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And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  7 September 2003 (USA)
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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 overview, first billed only:
Frank Thayer
Sam Drebben
Harry Aitken
William Christy Cabanne
Teddy Sampson
William Benton (as Anthony Stewart Head)
Eli Morton
Cosme Alberto ...
Don Luis Terrazas (as Pedro Armendáriz)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Lights. Camera. Revolution.


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Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pancho Villa  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Pedro Armendáriz Jr. who plays Don Luis Terrazas, played Pancho Villa in the Old Gringo (1989) movie, and is the son of Pedro Armendáriz, another Mexican actor who also played Pancho Villa in Mexican movies. See more »


The screen title "May 9, 1914 - New York City" appears over a shot of Times Square. A billboard reads "The Broadway Melody - Metro Goldwyn Mayer". That studio was founded in 1924, and that movie was released in 1929. See more »


Frank Thayer: [Frank Thayer and Teddy Sampson are lying inside a tent after having sex] I've had this scene written in my head from the moment I first lay eyes on you.
Teddy Sampson: Did I do OK? Do you want to try one more take?
Frank Thayer: You sure its not too late?
Teddy Sampson: Ooh, I'm sure not!
[Frank lays on top of her and they continue to have sex]
Frank Thayer: Onward and upward, thats the ticket.
[kisses Frank]
Frank Thayer: That's what mom told me.
See more »


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


Performed by Tuna Normalista de Dan Miguel de Allende, Guanajuayo
Courtesy of Discos Imagen
See more »

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User Reviews

To the major studios....take a hint
15 September 2003 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

I did not expect the premise of the movie to work but it did. This story line and the wonderful way it was developed and portrayed on screen is so much missing in the fare presented by the major studios any more. I had to put my book down! Antonio Banderas so thoroughly submerges himself into the character that after awhile he BECAME Pancho Villa. He made Pancho Villa at once hero and villain; resolute and uncertain; stoic and tender. Best of all, there was no attempt to wrap the feature up in a tidy bow at the end.

I have my TIVO permanently locked on HBO.

I am curious about the original film - The Life of General Villa (1914) - in which IMDB shows only two performers, Pancho Villa and Raoul Walsh.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Revolutionary Hero or Fearsome Dictator? BarrisFan1201
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