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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Release Date:

7 September 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Pancho Villa  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The actual contract that Pancho Villa signed with Frank N. Thayer and the Mutual Film Company on 5 January 1914 to film the battle of Ojinaga still exists and is in a museum in Mexico City. 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 »


D.W. Griffith: [on Pancho Villa] He's the James Boys, he's Billy the Kid, he's Napoleon all in one.
See more »


Featured in The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (2004) See more »


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

Very entertaining
8 September 2003 | by (Baltimore, Maryland) – See all my reviews

I don't know how historically accurate this film is, although I know the basic plot is correct. This was an entertaining look at Villa's Hollywood escapade, and Banderas' performance is, as usual, believable, funny, horrifying, likable, and despicable. Sometimes all within just a few minutes.

Highly recommended to film history buffs and Antonio Banderas fans!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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