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In 1909, Emiliano Zapata, a well-born but penniless Mexican Mestizo from the southern state of Morelos, comes to Mexico City to complain that their arable land has been enclosed, leaving them only in the barren hills. His expressed dissatisfaction with the response of the President Diaz puts him in danger, and when he rashly rescues a prisoner from the local militia he becomes an outlaw. Urged on by a strolling intellectual, Fernando, he supports the exiled Don Francisco Madero against Diaz, and becomes the leader of his forces in the South as Francisco 'Pancho' Villa is in the North. Diaz flees, and Madero takes his place; but he is a puppet president, in the hands of the leader of the army, Huerta, who has him assassinated when he tries to express solidarity for the men who fought for him. Zapata and Villa return to arms, and, successful in victory, seek to find a leader for the country. Unwillingly, Zapata takes the job, but, a while later, he responds to some petitioners from his ... Written by
Anthony Quinn was very disappointed when Marlon Brando was cast as Emiliano Zapata - he thought that with his Latin appearance, he would have been a better choice. To solve the argument, both actors competed to see which of them could urinate furthest into the Rio Grande. Quinn lost the bet, but he won an Oscar for the best supporting actor as Zapata's brother. See more »
When Emeliano is thrown on the slab in the middle of town so all could see what happens to revolutionaries at the end of the movie Brando's stomach could be seen heavily breathing even though he is supposed to be dead. See more »
When I read so many of the comments on this film featured here, I find it difficult to understand how so many viewers fail to appreciate the incredible nature of the collaboration that produced it. The very idea of a motion picture scripted by John Steinbeck, directed by Elia Kazan, scored by Alex North, starring Marlon Brando, co-starring Anthony Quinn........this is an almost unbelievable gathering of artistic giants.
Taste in movies varies and thus one can be certain that some will not respond positively even to this one. After over five decades of movie-going, I can look back and remember precious few pictures that rise to the high level of excellence to be found in "Zapata". With its spellbinding storytelling, superb cast in top form, its insightful examination of issues which are still crucially relevant today, I can not fathom why some would not praise it.
Like a long list of really fine titles that endlessly persist in remaining unavailable in DVD release, this film has me wondering once again why, in the vastness of the internet, one can not discover the reason why this major Brando star-vehicle continues to be withheld from circulation. Is such information so impossible to find that no one can unearth it?
You can tell from reading the viewer comments that not everyone will agree on this, but I would suggest that anyone who appreciates literate, superbly crafted classic motion pictures should make every effort to see this one. I wish I could invite you all to a great gala screening of it. I know you would be dazzled by its splendor.
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