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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 2,567 users  
Reviews: 31 user | 9 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:
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Frank Thayer
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Sam Drebben
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Harry Aitken
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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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Eli Morton
Cosme Alberto ...
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Don Luis Terrazas (as Pedro Armendáriz)
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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

Larry Gelbart's final TV writing project. 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: [after hearing a gunshot] Sometimes justice can be loud.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Tierra Mestiza
Written by Gerardo Tamez
Perforrmed by Los Toenegritas
Courtesy of Directóra del Toenegre
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User Reviews

 
Would the REAL Pancho Villa please stand up?
22 May 2007 | by (Adelaide, South Australia) – See all my reviews

Considering that this was made for TV, it is one strange take on the life of a 'man who would be king', and deserves a much wider viewing audience that it may have attracted.

Antonio Banderas is a much underrated actor - partially because he seems to accept any role that comes his way - and this should indicate to the harshest critic that he is most capable! Much as Robin Hood and, here in Australia, Ned Kelly, are revered as 'outlaws with a conscience', Pancho Villa is perceived as a folk hero. I hope this film dispels THAT particular notion. He was a self-serving bandit with a huge ego and, as the film shows, not above killing the 'locals' to further his grandiose schemes.

Banderas makes a fine fist of what is, essentially, a portrait of a seemingly-complex yet simple man seduced by the notion of Hollywood stardom. The irony, of course, is that, these days, anyone who appears on the screen (silver or no) is perceived as a 'star'.

Villa is presented as one in a long line of anti-heroes who find themselves fighting an unjust regime - but essentially just as brutal.

Overall a charmer of a film. Definitely worth more than one viewing.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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