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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 2,443 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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Title: And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (TV Movie 2003)

And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (TV Movie 2003) on IMDb 6.6/10

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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:
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Frank Thayer
...
Sam Drebben
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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)
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Raoul Walsh
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Eli Morton
Cosme Alberto ...
Abraham Sanchez
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...
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

At the time of production, this was the most expensive 2-hour television/cable movie ever made, with a budget of over $30 million. See more »

Goofs

Irene Hunt was twenty-two years old in 1914. In the real film, she played one of two sisters (this film shows only Teddy Sampson playing one of them), not Villa's mother. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Featured in The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards (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

 
Who do they think they're fooling?
10 November 2005 | by (Eel Pie Island) – See all my reviews

Five for the entertainment spectacle in this TV movie that idealises Hollywood when it was not even in California and still had its studios in New Jersey, just near the investors in Wall Street. It's a cracking piece of film-making, and the pecuniary motives of the 1914 producers are frankly enough portrayed, plus the cynical motives of Wall Street financiers are mocked, if weakly. The script even admits that the studio sold out the truth in its trashy, commercialised exploitations of the Pancho Villa armed insurgency.

But not another five for the deception that lies within. This film comes with the blithe implication that Hollywood could make such a film today, about insurgents rising up against the property hierarchy, when such a thing is unthinkable. If there existed before World War One a raffish romanticism about remote uprisings, and a willingness to cheek the mainstream media, that spirit is now as departed as the silent picture.

It is as vanished as the archive copies of the original Pancho Villa silent-features, which were doubtless destroyed once the campesinos had been pacified and all trace of Pancho Villa, their hero, could be quietly wiped from the public record, something that happened in Mexico (and doubtless on Wall Street) as the film has the grace to admit.


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