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Viva Villa! (1934)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 727 users  
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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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited) , 1 more credit »

Writers:

(screen play), (suggested by the book by), 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 ...
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:

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 »

Genres:

Biography | Western

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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

Ben Hecht's original screenplay was so long that producer David O. Selznick considered making a two-part film about the life of Pancho Villa, with the first part depicting his rise and the second about his fall. This idea was shot down by Nicholas Schenck, the head of Loews, MGM's parent company, who didn't believe that audiences would be interested enough to watch two films on the same subject. See more »

Goofs

President Madero is shown as being overthrown in a coup by Gen. Pascal, who then shoots him. In reality, there was no such general named Pascal; Madero was assassinated on the orders of Gen. Victoriano Huerta, who did overthrow him but who did not personally shoot him. 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 Hollywood Party (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Madre Mia
(1934) (uncredited)
Written by Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Henry H. Tobias
Sung by uncredited woman
See more »

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User Reviews

Beery Great.... The Rest Not
7 September 2009 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Viva Villa! (1934)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

Wallace Beery's tremendous and rousing performance as Pancho Villa is the main reason to view this troubled production, which sadly can be seen in the movie itself. The movie tells the story of Pancho Villa, who as a boy sees his father killed by the Mexican government. Later in life Villa wages war against the greedy bad guys of Mexico first as a bandit and then as a general. It's not often a bio starts off with a warning that the thing is strictly fiction but that's the case with this MGM picture. I'm really not sure what to make with the final film but I found it clear to see that there was a lot of tampering with it. After viewing the movie I read some of its history, which includes director Howard Hawks being fired and original reporter Lee Tracy getting kicked out of the country after getting drunk and urinating off his hotel balcony onto some military men. There was also a plane crash that destroyed a lot of footage, which had to be re-shot and all of this caused the film's release to be pushed back, which then had the thing being cut by the Hayes Office. The entire film is quite choppy and a lot of what's going on has to be explained with title cards that come up every few scenes. The film's running time of 110-minutes seems double that and it doesn't help that the majority of the supporting cast are rather weak. Fay Wray, Donald Cook and George E. Stone walk through their roles. Leo Carrillo and Stuart Erwin are pretty bland in theirs. Henry B. Walthall gives a very good performance but he's role is quite minor. What keeps the film moving is the great performance by Beery who clearly becomes this character and when one thinks of Villa you can't help but picture Beery.


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