Viva Zapata! (1952)

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    There are 2 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by lasbugas.

    • Viva Zapata! (1952)




      Plot Summary
      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

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

      Elia Kazan

      Writing Credits
      John Steinbeck
      Edgecumb Pinchon ... (uncredited)

      Darryl F. Zanuck ... producer

      Alex North

      Joseph MacDonald ... (as Joe MacDonald)

      Anthony Quinn was very disappointed when Marlon Brando was cast as Emiliano Zapata
      - he thought that with his Latin appearance, he would have been a better choice.
      To solve the argument, both actors competed to see which of them could urinate
      furthest into the Rio Grande. Quinn lost the bet, but he won an Oscar
      for the best supporting actor as Zapata's brother.

      Marlon Brando was reportedly involved in a string of stunts during filming.
      On location in Texas, he shot off a string of firecrackers in a hotel lobby,
      serenaded Jean Peters from a treetop at three in the morning,
      horrified cast and crew by playing dead for several minutes following
      the hail of gunfire that ends Zapata's life, and told visiting reporters
      that he once ate grasshoppers and gazelle eyes.

      Anthony Quinn won his Oscar for this film on the same night that his father-in-law
      Cecil B. DeMille won the award for Best Picture for The Greatest Show on Earth (1952).

      Marilyn Monroe tried and failed to obtain a part in this picture,
      presumably due to Darryl F. Zanuck's lack of faith in her ability,
      both as an actress and as a box office draw.

      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 Zapara'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."

      According to Elia Kazan's autobiography "A Life" (1988), John Steinbeck would whittle
      while they sat in the wood shop of Steinbeck's New York townhouse writing the script.
      The two developed a deep and enduring friendship during the project.

      The cast includes the original voice of Fred Flintstone, Alan Reed, and his successor, Henry Corden.
      Though they share no scenes, this is nonetheless the only feature film in which both appear.

      Both Anthony Quinn and Marlon Brando had played Stanley Kowalski
      in "A Streetcar Named desire" shortly before they were teamed here.

      Film debut of Henry Silva.

      Film debut of Frank DeKova.

      Tyrone Power was the studio's original choice to play Emiliano Zapata.

      Before Jean Peters landed the role, Julie Harris was set to play Josefa Zapata.

      Richard Conte campaigned for the lead in 1949, when the picture was then titled "Beloved Tiger".

      "Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on November 3, 1952
      with Jean Peters reprising her film role.

      Marlon Brando was tested for the lead role in early 1949.

      Senator John McCain's favorite movie

      Marlon Brando, among other actors, appears in brown-face.

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

      When Emeliano is thrown on the slab in the middle of town
      so all could see what happens to revolutionaries at the end
      of the movie Brando's stomach could be seen heavily breathing even though he is supposed to be dead.

      Revealing mistakes
      Emiliano Zapata's 'dead body' is heavily breathing and changes positions between different shots.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, Durango, Colorado, USA
      Roma, Texas, USA
      Stage 6, 20th Century Fox Studios - 10201 Pico Blvd., Century City, Los Angeles, California, USA
      Rio Grande City, Texas, USA
      New Mexico, USA
      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Viva Zapata! is a 1952 biographical film starring
      Marlon Brando and directed by Elia Kazan.
      The screenplay was written by John Steinbeck,
      using as a guide Edgcomb Pinchon's book, Zapata the Unconquerable.
      The cast includes Jean Peters and, in an Academy Award-winning performance, Anthony Quinn.

      The movie is a fictionalized account of the life of Mexican Revolutionary Emiliano Zapata
      from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death.

      To give the film as authentic a feel as possible, Kazan and producer Darryl F. Zanuck
      studied the numerous photographs that were taken during the revolutionary years,
      the period between 1909 and 1919 when Zapata led the fight to restore land taken
      from the people during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz.

      Kazan was especially impressed with the Agustin Casasola collection of photographs
      and he attempted to duplicate their visual style in the film.
      Kazan also acknowledged the influence of Roberto Rossellini's Paisan.

      User Review

      Pure Hollywood
      Author: johno-21 from United States
      13 March 2006

      JOHNO wrote:

      This is a pretty good 1950's action/drama considering Elia Kazan had never before or never would again direct an action movie. It's almost like a Western except the setting is the second decade of the 20th century between the years of 1910-1919. Marlon Brando is Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination.

      Brando is paired once again with Kazan who directed him the year before in A Streetcar Named Desire and would pair with him a couple of years later in Brando's Oscar winning performance in On the Waterfront. This film is well photographed by Mexican born cinematographer Joe Macdonald who should have been nominated for an Oscar but wasn't. In a rare role for Mexican born Anthony Quinn to be actually playing a Mexican as Eufernio Zapata for which he won the Academy Award for Best supporting Actor for 1952. Quinn's first nomination of four in his career and his first win of two. The film received three other nominations for Art Direction, Music and for it's John Steinbeck written Screenplay. This film is pure Hollywood however and is largely a fictional portrayal of actual events in it's romanticizing tale of one of Mexico's most beloved heroes Zapata. Despite the story by Steinbeck the dialog is weak. It's a good movie but Kazan is out of his element here, Brando is miscast and Steinbeck is lazy. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10
      Best Wishes
      London- England