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In 1909, Emiliano Zapata, a well-born but penniless Mexican Mestizo from the southern state of Morelos, comes to Mexico City to complain that their arable land has been enclosed, leaving them only in the barren hills. His expressed dissatisfaction with the response of the President Diaz puts him in danger, and when he rashly rescues a prisoner from the local militia he becomes an outlaw. Urged on by a strolling intellectual, Fernando, he supports the exiled Don Francisco Madero against Diaz, and becomes the leader of his forces in the South as Francisco 'Pancho' Villa is in the North. Diaz flees, and Madero takes his place; but he is a puppet president, in the hands of the leader of the army, Huerta, who has him assassinated when he tries to express solidarity for the men who fought for him. Zapata and Villa return to arms, and, successful in victory, seek to find a leader for the country. Unwillingly, Zapata takes the job, but, a while later, he responds to some petitioners from his ...Written by
Anthony Quinn was very disappointed when Marlon Brando was cast as Emiliano Zapata - he thought that with his Latin appearance, he would have been a better choice. To solve the argument, both actors competed to see which of them could urinate furthest into the Rio Grande. Quinn lost the bet, but he won an Oscar for the best supporting actor as Zapata's brother. See more »
When Zapata rides away across the plaza after a confrontation, his pistol falls out of his holster without his noticing. See more »
Where are you going?
I'm going home.
So you're throwing it away! Leave tonight and your enemies will be here tomorrow in this room at that desk. They won't walk away. They'll hunt you down till you get your rest in the sun with the flies at your face. Leave now I promise you you won't live long.
I won't live long anyway.
Zapata, in the name of all we fought for, don't go!
In the name of all we fought for, I'm going.
I won't go with you.
I don't expect you to. Now I know you. No field... no home...
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Opening credits prologue: Mexico-1909
A delegation of Indians from the State of Morelos have come to the Capital for an audience with their President, Porfirio Diaz. See more »
This is a pretty good 1950's action/drama considering Elia Kazan had never before or never would again direct an action movie. It's almost like a Western except the setting is the second decade of the 20th century between the years of 1910-1919. Marlon Brando is Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata in a role that earned him an Academy Award nomination. Brando is paired once again with Kazan who directed him the year before in A Streetcar Named Desire and would pair with him a couple of years later in Brando's Oscar winning performance in On the Waterfront. This film is well photographed by Mexican born cinematographer Joe Macdonald who should have been nominated for an Oscar but wasn't. In a rare role for Mexican born Anthony Quinn to be actually playing a Mexican as Eufernio Zapata for which he won the Academy Award for Best supporting Actor for 1952. Quinn's first nomination of four in his career and his first win of two. The film received three other nominations for Art Direction, Music and for it's John Steinbeck written Screenplay. This film is pure Hollywood however and is largely a fictional portrayal of actual events in it's romanticizing tale of one of Mexico's most beloved heroes Zapata. Despite the story by Steinbeck the dialog is weak. It's a good movie but Kazan is out of his element here, Brando is miscast and Steinbeck is lazy. I would give it a 7.5 out of 10.
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