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Viva Zapata!

Viva Zapata! (1952)

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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 3

audience

78

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 2,709

My Rating

Movie Info

Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck and directed by Elia Kazan, this film follows the life of Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata (Marlon Brando) from his peasant upbringing, through his rise to power in the early 1900s, to his death. The film presents an interesting but fictionalized picture of Zapata. Zapata, the child of tenant-farmers, was joined by Pancho Villa in his rebellion against tyrannical President Porfirio Diaz. The film romanticizes Zapata and in doing so unfortunately distorts

Unrated,

Western, Drama, Classics

John Steinbeck

Sep 9, 2003

Fox

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All Critics (17) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (6) | DVD (2)

Elia Kazan's direction strives for a personal intimacy but neither he nor the John Steinbeck scripting achieves in enough measure.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The direction and John Steinbeck's script seem stranded in a no man's land between straightforward adventure and a pessimistic allegory about the corrupting nature of power.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Throbs with a rare vitality, and a masterful picture of a nation in revolutionary torment has been got by Director Elia Kazan.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Mexican revolution whitewashed for east-coast intellectuals.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Viva Zapata!" is one of those films that, while it continues to have impressive aspects, just doesn't hold up as well as it did when it was first made. You find yourself wishing it were in widescreen, and that they had hired at least ONE Latino actor.

May 11, 2013 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Kazan's biopic of the Mexican revolutionary offers good parts to Marlon Brando in the lead and Anthony Quinn as his brother, but it gets too conventional in the second half.

April 22, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Elia Kazan places an interesting and honest spotlight upon politics, which proves that left wing liberators are just as dangerous as the right wing fascists they have overpowered, and vice versa.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Great acting exercise, Tabascoed with Brando, peppered with Quinn, but otherwise Kazan/Steinbeck refried beans.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

For all its shortcomings, Zapata remains a vital work that has a curious resonance today in light of Kazan's subsequent decision to "name names" for HUAC.

November 15, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Fine Kazan "western" w/strong Quinn and Brando turns.

December 24, 2005
Kansas City Kansan

Elia Kazan's only stab at an action picture

November 6, 2004

Marlon Brando, como mexicano e com os olhos puxados, está sensacional como sempre, assim como o vivaz Quinn. História bem conduzida por Kazan que mostra o nascimento de uma lenda.

July 25, 2003
Cinema em Cena

Kazan paints a romantic picture of a man who was actually a cold-hearted tyrant.

May 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Audience Reviews for Viva Zapata!

Sluggish, miscast drama surprisingly pedestrian considering the talent involved. Quinn should have played Brando's role and good actress through Jean Peters was she doesn't belong in a part that Katy Jurado would have filled perfectly. Maybe she was busy making High Noon.
August 22, 2013
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Speaking of Pancho Villa, here we have another take on the Mexican revolution that centres on Villa's compatriot Emilano Zapata. Brando is a bit better than Wallace Beery at going above stereotypes but main points in the Revolution are still missed. Perhaps we need a revolutionary epic by one of the promising Latin American directors.
May 22, 2014
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Director Elia Kazan and actor Marlon Brando were the ideal combination, and this film is just another piece of evidence. Working from a rich screenplay by John Steinbeck that perfectly captures the scope and tragic character arc of Zapata, Elia Kazan gives the picture his own gritty flavor and simplistic visual appeal. Marlon Brando dominates in the lead role, playing a complex and demanding character full of anguished undercurrents. Fast, exciting and brilliantly executed, this is a masterpiece and a definite favorite of mine.
April 22, 2009
michaelcorleone

Super Reviewer

A favorite
May 4, 2008
iLeo
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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