Viva Zapata!
Viva Zapata! (1952)

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… More

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Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: September 19, 1952
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2003
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Critic Score: 65% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

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

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The Mexican revolution whitewashed for east-coast intellectuals.

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Matthew Pejkovic
Matt's Movie Reviews

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.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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James Plath
Movie Metropolis

"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.

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TV Guide

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

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Bosley Crowther
New York Times

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

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Emanuel Levy

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.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

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.

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More reviews for Viva Zapata!

Flixster Audience Score: 77% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Sluggish, miscast drama surprisingly pedestrian considering the talent involved. Quinn should have played Brando's role and good actress through Jean… More
Mike T.
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… More
Cameron Johnson
Oh, if you could listen to my brain right now, well, you would go insane long before you get to that point where music gets stuck, where you would hear this… More
Leo L
A favorite
John Ballantine
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… More