Villa Rides (1968) torrent download

Villa Rides

1968

War / Western

6.4

Synopsis

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. —Steve83

Director

Buzz Kulik

Cast

Yul Brynner
as Pancho Villa
Robert Mitchum
as Lee Arnold
Charles Bronson
as Rodolfo Fierro
Herbert Lom
as General Huerta
Frank Wolff
as Ramirez

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 7 /10

Liberty is the respect for the rights of others.

Villa Rides is directed by Buzz Kulik and adapted to screenplay by Robert Towne and Sam Peckinpah from the biography of Pancho Villa written by William Douglas Lansford. It stars Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum, Charles Bronson, Herbert Lom, Maria Grazia Buccella, Robert Viharo and Frank Wolff. Music is scored by Maurice Jarre and cinematography by Jack Hildyard.

Film is a fictionalised telling of a period in Pancho Villa's (Brynner) life, primarily his famous involvement in the Mexican Revolution at the start of the 20th Century.

The film that should have been a Peckinpah classic!? Maybe? There is no doubting that had Peckinpah been allowed to direct his own screenplay we would have got a far better, more brutal, Pancho Villa film. In fact if we just had Peckinpah's original screenplay intact and someone like Robert Aldrich to direct, then that surely would have given us a mean and moody biography of one José Doroteo Arango Arámbula (AKA: Francisco Villa or Pancho Villa)? Film history tells us that star Yul Brynner was most displeased with the portrayal of Villa as written on Bloody Sam's page. Brynner wanted, and got eventually, his Villa to be an heroic Robin Hood type man of the people, a romanticised revolutionary as it were. Not the driven bastardo prone to acts of horror and sneak tactics that Peckinpah envisaged for the film.

La Cucaracha.

Brynner laughably cited Peckinpah's lack of Mexican knowledge as reason for getting him off the film, laughable because Peckinpah was married to a Mexican and visited the country regularly! So Peckinpah was off, sold his screenplay to the producers, which was remodelled considerably by Robert Towne & Brynner, and he took much of the ideas from the writing for Villa Rides to craft his masterpiece a year later, The Wild Bunch. In to the director's chair came Buzz Kulik and Brynner got to don a toupee and portray Villa the way he wanted. Although, thankfully, Peckinpah's edginess does manage to flit in and out of the finished product.

Viva Villa! You can't fight for the revolution if you are dead.

What remains for viewing is far better than some would have you believe. True, it's no Western/War classic, some of the politico posturings fail to make a mark because they are not expanded on, and one yearns at times for some Peckinpah grit, grue and grim machinations. There's also casting issues, for although I actually don't mind Brynner as Villa because he attacks the role with fanciful relish, he is generally miscast, while Mitchum manages to get by on laconic charm rather than have a character worthy of putting effort into. But if you can forgive the obvious missteps then it's a good two hours of rip-snorting entertainment.

It's always a question of money with you Gringo.

Kulik (Sergeant Ryker) keeps things lively and proves adept at action directing. The battles scenes are high on quality, particularly for the engagement at Conejos, where stunt men and horses are flung around the place, explosions puncture the air, the artillery on show resplendent as it deals out damage. Hundreds of costumed extras cut a swathe through each other, a plane and a train impact greatly on proceedings, while potent scenes involving the bad things that men do add fuel to the loud expressive fire. Jarre's score is fabulous, Latino flavours mix with high energy thunder to bounce off the burning sun with aural pleasure, while Hildyard keeps the Spanish locales vibrant in colours. Then there's Bronson stealing the movie with his portrayal of Rodolfo Fierro, a man who enjoys killing and tormenting the enemy, with dark humour also etched into his make-up.

Fanciful, fun and fiery, with flaws enough for sure, but still a good time to be had for the genre faithful. 7/10

Reviewed by ma-cortes 7 /10

Colorful portrayal of the Mexican revolutionary leader , entirely filmed in spectacular Spanish and Mexican exteriors

This is an exciting historical film about the famous Mexican patriot bandit containing a succession of fights , shootouts , pursuits , raids and breathtaking frames . The film chronicles 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) leads 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 epic 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 missed and his script was rewritten by Robert Towne to conform to Brynner's idea of what Villa was like . Yul Brynner plays nicely the notorious and rowdy bandit, as he is almost-perfect in title role . While 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 and box-office big-star . Remainder casting is frankly welll : 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 to be subsequently continued a large number of films . 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 of 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 . Rating 7/10. Decent Villa/Zapata Western.

Reviewed by SimonJack 7 /10

Nice Western with history and fiction south of the border

"Villa Rides" says in the opening credits that it is a tribute to Pancho Villa. And, as presented, the film is indeed a tribute in which it paints the former Mexican bandit in pretty colors. We should remember that the Mexican revolutionary had attacked an American town, Columbus, New Mexico. So, the U.S. government sent our own Gen. John J. Pershing into Mexico to hunt down and capture or kill Francisco "Pancho" Villa. His pursuit lasted from March 1916 to February 1917. Pershing was recalled when WW I broke out. Of course, none of this is mentioned in this film.

So, remembering that Hollywood often glosses over history – even rewrites it at times, viewers should always take films like this with a grain of salt – as to their accuracy and truth. Of course, their enjoyment as entertainment is aside from that. Now, to counter that aspect, we should also remember that Villa was a real folk hero among the people. He was a Mexican "Robin Hood," who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. He wasn't out for power himself, but was a genuine revolutionary for the freedom of the people.

We should also remember that it was after 1917 that the dictatorships in Mexico began to oppress the church and religion. Recent Mexican President Vicente Fox acknowledged and lamented the previous tyrannical governments. After 1917, Mexico outlawed religion, killed priests, confiscated and closed churches, and desecrated altars. Not until 1992 did this situation begin to change. Can it be any wonder why so many Mexicans would flee their country and want to live in the U.S. in the 20th century? Besides the economic hardships, the people were terribly persecuted and denied their basic rights.

Now for this film. It has a nice plot with some good action. The cast, for the most part, are quite good. Yul Bryner is very good as Pancho, although I suspect he is quite sanitized. Charles Bronson is very good as Fierro. Some other main characters are all quite good – Fernando Rey as Fuentes, Alexander Knox as Madero, and Herbert Lom as General Huerta. You'll notice I've saved Robert Mitchum until last. His role just doesn't fit as he portrays it. We need the character for the plot, but Mitchum just does not seem to play him right. He seems way too nonchalant. The script, or directing, or acting, or all three needed a major rework there to make his character much more believable. It put a sort of pale of humor over the story, and I don't think it really should be humorous. Not when we see families distraught over the hanging of many of their fathers, husbands and sons by the government army. And, I've never thought it funny when women are raped.

So, I'll give this 7 stars for the action, the story and the roles of Bryner, Bronson and some others. Back to that opening credit on the film – I'm sure that Paramount didn't mean to imply that Hollywood welcomes foreign governments to attack towns in the U.S. Or that it will honor them for doing so. But, wait a minute. I could be wrong about Hollywood.

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