Villa Rides


2h 5m 1968

Brief Synopsis

Drama detailing the bandit career of Mexico's folk hero, Pancho Villa.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
Denver, Colorado, opening: 29 May 1968
Production Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Pancho Villa by William Douglas Lansford (Los Angeles, 1965).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In 1912 American pilot Lee Arnold is smuggling guns into Mexico and selling them for gold to Captain Ramirez and the insurrectionists. While waiting for his plane to be repaired after one such mission, Arnold witnesses a brutal attack by Ramirez and his men on a village known for its allegiance to Pancho Villa and the revolutionary government. When the town is retaken by Villa's sadistic aide, Fierro, Arnold is sentenced to execution for having helped the enemy; but he is spared at the last minute by agreeing to serve as Villa's one-man air force. As Arnold bombards Ramirez' men with homemade grenades, Villa and his followers capture first an enemy troop train and then an entire town. Villa's success infuriates revolutionary commander General Huerta, who had ordered Villa not to attack the town. To facilitate taking over the government from President Madero, Huerta sends Villa on a suicide mission by ordering him to take the city of Conejos. Although many of Villa's men die in battle, Arnold secures victory by bombarding the enemy from the air and crashing his plane into barbed wire holding back Villa's men. After Villa has killed Ramirez and forced the officials of the captured city to pay his troops, he is arrested by Huerta for allegedly disobeying orders. Arnold escapes by bribing his way across the border into El Paso. Sometime later, Villa and his lieutenants find Arnold in Texas. Having escaped from jail, they again need Arnold's help to overthrow Huerta, now installed as dictator after having assassinated Madero. Arnold finally agrees to assist in raising another army to march on Mexico City, this time against Emiliano Zapata.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1968
Premiere Information
Denver, Colorado, opening: 29 May 1968
Production Company
Paramount Pictures
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the book Pancho Villa by William Douglas Lansford (Los Angeles, 1965).

Technical Specs

Duration
2h 5m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

Villa Rides - Yul Brynner & Robert Mitchum in VILLA RIDES! on DVD


The Italian western craze of the 1960s added new life to the genre, but it also quickened the end of the traditional American western's noble heroes, simplistic stories and clear morals. To survive, American westerns almost immediately became darker in theme and more cynical in outlook. Some American producers followed the Italians to Spain, coming up with hybrid productions of their own. 1968's Villa Rides! is an expensive show with assets most Italian producers only dreamed of: big stars, top creative talent and battle scenes worthy of an epic. Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum and Charles Bronson look very impressive together on a marquee.

Even more noteworthy is the film's writing talent. The ambitious newcomer Robert Towne had done various Roger Corman movies and a polish on Bonnie and Clyde, while the respected Sam Peckinpah was reeling from a directing career stalled after the disaster of Major Dundee. What they concocted for director Buzz Kulik is a crazy quilt of serious themes and cynical spaghetti violence, with a gundown or a battle never more than a few minutes away.

Synopsis: Using a 'borrowed' airplane, American Lee Arnold (Robert Mitchum) runs guns to the Federales. A local blacksmith repairs the plane's landing gear, allowing Lee to meet the lovely Fina (Grazia Buccella). Federale officer Ramirez (Frank Wolff) rapes Fina and executes eight men including her father before Pancho Villa (Yul Brynner) counterattacks. Relieved of his money, Lee is prepared for execution by Villa's second in command, Fierro (Charles Bronson). But Villa bargains with Lee for his services as an aerial spotter and bombardier in a major battle. When Arnold complains that Villa delayed attacking the village to give the people more reason to hate the Federales, the General compensates by marrying Fina, restoring her honor. Unfortunately, Villa has married many women in the same way. More problems come from Villa's political rival General Huerta (Herbert Lom), who plots to ensure that Villa's army is wiped out in battle. The naïve President Madero (Alexander Knox) orders Villa not to cause trouble. Pancho takes a town without firing a shot, only to be arrested and put before a firing squad. Villa is convinced that his beloved President will intervene, but Madero is hundreds of miles away in Mexico City.

Villa Rides! is a big scale action film that falls short of greatness. Peckinpah's script was reportedly dismissed by star Brynner, and rewritten by Robert Towne into a primer about the ruthlessness of revolution. It's loud and violent and more concerned with revolutionary politics than characterization. Pancho Villa is a popular outlaw leader who thinks that mass slaughter is a necessary tool of revolt. He foolishly invests his faith in President Madero, allowing the hateful General Huerta to get the upper hand. By the finish Villa has lost an entire army and his worst enemy is in the President's palace in Mexico City. The solution? Ignite another grass-roots revolt against the usurper. The Mexican people will follow the charismatic Pancho Villa wherever he leads.

All of this is told through the experience of Robert Mitchum's Yankee aviator Lee Arnold, who wants a fast buck but keeps getting sucked into Pancho's idealistic battles. Like a fly on the wall, Arnold witnesses mass hangings and executions while never being particularly important to the plot. His girlfriend is raped and his money stolen, and he spends more than a little of his time hoping that Charles Bronson's trigger happy General Fierro won't use him for target practice.

The impressive production musters hundreds of costumed extras, an armed battle train and exciting aerial sequences with Arnold's WW1 pursuit plane. The pyrotechnics and stunt horse falls are expertly done. Top talent like ace British cinematographer Jack Hildyard put a gloss on all technical aspects, and the cast is quite capable. Director Buzz Kulik gets the job done without showing a great deal of style, however: the money is on the screen but many scenes are perfunctory at best. It perhaps comes down to Kulik's direction of actors, and the basic casting. Yul Brynner's Pancho Villa never seems the least bit Mexican, an observation that also fits Charles Bronson no matter how good he looks in his Mexican costume. Herbert Lom always creates a superior slimy villain, but the interesting actor Frank Wolff plays a Federale officer without even trying a Mexican accent, making the film seem inauthentic from the very beginning. An unexpected casting success is Alexander Knox, a specialist in stuffy English authority figures. Knox is a compelling President Madero, and has a fine time play-acting in a black beard, mustache and wig.

Robert Mitchum made movies either for love or money, and Villa Rides! would seem to be in the latter category. Mitchum's never less than good but he invests little in his character. The curiously non-violent Lee Arnold might have been more interesting if played by a less formidable personality. As he's surrounded by actors half his weight, we keep wondering why Mitchum doesn't stop cowering and punch their lights out.

Charles Bronson's Fierro delights in shooting Federale prisoners for fun and amuses himself by keeping Robert Mitchum off balance with offhand death threats. Fierro is the kind of character who shoots men just to avoid small talk. He even tries out the old 'kill three men with one bullet' trick. As the main love interest, Italian actress Grazia Buccella (After the Fox) has little opportunity to make a strong impression. Seen dancing briefly is Diana Lorys, remembered from Jesus Franco's Spanish horror film Gritos en la noche. Finally, continental star Fernando Rey The French Connection) has a prominent bit as the leader of a firing squad set to execute Pancho Villa.

Villa Rides! is easily differentiated from spaghetti westerns about revolution. 'Committed' Italian directors like Sergio Sollima invariably turned out simplistic morality tales pitting noble peasants against vile capitalists. Peckinpah and Towne's more complex revolutionaries are just as cynical and ruthless as the Federales. The Federales display bright red flags and are called the 'Colorados', encouraging the notion that Villa is fighting communists. Historically speaking, the communists and anarchists involved in the Mexican revolution would definitely have been part of the rebel coalition. Could Franco's Spanish government have mandated the red flag / communist association as a precondition for the use of their army?

The film ends with a slightly awkward coda in El Paso, Texas, where Pancho and his cohorts attempt to re-enlist Lee for another go at overthrowing the third largest nation in North America. John Ireland makes a brief appearance along with the pretty Jill Ireland. Ms. Ireland left her husband David McCallum for Charles Bronson during the filming of The Great Escape. She and Bronson would marry a few months after the release of Villa Rides!.

Legend Films' DVD of Paramount's Villa Rides! is a very good enhanced transfer of elements in fine shape. The only funky shots are the barely-adequate blue screen composites that insert Mitchum into the airplane in flight. Another highlight is Maurice Jarre's spirited, classy score. It's not as lively as his work on The Professionals and some of the more lyrical passages clash with the violent subject matter, but Jarre's music is a definite plus. No extras are included. Unlike most of the other Legend releases, the cover graphic uses original poster art.

For more information about Villa Rides, visit Legend Films. To order Villa Rides, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
Villa Rides - Yul Brynner & Robert Mitchum In Villa Rides! On Dvd

Villa Rides - Yul Brynner & Robert Mitchum in VILLA RIDES! on DVD

The Italian western craze of the 1960s added new life to the genre, but it also quickened the end of the traditional American western's noble heroes, simplistic stories and clear morals. To survive, American westerns almost immediately became darker in theme and more cynical in outlook. Some American producers followed the Italians to Spain, coming up with hybrid productions of their own. 1968's Villa Rides! is an expensive show with assets most Italian producers only dreamed of: big stars, top creative talent and battle scenes worthy of an epic. Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum and Charles Bronson look very impressive together on a marquee. Even more noteworthy is the film's writing talent. The ambitious newcomer Robert Towne had done various Roger Corman movies and a polish on Bonnie and Clyde, while the respected Sam Peckinpah was reeling from a directing career stalled after the disaster of Major Dundee. What they concocted for director Buzz Kulik is a crazy quilt of serious themes and cynical spaghetti violence, with a gundown or a battle never more than a few minutes away. Synopsis: Using a 'borrowed' airplane, American Lee Arnold (Robert Mitchum) runs guns to the Federales. A local blacksmith repairs the plane's landing gear, allowing Lee to meet the lovely Fina (Grazia Buccella). Federale officer Ramirez (Frank Wolff) rapes Fina and executes eight men including her father before Pancho Villa (Yul Brynner) counterattacks. Relieved of his money, Lee is prepared for execution by Villa's second in command, Fierro (Charles Bronson). But Villa bargains with Lee for his services as an aerial spotter and bombardier in a major battle. When Arnold complains that Villa delayed attacking the village to give the people more reason to hate the Federales, the General compensates by marrying Fina, restoring her honor. Unfortunately, Villa has married many women in the same way. More problems come from Villa's political rival General Huerta (Herbert Lom), who plots to ensure that Villa's army is wiped out in battle. The naïve President Madero (Alexander Knox) orders Villa not to cause trouble. Pancho takes a town without firing a shot, only to be arrested and put before a firing squad. Villa is convinced that his beloved President will intervene, but Madero is hundreds of miles away in Mexico City. Villa Rides! is a big scale action film that falls short of greatness. Peckinpah's script was reportedly dismissed by star Brynner, and rewritten by Robert Towne into a primer about the ruthlessness of revolution. It's loud and violent and more concerned with revolutionary politics than characterization. Pancho Villa is a popular outlaw leader who thinks that mass slaughter is a necessary tool of revolt. He foolishly invests his faith in President Madero, allowing the hateful General Huerta to get the upper hand. By the finish Villa has lost an entire army and his worst enemy is in the President's palace in Mexico City. The solution? Ignite another grass-roots revolt against the usurper. The Mexican people will follow the charismatic Pancho Villa wherever he leads. All of this is told through the experience of Robert Mitchum's Yankee aviator Lee Arnold, who wants a fast buck but keeps getting sucked into Pancho's idealistic battles. Like a fly on the wall, Arnold witnesses mass hangings and executions while never being particularly important to the plot. His girlfriend is raped and his money stolen, and he spends more than a little of his time hoping that Charles Bronson's trigger happy General Fierro won't use him for target practice. The impressive production musters hundreds of costumed extras, an armed battle train and exciting aerial sequences with Arnold's WW1 pursuit plane. The pyrotechnics and stunt horse falls are expertly done. Top talent like ace British cinematographer Jack Hildyard put a gloss on all technical aspects, and the cast is quite capable. Director Buzz Kulik gets the job done without showing a great deal of style, however: the money is on the screen but many scenes are perfunctory at best. It perhaps comes down to Kulik's direction of actors, and the basic casting. Yul Brynner's Pancho Villa never seems the least bit Mexican, an observation that also fits Charles Bronson no matter how good he looks in his Mexican costume. Herbert Lom always creates a superior slimy villain, but the interesting actor Frank Wolff plays a Federale officer without even trying a Mexican accent, making the film seem inauthentic from the very beginning. An unexpected casting success is Alexander Knox, a specialist in stuffy English authority figures. Knox is a compelling President Madero, and has a fine time play-acting in a black beard, mustache and wig. Robert Mitchum made movies either for love or money, and Villa Rides! would seem to be in the latter category. Mitchum's never less than good but he invests little in his character. The curiously non-violent Lee Arnold might have been more interesting if played by a less formidable personality. As he's surrounded by actors half his weight, we keep wondering why Mitchum doesn't stop cowering and punch their lights out. Charles Bronson's Fierro delights in shooting Federale prisoners for fun and amuses himself by keeping Robert Mitchum off balance with offhand death threats. Fierro is the kind of character who shoots men just to avoid small talk. He even tries out the old 'kill three men with one bullet' trick. As the main love interest, Italian actress Grazia Buccella (After the Fox) has little opportunity to make a strong impression. Seen dancing briefly is Diana Lorys, remembered from Jesus Franco's Spanish horror film Gritos en la noche. Finally, continental star Fernando Rey The French Connection) has a prominent bit as the leader of a firing squad set to execute Pancho Villa. Villa Rides! is easily differentiated from spaghetti westerns about revolution. 'Committed' Italian directors like Sergio Sollima invariably turned out simplistic morality tales pitting noble peasants against vile capitalists. Peckinpah and Towne's more complex revolutionaries are just as cynical and ruthless as the Federales. The Federales display bright red flags and are called the 'Colorados', encouraging the notion that Villa is fighting communists. Historically speaking, the communists and anarchists involved in the Mexican revolution would definitely have been part of the rebel coalition. Could Franco's Spanish government have mandated the red flag / communist association as a precondition for the use of their army? The film ends with a slightly awkward coda in El Paso, Texas, where Pancho and his cohorts attempt to re-enlist Lee for another go at overthrowing the third largest nation in North America. John Ireland makes a brief appearance along with the pretty Jill Ireland. Ms. Ireland left her husband David McCallum for Charles Bronson during the filming of The Great Escape. She and Bronson would marry a few months after the release of Villa Rides!. Legend Films' DVD of Paramount's Villa Rides! is a very good enhanced transfer of elements in fine shape. The only funky shots are the barely-adequate blue screen composites that insert Mitchum into the airplane in flight. Another highlight is Maurice Jarre's spirited, classy score. It's not as lively as his work on The Professionals and some of the more lyrical passages clash with the violent subject matter, but Jarre's music is a definite plus. No extras are included. Unlike most of the other Legend releases, the cover graphic uses original poster art. For more information about Villa Rides, visit Legend Films. To order Villa Rides, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

TCM Remembers Charles Bronson - Sept. 13th - TCM Remembers Charles Bronson this Saturday, Sept. 13th 2003.


Turner Classic Movies will honor the passing of Hollywood action star Charles Bronson on Saturday, Sept. 13, with a four-film tribute.

After years of playing supporting roles in numerous Western, action and war films, including THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, 8 p.m.) and THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, 1:15 a.m.), Bronson finally achieved worldwide stardom as a leading man during the late 1960s and early 1970s. TCM's tribute will also include THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963, 10:15 p.m.), Bronson's second teaming with Steve McQueen and James Coburn, and will conclude with FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976, 4 a.m.), co-starring Jill Ireland.

TCM will alter it's prime-time schedule this Saturday, Sept. 13th. The following changes will take place:

8:00 PM - The Magnificent Seven (1960)
10:15 PM - The Great Escape (1963)
1:15 AM - The Dirty Dozen (1967)
4:00 AM - From Noon Till Three (1976)

Charles Bronson, 1921-2003

Charles Bronson, the tough, stony-faced actor who was one of the most recognizable action heroes in cinema, died on August 30 in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia. He was 81.

He was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, one of fifteen children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. Although he was the only child to have graduated high school, he worked in the coalmines to support his family until he joined the army to serve as a tail gunner during World War II. He used his money from the G.I. Bill to study art in Philadelphia, but while working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, he landed a few small roles in some productions and immediately found acting to be the craft for him.

Bronson took his new career turn seriously, moved to California, and enrolled for acting classes at The Pasadena Playhouse. An instructor there recommended him to director Henry Hathaway for a movie role and the result was his debut in Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now (1951). He secured more bit parts in films like John Sturges' drama The People Against O'Hara (1951), and Joseph Newman's Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952). More substantial roles came in George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952, where he is beaten up by Katharine Hepburn!); Andre de Toth's classic 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953, as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor); and De Toth's fine low-budget noir Crime Wave (1954).

Despite his formidable presence, his leads were confined to a string of B pictures like Gene Fowler's Gang War; and Roger Corman's tight Machine Gun Kelly (both 1958). Following his own television series, Man With a Camera (1958-60), Bronson had his first taste of film stardom when director Sturges casted him as Bernardo, one of the The Magnificent Seven (1960). Bronson displayed a powerful charisma, comfortably holding his own in a high-powered cast that included Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. A few more solid roles followed in Sturges' The Great Escape (1963), and Robert Aldrich's classic war picture The Dirty Dozen (1967), before Bronson made the decision to follow the European trail of other American actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It was there that his hard, taciturn screen personae exploded in full force. In 1968 alone, he had four hit films: Henri Verneuil's Guns for San Sebastian, Buzz Kulik's Villa Rides, Jean Herman's Adieu l'ami which was a smash in France; and the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West.

These films established Bronson as a huge box-office draw in Europe, and with some more stylish hits like Rene Clement's Rider on the Rain (1969), and Terence Young's Cold Sweat (1971) he soon became one of the most popular film stars in the world. It wasn't easy for Bronson to translate that success back in his homeland. In fact, his first few films on his return stateside: Michael Winners' Chato's Land, and The Mechanic (both 1972), and Richard Fleischer's Mr. Majestyk (1973), were surprisingly routine pictures. It wasn't until he collaborated with Winner again for the controversial Death Wish (1974), an urban revenge thriller about an architect who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are raped, did he notch his first stateside hit. The next few years would be a fruitful period for Bronson as he rode on a wave of fine films and commercial success: a depression era streetfighter in Walter Hill's terrific, if underrated Hard Times (1975); Frank Gilroy's charming offbeat black comedy From Noon Till Three (1976, the best of many teamings with his second wife, Jill Ireland); Tom Gries tense Breakheart Pass; and Don Siegel's cold-war thriller Telefon (1977).

Sadly, Bronson could not keep up the momentum of good movies, and by the '80s he was starring in a string of forgettable films like Ten to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), and Murphy's Law (1986, all directed by J. Lee Thompson). A notable exception to all that tripe was John Mackenzie's fine telefilm Act of Vengeance (1986), where he earned critical acclaim in the role of United Mine Workers official Jack Yablonski. Although he more or less fell into semi-retirement in the '90s, his performances in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991); and the title role of Michael Anderson's The Sea Wolf (1993) proved to many that Bronson had the makings of a fine character actor. He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death from breast cancer in 1990. He is survived by his third wife Kim Weeks, six children, and two grandchildren.

by Michael T. Toole

TCM Remembers Charles Bronson - Sept. 13th - TCM Remembers Charles Bronson this Saturday, Sept. 13th 2003.

Turner Classic Movies will honor the passing of Hollywood action star Charles Bronson on Saturday, Sept. 13, with a four-film tribute. After years of playing supporting roles in numerous Western, action and war films, including THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (1960, 8 p.m.) and THE DIRTY DOZEN (1967, 1:15 a.m.), Bronson finally achieved worldwide stardom as a leading man during the late 1960s and early 1970s. TCM's tribute will also include THE GREAT ESCAPE (1963, 10:15 p.m.), Bronson's second teaming with Steve McQueen and James Coburn, and will conclude with FROM NOON TILL THREE (1976, 4 a.m.), co-starring Jill Ireland. TCM will alter it's prime-time schedule this Saturday, Sept. 13th. The following changes will take place: 8:00 PM - The Magnificent Seven (1960) 10:15 PM - The Great Escape (1963) 1:15 AM - The Dirty Dozen (1967) 4:00 AM - From Noon Till Three (1976) Charles Bronson, 1921-2003 Charles Bronson, the tough, stony-faced actor who was one of the most recognizable action heroes in cinema, died on August 30 in Los Angeles from complications from pneumonia. He was 81. He was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921 in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, one of fifteen children born to Lithuanian immigrant parents. Although he was the only child to have graduated high school, he worked in the coalmines to support his family until he joined the army to serve as a tail gunner during World War II. He used his money from the G.I. Bill to study art in Philadelphia, but while working as a set designer for a Philadelphia theater troupe, he landed a few small roles in some productions and immediately found acting to be the craft for him. Bronson took his new career turn seriously, moved to California, and enrolled for acting classes at The Pasadena Playhouse. An instructor there recommended him to director Henry Hathaway for a movie role and the result was his debut in Hathaway's You're in the Navy Now (1951). He secured more bit parts in films like John Sturges' drama The People Against O'Hara (1951), and Joseph Newman's Bloodhounds of Broadway (1952). More substantial roles came in George Cukor's Pat and Mike (1952, where he is beaten up by Katharine Hepburn!); Andre de Toth's classic 3-D thriller House of Wax (1953, as Vincent Price's mute assistant, Igor); and De Toth's fine low-budget noir Crime Wave (1954). Despite his formidable presence, his leads were confined to a string of B pictures like Gene Fowler's Gang War; and Roger Corman's tight Machine Gun Kelly (both 1958). Following his own television series, Man With a Camera (1958-60), Bronson had his first taste of film stardom when director Sturges casted him as Bernardo, one of the The Magnificent Seven (1960). Bronson displayed a powerful charisma, comfortably holding his own in a high-powered cast that included Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen. A few more solid roles followed in Sturges' The Great Escape (1963), and Robert Aldrich's classic war picture The Dirty Dozen (1967), before Bronson made the decision to follow the European trail of other American actors like Clint Eastwood and Lee Van Cleef. It was there that his hard, taciturn screen personae exploded in full force. In 1968 alone, he had four hit films: Henri Verneuil's Guns for San Sebastian, Buzz Kulik's Villa Rides, Jean Herman's Adieu l'ami which was a smash in France; and the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti Western Once Upon a Time in the West. These films established Bronson as a huge box-office draw in Europe, and with some more stylish hits like Rene Clement's Rider on the Rain (1969), and Terence Young's Cold Sweat (1971) he soon became one of the most popular film stars in the world. It wasn't easy for Bronson to translate that success back in his homeland. In fact, his first few films on his return stateside: Michael Winners' Chato's Land, and The Mechanic (both 1972), and Richard Fleischer's Mr. Majestyk (1973), were surprisingly routine pictures. It wasn't until he collaborated with Winner again for the controversial Death Wish (1974), an urban revenge thriller about an architect who turns vigilante when his wife and daughter are raped, did he notch his first stateside hit. The next few years would be a fruitful period for Bronson as he rode on a wave of fine films and commercial success: a depression era streetfighter in Walter Hill's terrific, if underrated Hard Times (1975); Frank Gilroy's charming offbeat black comedy From Noon Till Three (1976, the best of many teamings with his second wife, Jill Ireland); Tom Gries tense Breakheart Pass; and Don Siegel's cold-war thriller Telefon (1977). Sadly, Bronson could not keep up the momentum of good movies, and by the '80s he was starring in a string of forgettable films like Ten to Midnight (1983), The Evil That Men Do (1984), and Murphy's Law (1986, all directed by J. Lee Thompson). A notable exception to all that tripe was John Mackenzie's fine telefilm Act of Vengeance (1986), where he earned critical acclaim in the role of United Mine Workers official Jack Yablonski. Although he more or less fell into semi-retirement in the '90s, his performances in Sean Penn's The Indian Runner (1991); and the title role of Michael Anderson's The Sea Wolf (1993) proved to many that Bronson had the makings of a fine character actor. He was married to actress Jill Ireland from 1968 until her death from breast cancer in 1990. He is survived by his third wife Kim Weeks, six children, and two grandchildren. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Sam Peckinpah wrote the original script and was set to direct, but star 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 fired and his script was rewritten by Robert Towne to conform to Brynner's idea of what Pancho Villa was like.

Notes

Filmed in Spain.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer June 1968

Released in United States Summer June 1968