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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: cigar joe on November 05, 2005, 07:23:52 PM



Title: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: cigar joe on November 05, 2005, 07:23:52 PM
Ok finally managed to find a copy of this on VHS, unfortunately in full screen but not a bad transfer.   

Villa Rides (1968) Dir. Buzz Kulik, Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum Charles Bronson, Herbert Lom, Frank Wolff, Jill Ireland, and the kid (canít remember his name)who flips the coin from For A Few Dollars More as now a teen age Villista.

This was supposedly shot in Spain, and knowing this I still didnít recognize a single location on first viewing from any of the SWís. But let me tell you this one impressed me. It was big budget, a lot of great set pieces (a cavalry charge & an attack on a train), lots of action, and a very good and close to historical screen play which seeing as how it was written by Robert Towne (Chinatown) and Sam Peckinpaw how could it not be. Even the costumes of Villa hit the nail on the head, they looked straight out of a collection of photographs.

Forget about any comments of Brynner being miss cast he does a great job in the role of Villa, actually I thought his best western role was always as Chris in Mag 7, but this blows that performance away, in Mag 7 heís still (King & I)  Yul Brynner, in Villa Rides heís absolutely believable as Villa. Robert Mitchum plays a gun running aviator named Arnold, and we first see him delivering machine guns to a detachment of federal soldiers "Colorados" (for their red company flags), their commander is Frank Wolff.

Now here is where my in-depth immersement into the convoluted MexRev pays off. This particular film takes place right after the fall of Diaz. Madero, Villa, Orozco, and Zapata all fought against Diaz and Huerta was one of Diazís Generals.

But at the time of the film Madero is President, General Huerta a former Diaz general who is now aligned with Madero is in command of the federal forces, Villa is also with Madero. The "Colorados" from the beginning of the film are Orozcocistas, followers of General Orozco who rebelled from Madero (along with Zapata) when they thought he was not moving along fast enough with land reforms.

Mitchum gets involved with Villa when the town heís staying in gets attacked by the "Colorados" because they are sympathetic to Villa. Villa who in a position to stop them allows them to attack the town. Villaís reasoning is that once the villagers get a taste of the "Colorados" heíll get plenty of recruits. This is spot on for the historical MOís of all the groups portrayed in the film. Every major theme portrayed (except for the airplane) actually happened.


Mitchumís love interest (Jill Ireland) gets raped by Wolff, and Mitchum is pissed off when he finds out that Villa could have prevented it, however Villa points out that it was Mitchun who provided the "Colorados" with the machine guns in the first place. Some of the same Manco-Mortimer jocky-ing for position between Villa & Arnold take place and eventually they make an uneasy alliance with Fierro ready to shoot if it goes arwy.

The whole air plane plot (not historic) is believable (and entierly plausible) since Mitchum the gun running aviator has stolen the two-seater plane, which looks pretty close to a Curtiss Jenny which would have been the only plane available at the time. They eventually use it with homemade bombs (sacks filled with scrap iron and dynamite) fuses lit from burning cigars that Mitchum and Bronson drop on various targets.

The sound track is nothing special, which is too bad, a Morricone soundtrack with different themes for Villa, Arnold, Fierro, etc., etc., would have definitely enhanced this film

This film has got to have a DVD widescreen release, it will kind of remind you of both Mag 7 & The Wild Bunch without the great music.

 


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: Banjo on November 06, 2005, 10:03:07 AM
I will have to check this movie out CJ.I remember from a photo-still that while Telly Savales has his head shaved for the dreadful Pancho Villa,Yul Brynner instead wears a wig in Villa Rides,but† i'll take your word for it† this is Brynners best serious western performance.
On a thread elsewhere during a discussion on Brynners role as Sabata(or Indio Black),Derringdo also references the King & I and (gulp!) i (gasp!) may have to watch this if shown on tv this Xmas just to see where you both are coming from.Maybe musicals are a tad cooler than i had imagined-after all i did manage to endure some musical numbers in the excellent SW Viva Maria,but there were two extremely tasty ladies involved here!!!
Have you seen Invitation to a Gunfighter,CJ,as i was recently outbid for a video on Ebay.Howard Hughes in his latest SW book cites Brynners performance as Sabata owes alot to the "fancy,black clad gunman called Jules Gaspard" in this movie,so i wonder how derivative of the King & I role this is also.I guess Yul might just be playing himself in these movies!!
We mustn't forget of course another (western?) role of Yuls as the robotic gunslinger in Westworld.Perhaps some trace of his sordid King & I past affected the circuitry and caused the android to malfunction!!!


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on November 06, 2005, 02:52:55 PM
Quote
On a thread elsewhere during a discussion on Brynners role as Sabata(or Indio Black),Derringdo also references the King & I and (gulp!) i (gasp!) may have to watch this if shown on tv this Xmas just to see where you both are coming from.Maybe musicals are a tad cooler than i had imagined-after all i did manage to endure some musical numbers in the excellent SW Viva Maria,but there were two extremely tasty ladies involved here!!!

In The King & I he does this walk and his body has this sort of  "regal carriage" to it, to put it mildly. You have to see it to see what I mean.  He sort of moves his lower body while the top stays straight with no shoulder roll as he walks.  He does this same walk in "Mag7" and  "Westworld" too, like he's still doing the King & I shtick. He doesn't do it in Villa Rides.

Also I forgot to mention that Villa Rides also has SW actors Fernando Rey (as a soldier), and the actor that always play an inn keeper or bar tender, sort of a stout actor, Hes in Companeros right at the beginning when El Penguino gets his room and in The Mercenary where hes the inn keeper that fixes up the thirty egg breakfast, and also in Face To Face during Beauregard's escape at the stage stop. In Villa Rides hes one of the towns people that are stood on chairs and stools with ropes around their necks, while Frank Wolff walks around kicking away the supports.


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: Banjo on November 07, 2005, 02:07:29 AM
I get you CJ now about Yuls walk but i think this is a very cool walk espescially in a western.Don't think too many people complained about John Waynes distinctive walk-far from it!!


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on November 09, 2005, 09:49:31 PM
Quote
I get you CJ now about Yuls walk but i think this is a very cool walk espescially in a western.Don't think too many people complained about John Waynes distinctive walk-far from it!!


It all comes down to POV and PIT (point in time). From my PIT I first saw and a lot of other first wave SW viewers first saw Yul in "The King & I" (1956) basically his defenitive part he also played a lot of other Middle Eastern-Far Eastern parts, Aw's and SW's came later. So everything is shaded from that initial POV.

It like if you first saw Clint in a SW then all his subsequent western characters are held up to the NWNN which at least is in the same genre. But with Yul it was the exotic oriental epic film type genre where he first made his mark so for us in the earlier PIT we see him from that POV.

Continuing with Villa Rides, watched it again tonight and noticed that a lot of the scenes were shot from a downward looking camera angle so you don't get a lot of the horrizon in a lot of the action shots in the film looks like from a crane and or helicopter. It doesn't project that Leone style of wide open spaces where the topography was another charater. I still haven'yt recognized any Almeria locations, though the trains used are looking like the same rolling stock as in most SW's. Any way this Buzz Kulik did a good journeyman's job but it definitely lacks the style and magic of a Leone or Corbucci. You don't have that distinctly picaresque humor, surrealistic frames, beautiful editing, and Morricone scores.

A part of this may be the the full screen and possibly paned & scaned VHS copy I have. But looking at his (Kulik's) CV he mostly did TV after this film.


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on November 12, 2005, 05:40:38 PM
Watched this for a third time now and Bronson has some really great scenes, a must film for Charley Bronson fans, there are also some execution action sequences, that have the guys that are shot really go flying violently backwards, cool fx.


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: The Smoker on November 13, 2005, 10:43:58 AM
Dosn't Bronson have some running gag about the bad food produced by the Rebels resident cook?


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on November 13, 2005, 04:15:59 PM
Quote
Dosn't Bronson have some running gag about the bad food produced by the Rebels resident cook?


Yea that's it, basically the cook sets the food down in front of him and Bronson takes a look or a taste and asks him if he cooked it and he says "yes" and then Bronson sayas "no you didn't".


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: Tim on August 08, 2006, 12:21:44 PM
Quote
Ok finally managed to find a copy of this on VHS, unfortunately in full screen but not a bad transfer.

  joe, where'd you find a copy of this one?  Sounds like I'm gonna have to check it out after reading your review.   ;D


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on August 08, 2006, 09:32:53 PM
Villa Rides I found on Amazon.com

But you can also check Ebay.


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: dave jenkins on March 14, 2008, 12:06:07 PM
Rumor has it that this is coming to DVD soon (Paramount is licensing it and several other pictures to a third party).


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on March 14, 2008, 03:53:44 PM
That would be great news!!!  8)


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on May 10, 2008, 05:48:24 PM
June 8th the DVD is being released,  O0 O0 O0


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: Ben Tyreen on May 11, 2008, 11:41:28 AM
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51q%2B0CT%2B9VL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)

  Nice looking DVD cover, might have to pick this one up. :)


Title: Re: Villa Rides
Post by: cigar joe on June 04, 2008, 04:54:44 AM
You can order this on Amazon now.  O0


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on June 04, 2008, 11:13:36 AM
Quote
You can order this on Amazon now. 

  It's in my Netflix queue now. O0


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: cigar joe on June 11, 2008, 09:06:01 PM
Popped in the new DVD today and watched this again, its great to have a nice release of this, while its probably one of the best American Zapata's with a good cast it still lacks that stylistic ingredient that the Italian Zapata's seem to acquire naturally, that may have propelled this to the next level. On a side note the dir.,  Buzz Kulik I noticed tonight was one of the directors of TV's "Have Gun Will Travel".

Its also nice to see some different and interesting locations in Spain.

This time around I noticed an uncredited cameo with John Ireland near the end that I missed the first go round. Again we have a sort of Italian Western reunion with this flick, Frank Wolf, Antonio Ruiz, Josť I. Zaldua, Fernando Rey, along with Herbot Lom (Inspector Dreyfuss from the Pink Panther series)playing General Huerta.

Does anybody know if Jill Ireland & John Ireland were related?


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on July 14, 2008, 12:57:23 AM
  I watched Villa Rides late last week and ended up really liking it.  Overall, it didn't do anything out of this world great but it did everything solid whether it be the cast, the locations, or Maurice Jarre's score which I really enjoyed.  And cj, the only location I recognized was the town in the beginning from Return of the Magnificent Seven.  Mitchum is solid as Lee Arnold, gunrunner who teams with Pancho Villa, and Yul Brynner was surprisingly good as the bandit chief, but by far the best part was for Charles Bronson as Villa's right hand man Fierro.

  His back and forth with Villa about how easy it is to fly a plane made me laugh, and then later Mitchum's threat "If you shoot me, we'll crash."  After a long pause, Bronson replies "I'll shoot you!" ;D

  Good movie all around and one I'll add to my collection in the future.  Although cj, your review has Jill Ireland as Mitchum's girlfriend raped by Frank Wolff.  The wonders of plastic surgery, transforming someone from a skinny blonde woman to a curvy spanish woman. O0


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: cigar joe on July 14, 2008, 07:22:48 AM
I though she was but she is the girl in the restaurant in Texas at the end.


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: Groggy on July 14, 2008, 07:44:29 AM
Does anybody know if Jill Ireland & John Ireland were related?

Doesn't look like it. Jill was English and John was Canadian/American.


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 01, 2011, 07:16:25 PM
Finally got around to watching this and what a great, great movie. It seemed to last forever and in a rare occurrence, was never boring. Bronson was most memorable for me with his character who loves shooting things and people. Might watch it again before the night is out.


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: stanton on January 02, 2011, 02:14:38 AM
Uninspired directing, the characters don't work, a sleepwalking Mitchum, a lame screenplay which senselessly claims that it was written by Peckinpah and Robert Towne.

Mediocre western  4 maybe 5/10


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: cigar joe on January 02, 2011, 04:26:53 AM
I liked it myself, fits nicely in among the other Zapata's.  O0


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: Arizona Colt on January 02, 2011, 11:31:31 AM
It was WAAAAAAYYYYYYYY better than about a hundred SW's I've suffered through recently.


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: drinkanddestroy on October 10, 2011, 08:48:07 PM
just saw Villa Rides for the first time, on cj's recommendation. Rented it off iTunes; it was in widescreen.

I was very amused and entertained. Nothing more, nothing less.


Anyway, here are some random thoughts in no particular order:

a) the toupees, mustaches, and accents of Brynner and especially Bronson are beyond laughable

b) very solid cast (needless to say!)

c) sets were very good; I am sure the Mexican village scenes were shot on location in real Mexican villages

d)I don't know jack about the history of the MexRev. But before watching it, I assumed that the film would glamorize Villa as some kind of saint. I was very, very pleased that they depicted him as pretty much no better than the other crooks in power

e) I diagree with cj about the score; I enjoyed it a lot. Too repetitive; I wish they had composed more than one or two melodies. But those one or two melodies that keep being repeated are pretty good.

f) Bottom line: I came in with basically zero expectations, didn't take the movie seriously, and I was entertained for two hours.... So, if the movie is ever playing on tv, it may be worth a watch; or if you are out of other movies in your Netflix queue, you can put it in.... But don't be puttin it in front of your queue

g) There are some fantastic lines in this film. The dialogue really saves it.

h) Brynner's speech to Mitchum about trials and liberty and justice is such crap, I found myself saying "are you serious? are you serious?" (channeling my inner Nancy Pelosi... eeeewwwwwww)

i) Villa et al visiting the Mitchum character in the El Paso restaurant? also laughable

j) again, I have to repeat. Bronson's "Mexican" accent is LAUGHABLE. and his and Brynner's toupees and mustaches are ridiculous. But that all added to my amusement


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: Moorman on January 18, 2017, 06:38:26 AM
Like the OP said, i actually liked Brynners's character and acting more in this film, than Mag7.  In fact, i think it was a all around better film. Its underrated. Well worth me purchasing on dvd...


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: mike siegel on January 18, 2017, 12:44:36 PM
Just terrible.
I love Mitchum & Bronson, only they kept me alive.
But it's good that way, otherwise my favorite film would never have been made...


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: cigar joe on January 18, 2017, 03:58:20 PM
Like the OP said, i actually liked Brynners's character and acting more in this film, than Mag7.  In fact, i think it was a all around better film. Its underrated. Well worth me purchasing on dvd...

Hey its decent, no Leone but fits nicely with the other Zapata's.


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: stanton on January 19, 2017, 03:22:25 AM
Hey its decent, no Leone but fits nicely with the other Zapata's.

Nah, it's way beneath every Peckinpah western, even beneath The Glory Guys, and also way beneath the best Revolution-SWs The Mercenary or Quien sabe?


Title: Re: Villa Rides (1968)
Post by: cigar joe on January 19, 2017, 03:50:47 AM
Nah, it's way beneath every Peckinpah western, even beneath The Glory Guys, and also way beneath the best Revolution-SWs The Mercenary or Quien sabe?

Oh BS! I'd agree about most of Peckinpah's Westerns, Duck You Sucker, and The Mercenary, but it's on par with, Via Villa, Zapata, Companeros, Quien Sabe?, and Tepepa, and above Pancho Villa, The Treasure Of Pancho Villa.