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Viva Villa! (1934)

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 »
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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:

20,000 flaming headlines leap to life as this epic drama flashes across the screens of the nation! See more »

Genres:

Biography | Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

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

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
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

The film drew a lot of adverse publicity in France, since one of the military medals worn by the character of Gen. Pascal closely resembled the Legion of Honour, France's highest accolade. MGM had to apologize for bringing the medal into disrepute and David O. Selznick was forced to send a memo to the art and props departments of the studio telling them to design medals more along the lines of Czarist Russia. See more »

Goofs

The film strongly implies that Pancho Villa took Mexico City by himself, and then made himself president. In fact, the city was taken in a three-pronged attack by Villa's forces and those of two other revolutionary generals, Emiliano Zapata and Venustiano Carranza. After the city was taken and Huerta fled, the three generals ruled together, although Zapata soon went home and Carranza eventually forced Villa out of power, defeating his forces and ruling Mexico by himself. See more »

Quotes

Bugle boy: [plays the "battle charge" on the bugle, and stops]
Pancho Villa: Play some more!
Bugle boy: That is all I know.
Pancho Villa: [laughs] That's okay. That's all you'll need!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

The Wedding March
(1843) (uncredited)
from "A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op.61"
Written by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Played on a gramophone at two of Pancho Villa's weddings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Wallace Beery Invades Mexico
2 October 2010 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

After witnessing his father being whipped to death, grown-up Mexican bandit Wallace Beery (as Pancho Villa) becomes his country's revolutionary war hero. Boozy reporter Stuart Irwin (as Johnny Sykes) and peace-loving liberator Henry B. Walthall (as Francisco Madero) are important allies. Nurturing a taste for ladies and liquor, Mr. Beery marries Spanish spitfire Katherine De Mille (the real-life daughter of director Cecil B., as Rosita Morales). Later, Beery is tempted to add beautiful Fay Wray (as Teresa) to his harem.

The Mexican armies sing "La Cucaracha, la Cucaracha!" while future "East Side Kid" David Durand plays the bugle.

Beery's vanquished rival Joseph Schildkraut (as General Pascal) suffers a torturous fate, but dastardly Donald Cook (as Don Felipe) gets a last shot. MGM production values are high for this hammy, heavy-handed star vehicle, wisely introduced as "fictionalized." With "box office" Beery at the helm, "Viva Villa!" was a hit. It won critical acclaim at Venice, where Berry was the festival's "Best Actor". In a brief scene, the real-life son of early movie idol Francis X. Bushman plays a nerdy newspaperman ("Wallace Calloway").

****** Viva Villa! (4/10/34) Jack Conway ~ Wallace Beery, Stuart Irwin, Henry B. Walthall, Donald Cook


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