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) | 1 more credit »
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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
...
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
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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:

...TOO BIG FOR HOLLYWOOD...it was dramatized in the heart of Mexico, with a cast of thousands! 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

Edward G. Robinson, Clark Gable and Paul Muni were all initially mooted for the lead role. See more »

Goofs

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 »

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

Featured in Hollywood: The Selznick Years (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Artist's Life, Op.316
(1867) (uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Played by the orchestra at the ball
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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