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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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?


The "Running W" was a device used on horses at that time which made them fall before the camera at a specific point of an action scene, often killing or injuring the animal so badly that it had to be put down.It involved a harness on the horse secured to "piano" wire which was attached to a stationary object.As the horse reached the end of the length of wire,running full tilt, it would be "tripped". The practice was finally halted after complaints from the A.S.P.C.A. The "Running W" wires can be seen clearly attached to the horses which were "shot down" in the final battle scene of this film . 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 »


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 »


Referenced in Hollywood Party (1934) See more »


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

Wallace Beery Invades Mexico
2 October 2010 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

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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