The growing ambition of Julius Caesar is a source of major concern to his close friend Brutus. Cassius persuades him to participate in his plot to assassinate Caesar, but they have both sorely underestimated Mark Antony.
Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.
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 had played Stanley Kowalski in the road tour of Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire", and some critics thought he was better than Marlon Brando, who had originated the part. None of this was lost on Elia Kazan, who liked to foster competition between his actors if it was appropriate. On set, the competitive Quinn and Brando, who both liked and respected each other, bonded like the brothers they played. Ironically, Kazan had initially proposed Jack Palance, whom he had introduced in his earlier Panic in the Streets (1950), for the role of Zapata. Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck countered by offering Palance the role of Zapata's brother. The unhappy Palance then negotiated himself out of his Fox contract. Ironically, Palance had understudied Quinn in the road company version of "Streetcar," and when he was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Sudden Fear (1952), he was beaten by Quinn in "Zapata." See more »
Marlon Brando, amongst other actors, appears in brown-face. See more »
[to a vistor wanting to see Zapata]
General Zapata is busy.
[after a firing squad gunshot is heard]
General Zapata will see you now.
See more »
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 »
I'm no expert on the historical facts of the 1911 Revolution but can appreciate this movie's absorbing tale just as it stands. The photography is notably excellent and draws you into the story more and more. I think Brando as the illiterate peasant leader does a superb job of carrying the film along, creating the tender or serious moods that make for compelling drama throughout. I've always admired Jean Peters in any movie and her sensitive acting poignantly rounds out the love interest so well. Of course Quinn is his usual volcanic self, and in this instance garnered an Oscar as best supporting actor. It's a serious and sad tale about a real-life struggle of the people.
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