Villa Rides (1968)

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    • Villa Rides (1968)




      Plot Summary
      Pulled into the Mexican Revolution by his own greed, Texas gunrunner & pilot Lee Arnold joins bandit-turned-patriot Pancho Villa & his band of dedicated men in a march across Mexico battling the Colorados & stealing women's hearts as they go. But each has a nemesis among his friends: Arnold is tormented by Fierro, Villa's right-hand-man; and Villa must face possible betrayal by his own president's naiveté.
      Written by Steve83

      Yul Brynner ... Pancho Villa
      Robert Mitchum ... Lee Arnold
      Maria Grazia Buccella ... Fina (as Grazia Buccella)
      Charles Bronson ... Rodolfo Fierro
      Herbert Lom Herbert Lom ...
      General HuertaRobert Viharo ...
      Frank Wolff ... Ramirez
      Alexander Knox ... President Madero
      Robert Carricart ... Don Luis (as Bob Carricart)
      Andrés Monreal ... Captain Herrera
      Fernando Rey ... Fuentes
      Julio Peña ... General
      José María Prada ... Major
      Regina de Julián ... Lupita
      Antoñito Ruiz ... Juan (as Antonio Ruiz)
      Jill Ireland ... Girl in Restaurant
      Diana Lorys ... Emilita
      Rock Brynner ... Villaista (uncredited)
      and many more...

      Buzz Kulik

      Writing Credits
      Robert Towne ... (screenplay) and
      Sam Peckinpah ... (screenplay)
      William Douglas Lansford ... (adaptation) (novel)
      Ted Richmond ... producer

      Maurice Jarre

      Jack Hildyard ... director of photography

      This is the first movie where Charles Bronson appears with his trademark mustache.

      Robert Mitchum did not get along with Yul Brynner during filming.
      He later said he could not understand why Charles Bronson was famous.

      First movie to feature real-life husband and wife Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland.

      According to Producer Norbert Saada's interview in documentary "Once Upon A Time Sergio Leone", Italian director Sergio Leone was offered to direct, but turned it down, because he did not like the cast of Yul Brynner in the title role.

      Yul Brynner was on Variety's list of Top Ten Overpriced Stars in 1968.

      Sam Peckinpah wrote the original script and was set to direct, but Yul Brynner didn't like the script because it made Pancho Villa - a man who had given standing orders to shoot all prisoners - "look like a bad guy". Peckinpah was fired and his script was rewritten by Robert Towne to conform to Brynner's idea of what Villa was like.

      Yul Brynner & Charles Bronson appeared together 8 years before the release of this film in the classic western "The Magnificent Seven".

      One of the extras in the film, playing a Mexican guerrilla girl, is Turkish singer Seyyal Taner. She would later receive notoriety for scoring no points in the 1987 Eurovision song contest.

      The first of three consecutive movies which Robert Mitchum made in Europe. This was filmed in Spain , and he then headed to Italy for Edward Dmytryk's " Anzio" and followed that with a brief stint on Joe Losey 's " Secret Ceremony " in London.

      Robert Mitchum 's son, James , and Yul Brynner's son, Rock, had both been students at Trinity College Dublin in 1966, the year before this movie began filming

      High-tension power wires are visible near Conejos just after Arnold lights his cigar.

      Audio/visual unsynchronised
      A machine gun nest ambushes charging Mexicans by cutting down the first three over a wall with a short burst, but as hordes more come over the wall, the machine gun doesn't fire even though the sounds of it firing continue. The gun obviously jammed but the footage was used anyhow with firing sounds dubbed into it.

      Urbina's mouth says "Yes" at the end of the condolence scene, but there is no sound.

      Character error
      The "boy" who takes Villa's watch calls him "my General", but Villa is a colonel.

      Condition of the paint on the left side of the fuselage near the tail just before the flight training scene.

      Near the end of the movie they show a street scene that is supposed to be El Paso Texas
      but on the side of a building it advertises the Oklahoma Wigwam the newspaper from the book and movie Cimarron.

      In the first flight with Arnold & Fierro, they observe the train approaching a causeway over a valley at speed. They return to Chupadero to report to Villa. The next day, they fly over the train again, which is a few feet past where they saw it before crossing the same valley.

      Revealing mistakes
      Helicopter rotor wash visible in the trees during the Conejos cavalry charges.

      Obvious ropes due to flying hay in the wall scene.

      Lee Arnold is hit in the back, on his left shoulder blade, with the flat side of a rifle butt, yet he fell down as though knocked out and remained unconscious for the rest of the battle.

      Arnold & Villa share a cell, but when they emerge to the firing squad, they appear from different doors on different levels.

      Factual errors
      Repeated reference is made to the "Conejos hanging", but the hanging for which Villa was guilty of inaction happened in Chupadero. There was no hanging shown or implied in Conejos.

      Memorable Quotes

      Filming Locations
      El Casar de Talamanca, Guadalajara, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
      Durango, Mexico
      Chihuahua, Mexico
      Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico
      Sonora, Mexico
      Castle of Santa Cecilia, Guanajuato City, Mexico
      Madrid, Spain

      Watch the Movie

      Best Wishes
      London- England
    • Villa Rides is a 1968 American western war film starring
      Yul Brynner in toupee in the title role and Robert Mitchum
      as an American adventurer and pilot of fortune.
      The supporting cast includes Charles Bronson as Fierro,
      Herbert Lom as Huerta, and Alexander Knox as Madero.

      Sam Peckinpah wrote the original script and was set to direct but Brynner
      didn't like his depiction of Villa as cruel and had Robert Towne rewrite the script
      and sought another director.
      The screenplay is based on the biography by William Douglas Lansford.

      Critical reception
      Film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert, gave the film a mixed review, writing,
      "You would think an interesting picture could be made about Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution,
      a subject most Americans know next to nothing about.
      But we learn nothing except that Pancho was a romantic fellow who had a mustache
      and liked to have people lined up three in a row and killed with one bullet.
      (That scene, incidentally, got a big laugh.) Frankly, this kind of movie is beginning to get to me.
      You can enjoy one, maybe, or two. Or you can enjoy a particularly well done shoot-em-up.
      But the Loop has been filled with one action-adventure after another for the last month,
      and if Villa Rides is not the worst, it is certainly not the best."

      Film critic A. H. Weiler wrote, "Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum, cavalry,
      politicos and even the faint strains of "La Cucaracha" fail to disguise the fact
      that Villa Rides which dashed into the Forum Theater yesterday,
      is simply a sprawling Western and not history.
      As such it incessantly fills the screen with the din of pistols and rifles,
      and assorted warfare and wenching, shot in sharp color on rugged Spanish sites
      that strikingly simulate Mexico.
      Any resemblance to the 1912-1914 campaigns of the bandit-revolutionary
      in the cause of liberal President Madero and against General Huerta is purely coincidental."

      User Review

      Colorful portrayal of the Mexican revolutionary leader , entirely filmed on spectacular Spanish exteriors
      23 October 2012 | by ma-cortes (Santander Spain)


      ma wrote:

      This exciting historical film about the famous Mexican patriot bandit contains a succession of fights , shootouts , pursuits , raids and breathtaking frames . The film chronicles about the title role , the Mexican bandit and guerrilla leader who flourished in the early part of the XX Century with broadened focus on the filming his feats and actual war . As Mexican rebel Pancho Villa (Yul Brynner) lead a revolution against the ¨Colorados¨ ruled by Orozco ; being helped by an American aviator (Robert Mitchum) imprisoned in Mexico . Later on , when President Madero (Alexander Knox) is overthrown , they fight against General Huertas (Herbert Lom).

      This vibrant movie is an uneven rehash of Pancho Villa's legend including epics battles , explosions , chases , spectacular scenes and resulting to be a feast of action for the eyes . Interesting screenplay written by Robert Towne and Sam Peckinpah , based on the novel ¨Pancho Villa¨ by Douglas Lamford . Sam Peckinpah wrote the original script and was set to direct, but Yul Brynner didn't like the script because it made Pancho Villa - a man who had given standing orders to shoot all prisoners - "look like a bad guy" ; Peckinpah was fired and his script was rewritten by Robert Towne to conform to Brynner's idea of what Villa was like . Yul Brynner plays the notorious and rowdy bandit, he is perfect in title role . Robert Mitchum is the flying gunrunner who reluctantly aids Francisco Villa's revolutionary Mexican campaign . And Charles Bronson giving one of the last of his sadistic two-fisted guy portrayal with his trademark mustache , before being promoted to tough big star . Remainder casting is frankly well : Maria Gracia Buzzela as a seducer Mexican woman , Herbert Lom as General Huertas , Frank Wolff as Ramirez , John Ireland and Jill Ireland , this was the first movie to star real-life husband and wife Charles Bronson . Being shot in Spain , there appears great secondaries , some prestigious Spanish actors such as Fernando Rey , Xan Das Bolas , Julio Peña , Jose Canalejas , Jose Maria Prada and seductive Diana Lorys who holds one of the highlights of the movie , when she dances a tempting dance with Yul Brynner . Colorful cinematography by Jack Hildyard , David Lean's usual , and supported by outstanding cameramen as Ricardo Navarrete and John Cabrera. Shot on Spanish location in Casar De Talamanca (Guadalajara) and Colmenar Viejo (Madrid). Rousing musical score by Maurice Jarre , the musician to milk the maxim impact from a lively leitmotif . Considering the talent involved plenty of magnificent actors and excellent technicians results in a good movie . Big-budgeted film by producer Ted Richmond with hundreds extras , a lot of riders , and using trains , planes , helicopter for his filming . Sergio Leone was offered to direct but the turned down , as it was well directed by Buzz Kulik helped by Jose Maria Ochoa , Carlos Gil and Eduardo Garcia Maroto as direction assistants . Kulik was an expert filmmaker of TV movies and occasionally for cinema . He directed notorious series and TV films (The Lindberg kidnapping case , Pioneer woman , Brian's song , Riot , Rage of Angela) and adapted famous films for TV (From here to eternity with Natalie Wood , Women of valor) . Furthermore , he filmed some vehicles for notorious actors as Burt Reynods (Shamus) , Lee Marvin (Sergeant Ryker) , Steve McQueen (The hunter) and Pierce Brosnan (Around the world in 80 days) .

      Other films about Pancho Villa are the following : the classic ¨Viva Villa¨ by Jack Conway with Wallace Beery , forever belongs this role ; ¨Villa¨ with Rodolfo Hoyos and Brian Keith ; ¨Pancho Villa¨ by Eugenio Martin with Telly Savalas and Clint Walker and ¨Starring Pancho Villa as himself¨ by Bruce Beresford with Antonio Banderas . The picture is based on true events, thus : Pancho Villa born in Chihuahua with the name Doroteo Arango,from his peasant upbringing he became an outlaw in his youth and adopted the name Francisco Villa from another outlaw.He played a leading role in the Mexican Revolution(1910-1920),winning many victories (as Torreon battle narrated in the film).For a time Villa,who seemed in line for leadership of Mexico,enjoyed the agreeable interest of the United States government;but William Randolph Hearsts media empire's press campaign against him and USA authorities then dropped Villa and supported his rival,Carranza.Villa's resentment resulted in the revenge raid on Columbus
      Best Wishes
      London- England