief scene, the real-life son of early movie idol Francis X. Bushman plays a nerdy newspaperman ("Wallace Calloway").
****** Viva Villa! (4/10/34) Jack Conway ~ Wallace Beery, Stuart Irwin, Henry B. Walthall, Donald Cook
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