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Viva Villa! (1934)

Passed | | Biography, Western | 27 April 1934 (USA)
After enacting revenge on the overseer who murdered his father, Pancho Villa becomes a bandit, earning the respect of the poor by brutally attacking the wealthy.

Directors:

Jack Conway, Howard Hawks (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

Ben Hecht (screen play), Edgecumb Pinchon (suggested by the book by) (as Edgcumb Pinchon) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Wallace Beery ... Pancho Villa
Leo Carrillo ... Rodolfo Fierro (as Sierra)
Fay Wray ... Teresa
Donald Cook ... Don Felipe de Castillo
Stuart Erwin ... Jonny Sykes
Henry B. Walthall ... Francisco Madero
Joseph Schildkraut ... Gen. Pascal
Katherine DeMille ... Rosita Morales (as Katherine de Mille)
George E. Stone ... Emilio Chavito
Phillip Cooper Phillip Cooper ... Pancho Villa - as a Boy
David Durand ... Bugle Boy
Frank Puglia ... Pancho Villa's Father
Francis X. Bushman Jr. ... Wallace Calloway
Adrian Rosley Adrian Rosley ... Alphonso Mendoza
Henry Armetta ... Alfredo Mendosa
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Storyline

In this fictionalized biography, young Pancho Villa takes to the hills after killing an overseer in revenge for his father's death. In 1910, he befriends American reporter Johnny Sykes. Then a meeting with visionary Francisco Madero transforms Villa from an avenging bandit to a revolutionary general. To the tune of 'La Cucaracha,' his armies sweep Mexico. After victory, Villa's bandit-like disregard for human life forces Madero to exile him. But Madero's fall brings Villa back to raise the people against a new tyrant... Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A mighty saga of amazing. romantic adventures...with Beery as you love him...blustering, ruthless but with the lovable heart of a boy...swaggering through revolution and revelry...galloping to the thrilling cry...VIVA VILLA! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | Mexico

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 April 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Viva Villa See more »

Filming Locations:

San Marcos, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,017,400 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,109,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Original director Howard Hawks quit the production because he felt it wasn't safe. Gun-toting revolutionaries prowled the set, safety standards were lax and a suicide took place in front of the director. Hawks lasted ten weeks and was only too happy to leave. See more »

Goofs

President Madero is shown as being overthrown in a coup by Gen. Pascal, who then shoots him. In reality, there was no such general named Pascal; Madero was assassinated on the orders of Gen. Victoriano Huerta, who did overthrow him but who did not personally shoot him. See more »

Quotes

Jonny Sykes: [typing] Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of Jonny Sykes.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the original version of this film, during the scene in which Wallace Beery tries to rape Fay Wray and she shoots him in the arm, Beery horsewhips her after she begins laughing hysterically at him. The whipping is shown only by their shadows on the wall. After the Production Code went into effect, this scene was edited, and it is the edited version that was officially available for years. In 2015, the scene was restored, and was reinstated in the Warner Archive Collection DVD. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood: The Selznick Years (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Madre Mia
(1934) (uncredited)
Written by Herbert Stothart
Lyrics by Henry H. Tobias
Sung by uncredited woman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
It ain't really true then again it ain't really a lie.
6 February 2004 | by raskimonoSee all my reviews

The life of Mexican rebel and maverick Pancho Villa is brought to the screen is in this highly fictional but yet log-line or plot points accurate story. This is clear to anyone because the opening has one of those disclaimers that states that though the story is true, the movie has fictionalized certain scenes and scenarios but is in essence a true portrait. Whatever! That said, despite unexpected tonal shifts (Howard Hawks was the original director before Jack Conway was brought in and re-shot a lot of his footage. It makes me wonder how the new Exorcist movie that Renny Harlin is reshooting will play) the film is a touching portrait of a man of the people who could never lead a nation. It does not patronize the dastardly or generally inhumane tactics of Villa. As far as Villa was concerned, it is war and one must vanquish the enemies completely. Take no prisoners was his approach. It has the typical, rotten scoundrel and bandit to careful redemption of the soul arc but is handled atypical which is a plus. Beery, one of the biggest stars Hollywood ever produced is solid in the role and should have gotten an Oscar nomination. Directing is solid except for sudden comic ouvres among the chaos stopping the movie from achieving rich resonance but overall enabling it to still work. Sets are huge, action sequences are passable and scenarios and dialogue are either very good or cliched in certain respects. But I think the ending of the movie has one of the best written scenes and final lines I've ever heard. I won't spoil it but it lets you know that what you've seen and read about is essentially a myth and legend and that's what people choose to remember and live on. Kinda like the ending of the movie Big Fish.


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