In New Mexico, a Confederate veteran returns home to find his fiancée married to a Union soldier, his Yankee neighbors rallied against him and his property sold by the local banker who then hires a gunman to kill him.
Wifes and children of the Mormon Orville Beecham become victims of a massacre in his own house. The police believes the crime had a religious motive. Orville doesn't give any comment on the... See full summary »
J. Lee Thompson
Trish Van Devere,
Pulled into the Mexican Revolution by his own greed, Texas gunrunner & pilot Lee Arnold joins bandit-turned-patriot Pancho Villa & his band of dedicated men in a march across Mexico battling the Colorados & stealing women's hearts as they go. But each has a nemesis among his friends: Arnold is tormented by Fierro, Villa's right-hand-man; and Villa must face possible betrayal by his own president's naiveté. Written by
Yul Brynner was on Variety's list of Top Ten Overpriced Stars in 1968. See more »
A machine gun nest ambushes charging Mexicans by cutting down the first three over a wall with a short burst, but as hordes more come over the wall, the machine gun doesn't fire even though the sounds of it firing continue. The gun obviously jammed but the footage was used anyhow with firing sounds dubbed into it. See more »
Mexican bandit and revolutionary Pancho Villa has been portrayed in films before, most notably by Wallace Beery in 1934's "Viva Villa!". Beery bore an uncanny resemblance to the real Pancho Villa, and by all accounts his portrayal is historically quite accurate, although the movie itself isn't. While overall this film is better than Beery's, the miscasting of Yul Brynner as Villa is difficult to overcome, and Robert Mitchum's sleepwalking through his role as an American soldier of fortune caught up in the Mexican revolution doesn't help, either. The two best performances in the film are Charles Bronson as Villa's right-hand man and chief executioner Rodolfo Fierro (Bronson accurately plays him as a man who can murder dozens of people with almost no thought about it; the real Fierro was even more of a butcher than he's shown to be here, and is known to have personally murdered hundreds of people) and Herbert Lom as the murderous Gen. Victoriano Huerta, and although Lom plays him as a sophisticated James Bond-ish Eurotrash villain than the semi-literate Indian and psychopathic killer that Huerta really was, it's still an effective job. The action set pieces are extremely well done and exciting, especially a rebel charge through a marsh against a heavily fortified federale position and, as has been previously mentioned, the film's soundtrack is truly outstanding. So even though Brynner may not be anyone's idea of Pancho Villa, the movie overall is worth a watch.
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