Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa (Antonio Banderas) finds himself without adequate funding to finance his war against the military-run government. He also finds himself at odds with the Americans because of the Hearst media empire's press campaign against him. To counter both of these, he sends emissaries to movie producers to convince them to pay to film his progress and the actual battles. Producer D.W. Griffith (Colm Feore) becomes interested and sends Frank Thayer (Eion Bailey) with a film crew to develop film reels. Thayer becomes horrified and fascinated by the bandit. He finds an enigmatic individual that is both ghoulishly brutal and charmingly captivating. The resulting film became the first feature length movie, introducing scores of Americans to the true horrors of war that they had never personally seen. Thayer sold the studios on making the film despite their concerns that no one would sit through a movie longer than 1 hour by convincing them that they could raise the ...Written by
John Sacksteder <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the battle of Torreon, after Villa's troops retreat, and the Federales stand down, one of the scenes has obviously flipped (reversed) film. The Mauser rifle that the soldier is staring down is shown from the right side, but it is in fact the left side of the weapon. See more »
A live revolution on film wrapped in P.R. for 1914 USA.
The film had not only good, believable action, but also the thread of underlying concerns in the U.S. at that time of "what might be in it" for the USA. Availability of oil was titillating. The film brought out our country's fascination for the bloody revolution Villa was waging and, at the same time, whether he might be a threat to our own economic interests. The film was about making a film with the backdrop of a genuine revolution going on, and trying to merge some "acting" along with the horrors of live fighting. The "carrot" for Villa was that a film of his efforts, however horrendous, would help make him a hero in the U.S. where some politicians were calling for his pursuit and elimination. D.W. Griffith, the film maker, becomes disillusioned with Villa after his final victory when he shows his viciousness in a blatant manner by personally shooting a grieving widow who tries to physically attack him with her hands. Though this heinous act was caught on film, it is edited in a manner that shows it as an action by the Mexican forces Villa was combating. After all, Villa's "heroism" is at stake here!
8 of 10 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this