And Starring Pancho Villa As Himself

Synopsis: Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa (Antonio Banderas) finds himself without adequate funding to finance his war against the military-run government. He also finds himself at odds with the Americans because of the Hearst media empire's press campaign against him. To counter both of these, he sends emissaries to movie producers to convince them to pay to film his progress and the actual battles. Producer D.W. Griffith (Colm Feore) becomes interested and sends Frank Thayer (Eion Bailey) with a film crew to develop film reels. Thayer becomes horrified and fascinated by the bandit. He finds an enigmatic individual that is both ghoulishly brutal and charmingly captivating. The resulting film became the first feature length movie, introducing scores of Americans to the true horrors of war that they had never personally seen. Thayer sold the studios on making the film despite their concerns that no one would sit through a movie longer than 1 hour by convincing them that they could raise the pr
Director(s): Bruce Beresford
Production: HBO Video
  Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 9 wins & 21 nominations.
112 min

More, more, Mr. Walsh.

You got to kill them all.

The last thing in the world you'd want

is to be captured by those heathen redskins.

Rush to him, Miss Sampson.

Rush to your protector.

Seek the shelter of his manly arms.

True love, Adrian.

True love laced with heartrending,

devotional gratitude.

And cut.

Cut, everybody.

- Next setup, Charlie.

- Yes, Mr. Griffith.

Go get those horses.

I know you're freezing. We're all freezing.

There he is, Frank.

Ask him over, gently.

Very good, my dear. Very good, indeed.

Mr. Griffith, sir...

Mr. Aitken's in the car.

He'd like to have a word with you.

- Duffy, how are we with Mr. Walsh?

- Hello.

A bit higher than usual.

How about there?

Be more generous with the blood.

Lay it on thick.

He's over there, sir. Says that it's important.

When will Mr. Aitken understand

that when Griffith is filming...

nothing is of greater importance to Griffith?

Sorry, David,

but we need to move fast on this...

if you think it's worth moving at all.

Eli Morton in our Texas office...

went for some kind of press conference

over the border...

pulled together by this Pancho Villa fellow...

- Villa.

- The Pancho Villa?

Right. According to Eli...

Villa is offering exclusive rights

to any motion-picture company...

interested in filming

his revolutionary army...

- with the vision del norte...

- Del norte. action against the federal forces of,

who he calls...

the despotic President of Mexico, Victorio...

- Victoriano Huerta.

- Huerta, right.

Villa's terms as follows.

He's asking for $25,000 in advance

against 20% of the profits.

- He wants the money in gold.

- Quite the horse trader.

He's supposed to be some kind of Injun

or something.

He's mestizo. It's a racial mix.

Where'd you get all that stuff?

Is it worth a shot? No story, no actors.

Just shooting an actual military scrap.

- Just that, and that alone.

- Just filming men at war?

Being allowed to place cameras

in the thick of battle?

This may prove as much a revolution

for motion pictures...

- as the one Villa is waging on the ground.

- Real death, real blood.

People will get sick to their stomachs

with that show.

Hold it a minute, Harry.

Give her your gloves, will you?

Excuse me.

- Miss Sampson.

- Hello.

I'm Frank Thayer.

I'm with the Mutual Company.

Mr. Griffith said that...

You're in charge of gloves, are you?

Harry, thousands of words could be used

to describe individual achievements.

But the historian's pen

over time will be no match...

for the image the moviemaker captures

in the eye of his camera.

who's never done a movie before.

There's not a day that passes...

when this guy is not featured

on the front pages of the world press.

The man is a star. And stars

are the mother's milk of box office.

You wouldn't consider going down there

and try getting us a better deal?

A bird hasn't been bought yet that

D. W. Griffith couldn't charm down a tree.

Be serious. If all I've got to do

is setting up the California studio...

Just how competent would you say he is?

You think he's ready

to do something useful?

- Who? Who are we talking about?

- Your nephew.

Who, Frank?

Anyone else bidding on the rights?

- Hand me those.

- Thanks.

Any other movie companies

showing an interest that you know of?

We got the inside track.

Money does a whole lot of talking

around here...

- and the heavier it is, the better it's heard.

- Right.

You gotta keep your wits about you

around here.

- Yes, sir.

- First, number one thing to remember:

When you meet him,

never look Villa straight in the eye.

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Larry Gelbart

Larry Simon Gelbart (February 25, 1928 – September 11, 2009) was an American television writer, playwright, screenwriter, director and author, most famous as a creator and producer of the television series M*A*S*H, and as co-writer of Broadway musicals City of Angels and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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