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Viva Zapata! (1952)

The story of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, who led a rebellion against the corrupt, oppressive dictatorship of president Porfirio Diaz in the early 20th century.

Director:

Elia Kazan

Writer:

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

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 »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Anthony Quinn had played Stanley Kowalski in the road tour of Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire", and some critics thought he was better than Marlon Brando, who had originated the part. None of this was lost on Elia Kazan, who liked to foster competition between his actors if it was appropriate. On set, the competitive Quinn and Brando, who both liked and respected each other, bonded like the brothers they played. Ironically, Kazan had initially proposed Jack Palance, whom he had introduced in his earlier Panic in the Streets (1950), for the role of Zapata. Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck countered by offering Palance the role of Zapata's brother. The unhappy Palance then negotiated himself out of his Fox contract. Ironically, Palance had understudied Quinn in the road company version of "Streetcar," and when he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Sudden Fear (1952), he was beaten by Quinn in "Zapata." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Emiliano Zapata: A strong people is the only way to freedom!
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Olho por Olho (1966) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
transforming
21 November 2005 | by fieldavSee all my reviews

First of all-you can get a copy of it from Corinth Video, New York City. When I saw that Tyrone Power was originally picked to play Zapata I almost fell out of my chair. An inch deep Hollywood pretty boy playing this role? It would have been ghastly. He could never have carried it off with Kazan directing and against the great other actors. Maybe he could have strutted around with a knife in his teeth and brandishing two pistols. It took a dramatic actor like Brando to probe the range of feelings, conflicts, various personalities: from bumpkin to leader, from uncertainty to decisiveness, from vulnerability to strength, the growth from peasant to leader. Brando was a tour De force. I have seen this movie 100 times. It never stops evoking new elements and dimensions. It still hasn't gone stale in spite of some melodrama here and there. I began to see a sea change somewhere in the middle, maybe when he had to do politics - maybe the scene in President Madero's office when he was offered the ranch, or Eufemio's going bad, from upbeat anthem to a steady decline to tragic destruction, and that causes me sadness. I was a kid when I saw it first and it transformed my life. An exposition of what it is to be a decent man trying to do the right thing, thinking of his people in a world of cynicism and greed. One interesting thing for me was how the two people closest to Zapata acted out as his alter egos: Pablo the conciliator and peace lover, and Eufemio as the angry shoot first and ask questions later guy. Unfortunately, I identified too much with Fernando, the soulless operator dedicated to "nothing but logic". He is so necessary as the "observer", namely us - the cold modern man in contrast to all that humanness and passion. That this movie is not a docudrama about events or a man's life is irrelevant -it is an allegory. One of Hollywood's greatest but lost in the dust. Maybe it was too close to the human heart for Hollywood. It could never be made today.


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