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This "Passing Parade" episode tells the tale of Francisco Madero who overthrew President Porfirio Díaz of Mexico. His ambitions were to give the peasants better protection under the law from mistreatment by the rich landowners and the military. He quickly made a number of errors in judgment from which he could not recover. This little film explains his errors. When he realized he was failing miserably he made a decision to die a martyr. The story is better told in the movies about Villa and Zapata. His death precipitated the rise of these revolutionaries. The film is bookended by views of El Zócalo Square to give it a Mexico flavor.
Madero of Mexico (1942)
*** (out of 4)
The thirty-seventh episode in MGM and John Nesbitt's Passing Parade series takes a look at Don Francisco Madero, perfectly played by actor Paul Guilfoyle. The film opens up with a disclaimer that "some" of the history has been changed in order for the spirit of Guilfoyle to be told but we see him as a rich land owner who decides to fight the government so that poor people will be able to live in a land of democracy. Villa and Zapata are probably better known due to their feature films but this short manages to be pretty entertaining even if all three pretty much featured the same story. The main reason to watch this film is for the performance of Guilfoyle. He was a pretty well known character actor in his time and he perfectly captures the spirit of his character even though he doesn't get a single line of dialogue. Like the other films in this series, we only get the narration by Nesbitt to tell the story. The story itself is pretty familiar stuff as we get the lone man willing to stand up for what he believes to be right.
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