The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

VILLA RIDES (1968) **


Yul Brynner (with hair!) stars as Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in this wearisome western written by Robert (Chinatown) Towne and Sam (The Wild Bunch) Peckinpah and directed by Buzz (The Hunter) Kulik.  Villa coerces a gringo pilot (Robert Mitchum) into helping with the revolution by ordering him to drop dynamite from his airplane onto Mexican soldiers. 


You know for a movie called Villa Rides, Villa doesn’t really spend a lot of time riding.  Heck we don’t actually see him on his damn horse until the movie’s about halfway over and even then, he’s not riding the horse, just sitting on it watching the action unfold.  In fact, too much of the movie focuses on Mitchum’s character as Villa doesn’t even show up till about 25 minutes into the movie. 


If you’re looking for a history lesson about the Mexican Revolution, forget it.  All the historical facts are muddled as all get out as we really never learn who Villa is rebelling against or why.  What we do get is a moderately entertaining but instantly forgettable oater. 


Charles Bronson has the best moments of the film as Villa’s trigger happy right hand man (I especially liked the scene where he lined up three Mexican soldiers back to back so he could save on bullets), but the two leads are rather lackluster and don’t have much chemistry together.  Brynner is his usual stoic self, but he doesn’t even bother speaking with a Mexican accent until the movie’s almost over!  What’s up with that Yul?


If anything, this movie’s at least worth watching for the rare sight of Brynner without his patented chrome dome.


Bronson gets the best line of the film after he shoots a belligerent man in a bar and says, “Go outside and die!  Where are your manners?”


This film along with several others will be released on DVD for the first time this June by Legend Films.  For more information regarding this DVD, visit


Tags: bronson, v, western
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