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Viva Zapata! (1952)

3:01 | Trailer
The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Díaz in the early 20th century.


Elia Kazan


John Steinbeck
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »





Complete credited cast:
Marlon Brando ... Emiliano Zapata
Jean Peters ... Josefa Zapata
Anthony Quinn ... Eufemio Zapata
Joseph Wiseman ... Fernando Aguirre
Arnold Moss ... Don Nacio
Alan Reed ... Pancho Villa
Margo ... Soldadera
Harold Gordon Harold Gordon ... Francisco Indalecio Madero
Lou Gilbert Lou Gilbert ... Pablo
Frank Silvera ... Victoriano Huerta
Florenz Ames ... Senor Espejo
Richard Garrick ... Old General
Fay Roope Fay Roope ... Diaz
Mildred Dunnock ... Senora Espejo


In 1909, Emiliano Zapata, a well-born but penniless Mexican Mestizo from the southern state of Morelos, comes to Mexico City to complain that their arable land has been enclosed, leaving them only in the barren hills. His expressed dissatisfaction with the response of the President Diaz puts him in danger, and when he rashly rescues a prisoner from the local militia he becomes an outlaw. Urged on by a strolling intellectual, Fernando, he supports the exiled Don Francisco Madero against Diaz, and becomes the leader of his forces in the South as Francisco 'Pancho' Villa is in the North. Diaz flees, and Madero takes his place; but he is a puppet president, in the hands of the leader of the army, Huerta, who has him assassinated when he tries to express solidarity for the men who fought for him. Zapata and Villa return to arms, and, successful in victory, seek to find a leader for the country. Unwillingly, Zapata takes the job, but, a while later, he responds to some petitioners from his ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A BANDIT WHO BECAME A LEGEND!...Roaring Story of Mexico's Tiger on a White Horse!


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Did You Know?


"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 3, 1952 with Jean Peters reprising her film role. See more »


When Zapata rides away across the plaza after a confrontation, his pistol falls out of his holster without his noticing. See more »


Emiliano Zapata: Madero!
Pablo: Yes, you remember I read to you about him.
Emiliano Zapata: You promised to teach me to read.
Pablo: I will, I will.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: Mexico-1909

A delegation of Indians from the State of Morelos have come to the Capital for an audience with their President, Porfirio Diaz. See more »


References Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

User Reviews

Excellent recounting about the Mexican revolution with a terrific Brando
6 March 2007 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

The picture chronicles the Zapata life from his humble upbringing , he played a leading role in the Mexican 1910-1920 revolution until his death . A peasant delegation from Morelos state go to visit Mexican President Porfirio Diaz when Zapata (Marlon Brando) reclaims their rights .Then Zapata along with his brother Eufemio (Anthony Quinn) back to Francisco Madero (Harold Gordon) , though resident in Texas , against Porfirio Diaz . Pancho Villa (Alan Reed) in the northern Mexico and Zapata in the southern fight against Porfirio's Army winning many victories in the field . For a long time Zapata , who seemed in line for leadership of Mexico , enjoyed the sympathetic interest of the United States . Finally, Madero rises to power but General Huertas (Frank Silvera)conspires against him . Huertas rules over , and murders President Francisco Madero . Then Zapata again takes arms against Huertas and he along with Pancho Villa getting the victory in Mexico city and an eventual Presidency but he finishes leaving as a disillusioned politician . But his main enemies , the President Carranza and Obregon will fight for the power against the Villa's revolutionaries .The movie portrays until his early death , but he was assassinated when gunmen ambushed him , like it is well developed in the spectacular final shots , and it is subsequently copied at ¨Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid¨ (by George Roy Hill with Newman and Redford).

The movie is an exciting retelling of Zapata's Mexican campaign , suffering and love , with broadened focus on the power abuse .The film gets influence from classic Westerns until famous Russian directors (Eisenstein , Pudovkin). Marlon Brando chewing up scenery in the title role in one of his best performances as the hot-tempered , simple-minded revolutionary.

Anthony Quinn won a deserved Oscar for his well portrayed secondary role as rough brother named Eufemio . Besides , powerful and insightful characterization by remainder supporting cast . Based on John Steinbeck's screenplay , plays with the facts , but overall , the movie is entertaining and interesting . Sensitive and evocative music by the two composer masters : Alfred Newman and Alex North . The motion picture was magnificently directed by Elia Kazan . It's a masterpiece and unforgettable classic movie for the cinema lovers .

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English | Spanish

Release Date:

22 August 1952 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Beloved Tiger See more »

Filming Locations:

San Ygnacio, Texas, USA See more »


Box Office


$1,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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