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?


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 »


During the battle of Torreon scene, night falls and we see a moon that is half full (1st quarter). The date is given as 30 March 1914, but on that date, the moon was a crescent and would not be half full until several days later on 4 April 1914. 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 »


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


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Perforrmed by Los Toenegritas
Courtesy of Directóra del Toenegre
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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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