17 user 2 critic

Viva Max (1969)

G | | Comedy | December 1969 (USA)
In the 1960s, a screwy Mexican General and his troops cross into Texas to re-capture the Alamo from the Gringos but they face opposition from the local police, the National Guard and the U.S. State Department.


Jerry Paris


Jim Lehrer (novel) (as James Lehrer), Elliott Baker (screenplay)




Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Ustinov ... General Maximilian Rodrigues De Santos
Pamela Tiffin ... Paula Whitland
Jonathan Winters ... General Billy Joe Hallson
John Astin ... Sergeant Valdez
Keenan Wynn ... General Lacomber
Harry Morgan ... Chief of Police Sylvester
Alice Ghostley ... Hattie
Kenneth Mars ... Dr. Sam Gillison
Ann Morgan Guilbert ... Edna Miller
Bill McCutcheon ... Desmond Miller
Gino Conforti ... Contreras
Christopher Ross Christopher Ross ... Gomez
Larry Hankin ... Romero
Paul Sand ... Moreno
Don Diamond ... Hernandez


When his girlfriend tells him that his men wouldn't follow him to a house of ill repute, Maximilian Rodrigues De Santos, a General in the Mexican Army, decides to perform some great act of heroism. He takes his men over the border into Texas and re-captures the Alamo. This upsets the Texans greatly. The Texas National Guard is sent to retake the mission. Normally, this would be easy, as Max's men have left all of their ammunition back in Mexico, but the State Department insists that no one be killed, and so the National Guard also goes in with unloaded weapons. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Some heroes are born...some are made...some are mistakes See more »




G | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


All unfinished scenes were completed when the company relocated to Rome, Italy. Most of the key scenes needed, that could not be completed in Rome, were those showing the backdrop of the Alamo, filmed by second unit crews in the street. The scenes in front of the Alamo were shot early Sunday mornings, unbeknownst to local authorities. Several locals walking the streets early that morning were startled by police cars, National Guardsmen, and soldiers rushing the Alamo across the Cenotaph Memorial. See more »


Laredo is 146 miles from San Antonio. While Max and Gomez get to San Antonio by car, it's never explained how the rest of the men get there. See more »


General Maximilian Rodrigues De Santos: A friend of mine, a woman, she told me the men do not respect me. She said they would not follow me even into a whorehouse!
Sergeant Valdez: She is wrong, senor. The men would follow you into a whorehouse.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"All persons mentioned in this story are completely fictitious except for: Davy Crockett Col. William B. Travis James Bowie John Wayne and Richard Widmark" is the first credit to appear. See more »


Referenced in American Sexual Revolution (1971) See more »

User Reviews

Incredibly realistic for a 1969 movie!
8 September 2005 | by c382000See all my reviews

What a hoot! Wa-a-a-ay too subtle a depiction of Texas characters for a Scotsman to understand.

Then there's the action: Border crossing? - If only it were this stringent... San Antonio - yep. Mexican Army - Yeah: been there, seen them. State Department characters - figures (in fact, it's rather flattering to our "diplomats".)

Other images: El General riding his horse, while the soldados walk; the "army" riding the bus into San Antonio - PERFECT. John Astin as El Sargente - que bueno!

Then there are the main characters: Peter Ustinov - perfect for the role. Pamela Tiffin - The Baylor coed - exactly as shown.

Thumbs up for Viva Max from a life-long Texan.

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Release Date:

December 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Viva Max! See more »


Box Office


$2,700,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Eastman Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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