original Italian lobby card
|Directed by||Jack Conway
|Produced by||David O. Selznick|
|Written by||Ben Hecht
James Kevin McGuinness
Howard Emmett Rogers
|Based on||Viva Villa! (book)
by Edgecumb Pinchon
|Music by||Herbert Stothart|
|Cinematography||Charles G. Clarke
James Wong Howe
|Edited by||George Amy|
|Budget||over $1 million|
Viva Villa! is a 1934 American film starring Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa and was written by Ben Hecht, adapted from the book Viva Villa! by Edgecumb Pinchon and Odo B. Stade. The picture was shot on location in Mexico and directed by Jack Conway. There was uncredited assistance with the script by Howard Hawks, James Kevin McGuinness, and Howard Emmett Rogers. Hawks and William A. Wellman were also uncredited directors on the film.
The film is a fictionalized biography of Pancho Villa starring Beery, Leo Carrillo and Fay Wray. The supporting cast features Donald Cook, Stuart Erwin, Henry B. Walthall, Joseph Schildkraut and Katherine DeMille.
- Wallace Beery as Pancho Villa
- Leo Carrillo as Sierra
- Fay Wray as Teresa
- Donald Cook as Don Felipe de Castillo
- Stuart Erwin as Jonny Sykes
- Henry B. Walthall as Francisco Madero
- Joseph Schildkraut as Gen. Pascal
- Katherine DeMille as Rosita Morales (as Katherine de Mille)
- George E. Stone as Emilio Chavito
- Phillip Cooper as Pancho Villa as a boy
- David Durand as Bugle boy
- Frank Puglia as Pancho Villa's father
- Ralph Bushman as Wallace Calloway, reporter (as Francis X. Bushman Jr.)
- Adrian Rosley as Alphonso Mendoza
- Henry Armetta as Alfredo Mendosa
- Arturo Arzate as telegraph operator
During filming, Lee Tracy was originally cast in the role of the reporter, but he was an alcoholic who could not or would not stop his drinking. This led to a serious incident in Mexico City. According to a man and his daughter,during a parade, Tracy, having just taken a bath, came out on the balcony clad only in a towel, and, instead of "ole"ing the marchers, subjected them to a screeching tirade of insults, during which his towel fell off, and finished by urinating on the paraders.A much milder account portrayed him as exchanging insults with a Mexican (who started the exchange). This was an international incident. Despite official orders to remain in Mexico pending an investigation of the outrage, Tracy flew back to the U.S.A. on the next plane. He found upon his return that his contract with MGM had been cancelled. MGM apologized to the Mexican government and assured them that Mr.Tracy had been fired for this incident. He was replaced by another actor and all his scenes reshot. Radicals demanded that the filming stop and the film, which they saw as insulting to Mexico, be scrapped. Tracy never worked for MGM again,but found work with other film companies.
The film was very popular at the box office.
- Assistant Director (John S. Waters) (winner)
- Academy Award for Best Picture
- Sound Recording (Douglas Shearer)
- Writing (Adaptation) (Ben Hecht)
In popular culture
- Let's Go With Pancho Villa - A 1936 Mexican film about Villa
- David Thomson, Showman: The Life of David O. Selznick, Abacus, 1993 p 181
- Churchill, Douglas W. The Year in Hollywood: 1934 May Be Remembered as the Beginning of the Sweetness-and-Light Era (gate locked); New York Times [New York, N.Y] 30 Dec 1934: X5. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
- "The 7th Academy Awards (1935) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-07.
- Viva Villa! at the Internet Movie Database
- Viva Villa! at the TCM Movie Database
- Viva Villa! at AllMovie
- Viva Villa at the American Film Institute Catalog