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And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003)

TV Movie  -   -  Biography | Drama | History  -  7 September 2003 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 2,496 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 10 critic

Hollywood makes a deal with Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa to film his war and recreate his life.

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Frank Thayer
...
Sam Drebben
...
Harry Aitken
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John Reed
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William Christy Cabanne
...
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Teddy Sampson
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William Benton (as Anthony Stewart Head)
...
...
Eli Morton
Cosme Alberto ...
Abraham Sanchez
...
...
Don Luis Terrazas (as Pedro Armendáriz)
...
Priest
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Storyline

Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa (Antonio Banderas) finds himself without adequate funding to finance his war against the military-run government. He also finds himself at odds with the Americans because of the Hearst media empire's press campaign against him. To counter both of these, he sends emissaries to movie producers to convince them to pay to film his progress and the actual battles. Producer D.W. Griffith (Colm Feore) becomes interested and sends Frank Thayer (Eion Bailey) with a film crew to develop film reels. Thayer becomes horrified and fascinated by the bandit. He finds an enigmatic individual that is both ghoulishly brutal and charmingly captivating. The resulting film became the first feature length movie, introducing scores of Americans to the true horrors of war that they had never personally seen. Thayer sold the studios on making the film despite their concerns that no one would sit through a movie longer than 1 hour by convincing them that they could raise the ... Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lights. Camera. Revolution.


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Details

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Release Date:

7 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pancho Villa  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming Life of Villa (1912) a battle between the forces of Pancho Villa and federal troops near Ojinaga, cameraman Charles Rosher was captured by federal soldiers and brought before their commanding general. Rosher thought he was about to be executed as a spy, and things didn't look too good for him until the Mexican general noticed Rosher's Masonic pin in his lapel. The general then gave Rosher the Masonic greeting; it turned out he was a Mason, too. Instead of being shot as a spy, Rosher was treated as a guest, and was later released after the Mexican government made a deal with the American government that allowed their troops to cross into American territory in order to outflank Villa's forces and attack them from the rear. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Pancho Villa makes a remark about Charlie Chaplin. This scene takes place sometime between the end of 1913 and the beginning of 1914. Chaplin made his screen debut in January 1914. In any case, there's no chance that Pancho Villa would have known Chaplin's films, considering that at that time (1914) the future star was just only another Keystone employee. See more »

Quotes

Pancho Villa: [to Frank, in spanish] Cover my ass.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The L Word: Pilot (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Rosalia
Performed by Tuna Normalista de Dan Miguel de Allende, Guanajuayo
Courtesy of Discos Imagen
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User Reviews

 
A live revolution on film wrapped in P.R. for 1914 USA.
7 September 2003 | by (Albany, GA) – See all my reviews

The film had not only good, believable action, but also the thread of underlying concerns in the U.S. at that time of "what might be in it" for the USA. Availability of oil was titillating. The film brought out our country's fascination for the bloody revolution Villa was waging and, at the same time, whether he might be a threat to our own economic interests. The film was about making a film with the backdrop of a genuine revolution going on, and trying to merge some "acting" along with the horrors of live fighting. The "carrot" for Villa was that a film of his efforts, however horrendous, would help make him a hero in the U.S. where some politicians were calling for his pursuit and elimination. D.W. Griffith, the film maker, becomes disillusioned with Villa after his final victory when he shows his viciousness in a blatant manner by personally shooting a grieving widow who tries to physically attack him with her hands. Though this heinous act was caught on film, it is edited in a manner that shows it as an action by the Mexican forces Villa was combating. After all, Villa's "heroism" is at stake here!


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