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This film (and a few others) on one of Mexico's most well-known rebels was released in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the revolution. In this instance, Pancho Villa (Pedro Armendariz) is presented as a contradictory mix of elements, as though several different people were residing in the same persona. He is at times shown as a genius at strategy, at other times he is an ignorant peasant. Whether an idealistic fighter for the rights of the people or a simple bandit, the personality of the man is emphasized over historical accuracy. And in that regard, his liaison with Valentina (Elsa Aguirre), another revolutionary, is naturally the focus of attention. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi
This was second in this trilogy of movies that director, writer, producer, Ismael Rodríguez made dedicated to the legendary Mexican revolutionary general, José Doroteo Arango Arámbula, or better known as Pancho Villa, who is brilliantly played by Pedro Armedáriz (who most of us know from From Russia With Love, The Three Godfathers, The Conqueror, etc.).
Rodríguez put together many little vignettes of famous legends believed to be about Pancho Villa. Some of them are funny, while others are serious, dramatic stories, that may or may not have actually happened. Like we tell our children about George Washington and the cherry tree, these may have been told to the children of Mexico.
The story always starts where his tombs and grave sites are located and finally where the long-forgotten warehouse is where his head is pickled in a jar of alcohol. Villa is telling his stories in flashback.
Villa is trying to fight for the revolution and needs to deal with all kinds of politics with his people. Sometimes he deals with it as a wise and strategic leader of the people while other times, he kind of blunders through it, doing the best that he can. There are also many women who are attracted to him, as well as counter-revolutionaries who are trying to kill him.
This is an excellent film, far better than the U.S. movies about Villa that I'm accustomed to seeing. A great movie to see during the Centennial Independence Day celebration of Mexico. Viva Mexico! Viva Villa.