Review: ‘Viva Zapata!’

The story of Emiliano Zapata, a lesser-known Mexican revolutionary, is a picture that records a hard, cruel, curiously unemotional account of Mexican banditry and revolt against oppressive government. Elia Kazan's direction strives for a personal intimacy but neither he nor the John Steinbeck scripting achieves in enough measure.

The story of Emiliano Zapata, a lesser-known Mexican revolutionary, is a picture that records a hard, cruel, curiously unemotional account of Mexican banditry and revolt against oppressive government. Elia Kazan’s direction strives for a personal intimacy but neither he nor the John Steinbeck scripting achieves in enough measure.

Convenient use is made of historical fact as the script plays hop-skip-and-jump in spanning the nine years that Zapata was a controversial figure in Mexican political life just prior to and during the earlier part of World War I.

Marlon Brando brings to the Zapata character the same type of cold objectivity noted in script and direction. Jean Peters is the girl who becomes his bride and forsees his violent end.

There’s a stark quality to the photography by Joe MacDonald that suggests the raw, hot atmosphere of Mexico.

1952: Best Supp. Actor (Anthony Quinn).

Nominations: Best Actor (Marlon Brando), Story & Screenplay, Art Direction, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

Viva Zapata!

Production

20th Century-Fox. Director Elia Kazan; Producer Darryl F. Zanuck; Screenplay John Steinbeck; Camera Joe MacDonald; Editor Barbara McLean; Music Alex North; Art Director Lyle Wheeler, Leland Fuller

Crew

(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1952. Running time: 112 MIN.

With

Marlon Brando Jean Peters Anthony Quinn Joseph Wiseman Arnold Moss Margo

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading