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And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (TV)

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Original title
And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (TV)
Running time
107 min.
United States United States
Larry Gelbart
Stephen Endelman, Joseph Vitarelli
Peter James
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HBO Films
Drama | Mexican Revolution. Biography. TV Movie
Synopsis / Plot
Banderas delivers a powerful, larger-than-life performance as the title character of this extraordinary story from HBO Films, which reveals how Mexican Revolutionary Villa allowed a Hollywood crew to film him and his army as they fought the nationalist Huerta forces, altering the course of film and military history in the process.

The adventure gets its start when early movie giants D.W. Griffith (Colm Feore) and Harry Aiken (Jim Broadbent), send a junior executive, Frank Thayer (Eion Bailey) to Mexico to persuade the cash-strapped, publicity-hungry Villa (Banderas) to let them film his revolution. Stepping into the literal crossfire, Thayer's crew risk their lives in the mingling of fiction and reality-and prove, ultimately, that "the lens is mightier than the sword."

After a string of dangerous exploits, escapes and double-crosses worthy of a silent action short, Thayer and Villa make their movie, and "The Life of General Villa" is released in the U.S. to popular acclaim. The film turns public opinion in Villa's favor-- but the charismatic revolutionary never gets to see his star turn on the silver screen.

"When you tell people about this story--that there was an American crew filming Pancho Villa in battle, in 1914 in Mexico--they say that's not true, that it is a fantasy, a legend," says Antonio Banderas. "But it is true. It happened."
2004: Emmy: Best Sound Editing. 9 Nominations, Including Best TV Movie
2003: Critics' Choice Awards: Nominated for Best Picture Made for Television
2003: Producers Guild Awards (PGA): Nominated for Best TV Movie
2003: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Best Original Screenplay (Long Form)
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