¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa!

Media Type: Film

Year: 1936

Who wrote / made it : Fernando de Fuentes

Plot summary: ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! is the best known of a trilogy of films of the Revolution. The other two are Prisionero 13 (1933) and El compadre Mendoza (1933) by the director Fernando de Fuentes. He is best known as the director of Allá en el Rancho Grande (1936), a huge hit on its release that set in train a successful period in the Mexican film industry locally and internationally.
¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! is an adaptation of 9 chapters of a popular novel by Rafael F. Muñoz (1931). It follows the story of a group of soldiers, ‘los leones’ [the lions], from a small village who join the Revolution pledging to protect one another. The film is episodic in structure recounting the incidents and battles which result in all but one of the men’s deaths, variously: in battles, in a game of Russian roulette, and killed under Villa’s orders when it is discovered he has smallpox, to prevent an epidemic. It is a pessimistic film, which challenged the glorification of the iconic leaders by the state, in particular Pancho Villa. It had little success on its initial release only to be taken up by the Nuevo cine group as a precursor to their work. It has been much written about, most recently by Zuzana M. Pick and Fernando Fabio Sánchez and Gerardo García Muñoz.

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