Apocalypto (2006)  --  Mayan Rambo just before the arrival of the Spanish

Kings of the Sun (1963)  --  Mayans pursued by Toltec invaders

Retorno a Aztlan (1991)  --  an ancient Indian empire in what became Mexico faces a severe drought and the priest prays for relief

Christopher Columbus (1949)  -- discoverer of America, not a short cut to India (with Fredric March and Francis Sullivan)

Christopher Columbus (1985)  --  mini-series starring Gabriel Byrne, Faye Dunaway, Oliver Reed

Christopher Columbus: The Discovery  (1992)  -- with Marlon Brando, Tom Selleck

1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)  -- Christopher Columbus

Alba de América (Dawn of America) (1952)  --  account of discovery of America

Captain from Castile (1947) -- serves with Cortez in conquest of Mexico

El juicio de Martin Cortes (1974) --  mestizo son of Cortez represents fundamental dilemma of Mexican society

La Otra Conquista (The Other Conquest) (1998)  --  Aztec resistance to Christianization by the Spanish under Cortez

Nuevo Mundo ( New World) (1978) --   in the future Mexico, the Spanish laity and clergy use torture and fear to try to force the native people to accept Christianity and abandon their pagan beliefs

Tribu (1935)  --  conquest of North America

 Cabeza de Vaca (1992)  --  1528, explored parts of the future USA and Mexico

The Spanish Main (1945)   --   the area containing the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico was subject to a lot of piracy to get at the gold and other treasures of the New World headed to Spain





Mission to Glory:  A True Story (1977)  -- the story of Jesuit missionary Father Kino working in the lower southwest region of the future USA

Kino (1993)  --  Eusebio Francisco Kino (1645–1711) Catholic priest explores and works primarily in northern Sonora, Mexico and the future southern Arizona establishing 24 missions & country chapels

Seven Cities of Gold (1955)  --  Portola's expedition to California in 1769 for the cities of gold and Father Junipero Serra and the founding of the California missions

Yo, la peor de todas (I the Worst of All) (1990)  --  Sister Juana Ines de la Cruz of Mexico is punished for her writings by the Inquisition

Spain: House of Borbon (First Restoration)  --  1813-1868   Ferdinand VII (1813-1833) and Isabella II (1833-1868 deposed)

Proceso a Mariana Pineda (The Trial of Mariana Pineda) (1984)  --  tv mini-series about a woman who fought for a republic in Spain and against Ferdinand VII and who pays a high price for her activities

Zorro marchese di Navarra (Zorro, the Navarra Marquis) (1969)  --  Zorro makes sure the exiled King Ferdinand VII (ruled 1808 & 1813-1833 after got rid of Joseph Bonaparte) gets back to Spain

Spain: House of Savoy --  Amadeo (1870-1873)


Getrudis (1992) – Mexican War of Independence 


The Republic of Texas and the Mexico-America War

Texas (1994)-- history of Texas from its settlement via Stephen Austin to statehood

The First Texan (1956)  --  based on life of Sam Houston (starring Joel McCrea) ($40)

Houston: the Legend of Texas (Gone to Texas) (1986)  --  story of Sam Houston (including battle at the Alamo and the battle of San Jacinto)

Man of Conquest (1939)  --  Sam Houston

The Adventures of Jim Bowie  (1956)  (TV)  --  TV series based on the life of Jim Bowie

Travis (1991)  --  a teenager watches the courage of Col. Travis at the Alamo

Alamo: The Price of Freedom (1988)

Alamo: 13 Days to Glory (1987) --

The Alamo (1960) -- 1836

The Last Command (1955) Jim Bowie and the Alamo

Heroes of the Alamo (1937)  -- 

One Man's Hero (1999)  -- Irish Americans mistreated in the US army go over to the Mexican side

Santa Anna: Su alteza serenisima (2001)  --  the last three days in the life of Santa Anna (1794-1876)

The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936)  --  Joaquin Murrieta in California seeks revenge on the men who killed his wife and brother (possible source for Zorro character)

The California Conquest (1952)  --  1840s, the push for statehood for the future California, then part of Mexico  (currently unavailable)

Pirates of Monterey (1947)  --  a Spanish woman is going to California to marry a Spanish officer, but instead falls in love with an American


Mexico under Juarez (president 1858-1872)  Back to Chapter VII  Back to Contents

Juarez (1939) -- Mexican leader against Napoleon III's man in Mexico

Aquellos años (1973)  --  Benito Juarez

Major Dundee (1965)  --  Dundee hunts down an Apache warrior group raiding in Texas during the Civil War & runs into French troops in Mexico

The Eagle and the Hawk (1950) --  in 1863 Texas Ranger and a Union spy cross into Mexico to investigate power struggle between French puppet Maximilian and Mexican Benito Juarez

Vera Cruz (1954)  --  Americans try to steal the gold while escorting a countess to Vera Cruz and Emperor Maximilian; Juaristas also want the gold 

Mexicanos, al grito de guerra (Mexicans, to the Cry of War) (1943)  --  a soldier defends Mexico against the French while in love with the French ambassador's daughter

The Undefeated (1969)   --   a group of Confederate soldiers from USA decide to establish a new life in Mexico under French Emperor Maximilian

Guadalupe La Chinaca (1938) – a love story set during French Intervention in Michoacán

La paloma (1937)  --  Emperor Maximilian and the war for independence


Rio Grande (1950)  --  Col. Ranald Mackenzie's 1873 raid against the Comanche and Kiowa hiding in Mexico


Labor Troubles:

Frida  (1986)  --  the life and paintings of Frida Kahlo (married to the great muralist Diego Rivera)

Frida (2003) --  two left-wing Mexican artists interact with the Rockefellers

Tina in Mexico (2002)  --  life of  photographer Tina Modotti and her contacts with intellectual circles (including Diego Rivera)

Raíces de sangre (Roots of Blood) (1979)  --   the fight for unionization of the fabric factories around the US/Mexican border



MEXICAN REVOLUTION/CIVIL WAR (1910-1917)  ( 1,000,000 dead)   Back to Chapter IX  Back to Contents

Dictator General Porfirio Diaz (1876-1880) and (1884-1911)

Madera (president 1911-1913)

El Cometa (The Comet) (1999)  --  a young Mexican girl wants to get the collected money to San Antonio, Texas to support Madero in his fight against dictator General Porfirio Diaz

Cuartelazo (military uprising) (1977)  --  General Vitoriano Huerta overthrows Madera in a plot with US ambassador to Mexico, Henry Lane Wilson; he was president 1913-1914

Mexico de mis recuerdos (My Memories of Mexico) (1944)  --   (no English subtitles) remembrances of Mexico under Diaz

Mexico de mis recuerdos (My Memories of Mexico) (1963)  --   (no English subtitles) remembrances of Mexico under Diaz

Thunder over Mexico (Que viva México) (1933)  --  excesses of the powerful in the days of  dictator Porfirio Diaz

Pancho Villa (leader of the northern forces)

Viva Villa! (1934) -- Pancho Villa, head of the army of the North,  1916, Mexico

Let's Go with Pancho Villa (1936)  --  a group of 6 men from the same village decide to join the Villa forces

And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003) --  Pancho Villa raises money by agreeing to let the Americans film his battles

Villa! (1958) dull; Mexican revolutionary

Villa Rides! (1968)  --  an American pilot becomes involved with Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution

The Old Gringo (1989) -- about the writer Ambrose Bierce who at 70 was a volunteer with Villa

Pancho Villa (1972)  --  non-historical comedy

La soldadera (Soldier's Woman) (1966)  --  (no English subtitles)  a wife becomes a soldier's woman when her husband is conscripted into the Mexican Revolution

Reds -- journalist John Reed interviewed Villa

Reed, México insurgente (1973)  --  American journalist John Reed and the Mexican Revolution  ($1,000 for VHS tape)

Caballo prieto azabache (Midnight Stallion) (1965)  --  (no English subtitles) shelters Villa in his early days after he killed a landowner and then Villa repays a debt

El principio (2007)  --  (no English subtitles) an artist joins the forces of Villa

Un Dorado De Pancho Villa (1966)  --  (no English subtitles) a Villa supporter finds a rich man, steals his sweetheart and Villa is asked for help

El tesoro de Pancho Villa (The Treasure of Pancho Villa) (1957)  --  Mexican Revolution  (currently unavailable)

Flor Silvestre (Wild Flower) (1943)  --  set against the Mexican Revolution, class differences between a rich man and poor woman leads to family divisions

Los de abajo (1940)  --  farm worker joins Pancho Villa General; fights in takeover of Zacatecas; promoted to rank of lieutenant colonel 

Los de abajo (1978)  -- 

 La muerte de Pancho Villa (The Death of Pancho Villa) (1974)  --  (no English subtitles)  the murder of Pancho Villa, 1923 

 X  Under Strange Flags (1937) --  Pancho Villa prevents some Americans from getting their mined-in-Mexico silver

They Came to Cordura (1959)  --  story of courage or the lack of it set during raiding activities of Pancho Villa along the Mexico/USA border

Zapata (leader of the southern forces)

Viva Zapata (1952) -- Marlon Brando 1916, Mexico

Emiliano Zapata (Zapata) (1970)  --  played by Antonio Aquilar

Zapata: Amor en Rebeldia (2004)  --  Zapata in a three-way relationship

Zapata: El sueño de un héroe (2004)  --  Emiliano Zapata, leader of the southern forces fighting the Mexican Revolution 

El Compadre Mendoza (1934)  --  a wealthy land owner survives the revolution by playing friends to both governmental and Zapata forces

Lucio Vasquez (1968)  --  (no English subtitles) a close comrade to Zapata wants revenge for the killings of Zapata and his father

La casta divina (1977)  --  the Yucatan aristocracy on the eve of the Mexican Revolution

Trini (1976)  -- East German movie involving the Mexican Revolution


Cannon for Cordoba (1970) -- soldiers against Mexican bandits on the Texas border ca. 1912

La Sombra del caudillo (1960) --  corrupt politics in post-revolutionary Mexico

Peregrina (El asesinato de Carrillo Puerto Mexico - (subtitle)) (1974)  --  (no English subtitles) love affair between journalist Alma Reed and Governor of Yucatan, Felipe Carillo Puerto during time of Obregon (pres 1920-1924)

La Guerra Santa (1979)  --  (no English subtitles) a poor pottery maker is coerced into fighting with the Christian army in the Cristero Rebellion (1926-1929)

X   De todos modos Juan te llamas (The General's Daughter) (1975)  --  (no subtitles) centers on the Cristero movement, an uprising of Catholic fundamentalists  (currently unavailable)


Esperanza (1988)  --  Russian man flees the Russian Revolution and goes to Mexico


La ley de Herodes (Herod's Law)  -- political corruption in Mexico

Rosa Blanca (translation: White Rose) (1961) (released 1972)  --  set in 1930s when powerful oil companies appropriate vast amounts of Mexican land; farmer resists and tragedy ensues (banned until 1972)

Río escondido (1948) --  (No English subtitles) a dedicated school teacher works in a poverty-stricken community, set during presidency of Miguel Alemán Valdés (1946-1952)

México '68 (2010) – Mexican student revolt of 1968

Canoa (1976) --  a group of university employees get into real trouble when they are mistaken for Communists

Rojo amanecer (1989)  --  family's physical security threatened by their sons' commitment to the 1968 student revolt

Crates (1970)  --  post-1968 militant students have hard time adjusting in face of government repression and society's indifference (Carl J. Mora "Mexican Cinema")

Mecánica nacional (National Mechanics) (1972) ----  criticism of Mexican lower middle class values; clearly no new Mexican revolution can come from these shallow, sybaritic young people (Carl J. Mora "Mexican Cinema")

El Cambio (The Change) (1971)  --  a kind of Mexican "Easy Rider"

Raíces de sangre (Roots of Blood) (1976)  --  attempts to form labor union for the employees of maquiladoras (the mostly American-owned assembly plants along the Mexico border with USA)

Lola (1989)  --  set against the background of the 1985 earthquake, story of a woman overwhelmed by urban existence; awarded two Best First Feature prizes in Latin American film festivals

El violin (The Violin) (2005)  --  grandfather tries to retrieve ammunition for the guerilla movement behind government army lines 

Mexican emigration:

El Jardín del Edén (The Garden of Eden) (1994)  --  three main stories interwoven dealing with emigration from Mexico (focus is on Tijuana)

Al otro lado (2004)  --  To the Other Side; stories of Cuban boy, Moroccan girl and Mexican boy and the effects of emigration on their lives

Espaldas mojadas (1955)  --  Wet Backs; film made to discourage Mexicans from emigrating to the USA; Mexican illegals at mercy of exploiters and fearful of being discovered



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