Villa!! (1958)

72 mins | Melodrama | October 1958

Director:

James B. Clark

Writer:

Louis Vittes

Producer:

Plato A. Skouras

Cinematographer:

Alex Phillips

Production Designer:

John Mansbridge

Production Company:

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
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HISTORY

The closing cast credits for Villa!! differ in order from the opening credits. Voice-over narration at the close of the film suggests that the people of Mexico will fight until they conquer those who have been unjust to them.
       While in the film Francisco “Pancho” Villa is already a bandito, or outlaw, when he kills the man who raped his sister, the real Villa was only sixteen when he killed a man for molesting his sister. To avoid arrest, Villa fled to the mountains where he became a bandit and laborer. In 1910, revolutionary Francisco Madero convinced Villa to join him in a revolution against then-President Porfirio Díaz. For more information about Villa and the Mexican revolution, see the entry for the 1934 M-G-M film Viva Villa in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 . Villa!! was shot entirely on location in Mexico and was released just after Sierra Baron (see above), with which it shared star Brian Keith and many crew members. ... More Less

The closing cast credits for Villa!! differ in order from the opening credits. Voice-over narration at the close of the film suggests that the people of Mexico will fight until they conquer those who have been unjust to them.
       While in the film Francisco “Pancho” Villa is already a bandito, or outlaw, when he kills the man who raped his sister, the real Villa was only sixteen when he killed a man for molesting his sister. To avoid arrest, Villa fled to the mountains where he became a bandit and laborer. In 1910, revolutionary Francisco Madero convinced Villa to join him in a revolution against then-President Porfirio Díaz. For more information about Villa and the Mexican revolution, see the entry for the 1934 M-G-M film Viva Villa in the AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 . Villa!! was shot entirely on location in Mexico and was released just after Sierra Baron (see above), with which it shared star Brian Keith and many crew members.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Sep 58
p. 3.
Film Daily
9 Sep 58
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
13 Sep 1958.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Feb 1958
p. 29.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Mar 1958
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
10 Sep 58
p. 3.
Los Angeles Times
11 Sep 1958.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
13 Sep 58
p. 976.
New York Times
24 Dec 58.
---
Variety
10 Sep 58
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
Standby dir, Mexico
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir, Mexico
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Film ed
MUSIC
Mus ed
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Crew
Scr supv
Prod mgr, Mexico
SOURCES
MUSIC
"Men, Men, Men," words and music by Lionel Newman and Ken Darby, with additional lyrics by Margia Dean
"Just Between Friends," words and music by Tom Walton and Walter Kent
"A Lonely Kind of Love," words and music by Margia Dean, based on a Mexican folk song.
DETAILS
Release Date:
October 1958
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: 10 September 1958
Production Date:
late February--late March 1958
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
5 September 1958
Copyright Number:
LP12389
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound Recording
Color
De Luxe
Lenses/Prints
CinemaScope lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
72
Length(in feet):
6,451
Countries:
Mexico, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19053
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After freeing peasant prisoners, Mexican bandito and playboy Francisco Pancho Villa and his rebels go to Chihuahua City to celebrate at the White Lady Cabaret, where American singer Julie North charms Villa. Before he is forced to flee approaching federal police, Villa asks Julie to perform in San Pablo, where he and his rebels are stationed. Julie coyly replies that she knows Villa is a rebel whose pockets are filled with stolen gold, but Villa laughingly reminds her he has enough to share. Later, federal police warn mail carrier Posado that Villa would kill him for his last peso, but when Posado, who regards Villa as a friend, meets Villa on the trail, he tells him that a train shipment of gold is arriving nearby the following morning. After giving Posado gold for his help, Villa jokingly warns him that the mountains "are full of banditos." The next day during the train robbery, Villa finds American arms trafficker Bill Harmon among the passengers. Bill explains that he is a prisoner accompanied by a police guard, who then pulls a gun on Villa. Bill hits the guard, whom Villa's men then kill. In gratitude, Villa allows the American to accompany them as they escape. Although federal police give chase, they are forced to end their pursuit when the banditos cross into the mountain territory, Villa's stronghold where police fear to tread. Arriving at the San Pablo canteen, Villa complains about Mexican singer Manuela's off-key voice and orders Bill to bring Julie to him. Villa then remarks that, despite her lack of talent, Manuela is attractive and decides to marry her, but insists they have their honeymoon first. Villa's chief ... +


After freeing peasant prisoners, Mexican bandito and playboy Francisco Pancho Villa and his rebels go to Chihuahua City to celebrate at the White Lady Cabaret, where American singer Julie North charms Villa. Before he is forced to flee approaching federal police, Villa asks Julie to perform in San Pablo, where he and his rebels are stationed. Julie coyly replies that she knows Villa is a rebel whose pockets are filled with stolen gold, but Villa laughingly reminds her he has enough to share. Later, federal police warn mail carrier Posado that Villa would kill him for his last peso, but when Posado, who regards Villa as a friend, meets Villa on the trail, he tells him that a train shipment of gold is arriving nearby the following morning. After giving Posado gold for his help, Villa jokingly warns him that the mountains "are full of banditos." The next day during the train robbery, Villa finds American arms trafficker Bill Harmon among the passengers. Bill explains that he is a prisoner accompanied by a police guard, who then pulls a gun on Villa. Bill hits the guard, whom Villa's men then kill. In gratitude, Villa allows the American to accompany them as they escape. Although federal police give chase, they are forced to end their pursuit when the banditos cross into the mountain territory, Villa's stronghold where police fear to tread. Arriving at the San Pablo canteen, Villa complains about Mexican singer Manuela's off-key voice and orders Bill to bring Julie to him. Villa then remarks that, despite her lack of talent, Manuela is attractive and decides to marry her, but insists they have their honeymoon first. Villa's chief henchman López gives him a bag of gold as the "marriage settlement" which he hands to an eager Manuela. While a flamenco dancer entertains the crowd, the elderly Juan Garcia, a servant from Villa's family hacienda, announces that Villa's mother is dying. After Villa and bandito Cabo leave for the hacienda, López, suspecting Juan Garcia of lying, holds his feet over hot coals until the old man admits that fifty federal police are guarding the home. While López and others rush to warn them, Villa and Cabo realize they are headed for a trap when they find the roads to the town empty. Villa's sister Marianna finds them at her and Villa's childhood hideout and tells Villa their mother has already died. Surrounded by federal police, Villa and Cabo retreat just as López and his men engage the police in a shootout. Meanwhile, Bill arrives at the White Lady at the same time as Julie's flirtatious song prompts a brawl between the ranchers. Bill joins the brawl, and after winning the fight, Julie invites him to her dressing room where they reminisce about their affair in St. Louis five years earlier. Julie then accepts Villa's offer in hopes of resuming her relationship with Bill and returns with him to San Pablo accompanied by her young orphan friend Pajarito. That night, after she sings a crowd-pleasing number at the canteen, Julie joins Villa and Bill. When Villa expresses a desire to marry Julie, Bill reminds Villa he was married last week, but Villa is nonchalant about having several wives. In a moment alone with Julie, Bill suggests that stolen pesos are buying her love, prompting the singer to slap him. Days later, businessman Don Alfonso orders the colonel to lead his men against Villa and his rebels, suggesting that the army kill villagers in the lowlands to lure Villa out of hiding to rescue them. Meanwhile, Don Octavio, a Mexican officer who is Alfonso's son, corners Marianna and rapes her. Despite the horrendous news that the Mexican army is burning small villages, Villa knows he cannot save the peasants with merely twenty-five men and decides instead to seek revenge by raiding the wealthy haciendas which have been left unguarded by the federal police. After Villa and his men leave San Pablo, Julie asks Bill why he left her in St. Louis. Bill maintains that he is a "nobody," not worthy of her attention and fearful that they cannot risk angering Villa. At the first raid, Villa kills Alfonso, who was once his master, and forces Octavio to marry his sister at gunpoint. After announcing that his sister's honor is restored, Villa orders Octavio to dig his own grave after which López kills him. Soon more men join Villa's army, while back in San Pablo, Julie and Bill rekindle their love and make plans to flee together. Learning of revolutionary leader Francisco Madero, Villa seeks the rebel's hideout and offers his help, but the well-educated Madero accuses him of stealing and womanizing. Villa claims that the gold he gives the peasants makes them feel more like men instead of slaves. Madero asks, "Does the gold make them free?" but Villa offers to join forces with Madero to overthrow the government and bring justice to the peasants. Julie and Pajarito join Villa as he rides to Castillo, the captain of Madero's army, who fearfully relinquishes his post to Villa after the latter suggests a duel to decide who will lead. That night at camp, Bill promises Julie that they will flee when the rebels battle for a key railway center the next day. In the morning, as Villa's forces face the Mexican army's automatic weapons during the raid, Julie and Bill hear the repeated gunfire and realize Villa is being slaughtered. Despite Julie's pleas, Bill returns to Villa, who sends Bill and dozens of his men to scale the town's walls and wait in hiding until Villa's forces confront the army on horseback. When the army retaliates, Villa's secret forces ambush them from behind. The rebels are victorious, although Bill is wounded and dozens of men are killed. After Villa condemns the cowards among his men to be shot, the now celebrated leader and general orders his men to take Julie and Bill to the border, suggesting that he can find a woman other than Julie. Seeing the couple off, Villa vows to fight more battles in the name of the Mexican people. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.