Pancho Villa (1973)

PG | 92 mins | Comedy-drama | June 1973

Director:

Eugenio Martin

Writer:

Julian Zimet

Producer:

Bernard Gordon

Cinematographer:

Alejandro Ulloa

Editor:

Leigh G. Tallas

Production Designer:

Julio Molina

Production Company:

Granada Films
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HISTORY

The closing credits state that Scotia International Film Distributors, Ltd. copyrighted the film in 1971, but the film was not registered for copyright at the time of its release. However, a videocassette version of the film was registered to Scotia on 11 May 1990, under number PA-463-747. Although Julian Halevy was credited with the screenplay when the film was initially released, Halevy was a pseudonym for blacklisted writer Julian Zimet, whose screen credit was officially restored by the WGA in 1997. The print viewed was dubbed into Spanish. As noted in the closing credits, Pancho Villa was shot in Spain.
       Pancho Villa was one of several films made about Mexican rebel Doroteo Arango Arámbula (1878--1923), more commonly known as Francisco “Pancho” Villa. As shown in the film, Villa did invade the United States at Columbus, NM in 1916. The raid resulted in Gen. John J. Pershing’s year-long unsuccessful mission to bring Villa to justice, which the film lampoons in its closing moments. For more information on Villa and other films on him, please consult the entry for the 1934 M-G-M production, Viva Villa (see below), which starred Wallace Beery, and was directed by Jack ... More Less

The closing credits state that Scotia International Film Distributors, Ltd. copyrighted the film in 1971, but the film was not registered for copyright at the time of its release. However, a videocassette version of the film was registered to Scotia on 11 May 1990, under number PA-463-747. Although Julian Halevy was credited with the screenplay when the film was initially released, Halevy was a pseudonym for blacklisted writer Julian Zimet, whose screen credit was officially restored by the WGA in 1997. The print viewed was dubbed into Spanish. As noted in the closing credits, Pancho Villa was shot in Spain.
       Pancho Villa was one of several films made about Mexican rebel Doroteo Arango Arámbula (1878--1923), more commonly known as Francisco “Pancho” Villa. As shown in the film, Villa did invade the United States at Columbus, NM in 1916. The raid resulted in Gen. John J. Pershing’s year-long unsuccessful mission to bring Villa to justice, which the film lampoons in its closing moments. For more information on Villa and other films on him, please consult the entry for the 1934 M-G-M production, Viva Villa (see below), which starred Wallace Beery, and was directed by Jack Conway. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
3 Apr 1997
p. 7, 19.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Jan 1972.
---
The Times (London)
9 Apr 1972.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Granada Films Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
From a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Focus asst
Focus asst
Stillsman
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
SET DECORATOR
Prop master
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Ward master
Ward mistress
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Sd eff ed
Sd eff created by
Sd supv
Mixing rec
Loc rec
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff supv
Titles and opticals by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Make-up artiste
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Editorial asst
Editorial asst
Unit mgr
Script clerk
Prod asst
Tech consultant for train seq
Unit pub
SOURCES
SONGS
"We All End Up the Same," music by John Cacavas, lyrics by Don Black, sung by Telly Savalas.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Release Date:
June 1973
Premiere Information:
London opening: week of April 1972
Los Angeles opening: 27 June 1973
Production Date:
1971 at Estudios Madrid, Spain
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Technicolor London
Lenses/Prints
Fotofilm Madrid
Duration(in mins):
92
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
Spain, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In early 20th century Mexico, Gen. Goyo is transporting infamous rebel Francisco “Pancho” Villa to his execution when the train is intercepted by Villa’s partner Scotty, a former sailor and American. Back in their stronghold, Villa and Scotty meet with American arms merchant McDermott from the nearby boarder town of Columbus, New Mexico. Under threat of force, local bankers agree to finance Villa’s weapons order with McDermott. A day later, Scotty goes into Columbus to meet McDermott at the hotel where Scotty’s wife Flo works as a piano player. McDermott reveals to Scotty that he has also sold the Mexican Federales arms and is unexpectedly short of materials for Villa. When Scotty angrily reminds McDermott that he has been paid, the dealer suggests Scotty negotiate with the Federales. Later, Scotty joins Flo and a young officer as they attend a movie, but their outing is broken up by a surprise attack on Scotty. Certain that the attempt came from McDermott, Scotty goes to his store, but McDermott feigns ignorance of the attack and insists he can do nothing else regarding the arms. Scotty then calls on Flo in her room, but they are interrupted by another attempt on Scotty, this time by three Federales, whom Scotty kills. He then drags the bodies to McDermott, who agrees to take him to the arms supply but instead takes him to waiting armed men from whom Scotty barely manages to escape. Meanwhile, unknown to either Villa or Scotty, one of Villa’s henchmen, Luis, meets with two of Goyo’s men and agrees to betray his leader in exchange for gold. ... +


In early 20th century Mexico, Gen. Goyo is transporting infamous rebel Francisco “Pancho” Villa to his execution when the train is intercepted by Villa’s partner Scotty, a former sailor and American. Back in their stronghold, Villa and Scotty meet with American arms merchant McDermott from the nearby boarder town of Columbus, New Mexico. Under threat of force, local bankers agree to finance Villa’s weapons order with McDermott. A day later, Scotty goes into Columbus to meet McDermott at the hotel where Scotty’s wife Flo works as a piano player. McDermott reveals to Scotty that he has also sold the Mexican Federales arms and is unexpectedly short of materials for Villa. When Scotty angrily reminds McDermott that he has been paid, the dealer suggests Scotty negotiate with the Federales. Later, Scotty joins Flo and a young officer as they attend a movie, but their outing is broken up by a surprise attack on Scotty. Certain that the attempt came from McDermott, Scotty goes to his store, but McDermott feigns ignorance of the attack and insists he can do nothing else regarding the arms. Scotty then calls on Flo in her room, but they are interrupted by another attempt on Scotty, this time by three Federales, whom Scotty kills. He then drags the bodies to McDermott, who agrees to take him to the arms supply but instead takes him to waiting armed men from whom Scotty barely manages to escape. Meanwhile, unknown to either Villa or Scotty, one of Villa’s henchmen, Luis, meets with two of Goyo’s men and agrees to betray his leader in exchange for gold. Goyo’s men are captured leaving Luis, then taken before Villa who immediately shoots them. Scotty then returns to report his failure to retrieve the weapons and suggest that they conduct several hold-ups to regain the money paid to McDermott. Villa advises Scotty not to think like a common bandit and do something grander, such as an attack on the American side of the boarder, which would generate great notoriety. Scotty then advises harassing the American military camp near Columbus, which is run by the obstinate and eccentric Col. Wilcox. Villa is delighted by the proposal, and the next day, he, Scotty and their men head off for the 13th United States Cavalry’s camp. Upon seeing Villa approach the boarder military tower, the guards seek orders from the duty officer, Sgt. White, who responds indifferently. When Villa hails the guards, identifies himself and demands their surrender, they fire on him but many are killed by his men. As Villa and his army ride over the camp's wire fencing, White’s aid, Popowski urges him to clarify the guard’s situation. Unable to raise the men on the radio, White sends Popowski to consult with Wilcox, but the colonel has caused an uproar in the dining hall when a fly lands in his soup. On the road to the camp, Villa and his men commandeer a new automobile to make their attack in style. At the camp, White orders Popowski to investigate the guard tower, but Wilcox intercepts him and demands that Popowski take his uniform slacks back to his quarters to be properly pressed. Wilcox and several officers then go into Columbus on military business and board a special train. A little later, Villa, Scotty and their men attack the remaining troops at the camp and after a brief skirmish, the soldiers surrender and are taken hostage, then placed into the Columbus jail over the protests of the sheriff. Villa and Scotty then go to McDermott’s shop, where the forewarned arms dealer’s men ambush them, but they shoot their way out and track McDermott to the church. As he tries to stop his men from looting, Villa learns them that a special train bearing Goyo will be stopping in Columbus for ten minutes. After agreeing to hold it up, Villa returns to the church and impatiently shoots McDermott to put an end to a brawl he was having with Scotty. Villa then treats Scotty and Flo to dinner at the hotel, as an officer, Lt. Eager, escapes from jail and heads back to the camp. Attempting to reconcile the bickering spouses over dinner, Villa abruptly collapses, complaining of chest pains. Convinced that he is near death, Villa bids farewell to his men, then in private asks Scotty to carry on his revolution. The town doctor later examines Villa and discovers he has made himself ill through his excessively filthy undergarments, but agrees to say nothing to Villa’s anxious men. Meanwhile, Luis takes the opportunity to send assassins to Villa’s room to murder him, but Villa surprises and kills them. Reviving, Villa returns to his men, and the next day they ambush the train with Goyo and slaughter the military guard. To Villa’s amazement, however, he discovers Goyo dead in his casket, having suffered a fatal heart attack several days earlier. Outraged to be robbed of the opportunity to kill his enemy, Villa grows despondent at having his successful foray into America reduced merely to another bandit raid. When Flo reads to Villa a newspaper article chronicling his stunning assault on the cavalry camp, however, Villa recovers and declares that he will stay in America and plan another attack. Villa then festoons Goyo’s train with Mexican flags and sets off. Meanwhile, Eager relates to Wilcox Villa’s presence in Columbus. Learning of Villa’s takeover of Goyo’s train, Wilcox enthusiastically arranges a military train to intercept him. On the train soon after, Eager anxiously reports to Wilcox that the military and bandit trains are on a head-on collision course, but Wilcox pays no heed. On Villa’s train, Luis and his remaining supporters make another attack on Villa, but are thrown off the racing train by the swaggering leader. Continuing to disregard his soldiers’ warnings, Wilcox orders his train to speed up, and as the two trains exchange whistles, several men from each side hurl themselves off their trains before they collide. Some time later, Wilcox, in a full body cast, receives the Medal of Honor from Gen. Pershing who vows to capture the surviving, elusive Villa. A few days afterward, Villa, disguised as a potter, chats with Pershing on his train then, with Scotty’s help, disconnects the general’s car from the train engine. +

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

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