Un Dorado De Pancho Villa (One of Pancho Villa's Golden Ones) (1967)
Director: Emilio Fernández.
Cast: Emilio Fernández (Aurelio Pérez), Maricruz Olivier (Amalia Espinosa), Carlos López Moctezuma (Gonzalo de los Monteros), Sonia Amelio (María Dolores), José Eduardo Pérez (Comandante Pérez), José Trinidad Villa (Jorge Pérez Hernández), Aurora Cortés, Celia Viveros, Margarita Cortés, Leonor Gómez, Margarito Luna, Salvador Godínez.
(no English subtitles) a Villa supporter finds a rich man, steals his sweetheart and Villa is asked for help
Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire movie.
Pancho Villa speaks to a line of horsemen, his Dorados (Golden Ones), his elite cavalry, 50 men strong. He tells the men that the revolution has finished and that it is time to return to our families and homes. The men break up and go in different directions.
María Dolores and her son Chaba go to wash their clothes by the river. She is the owner of the Glory of Pancho Villa Inn. They watch as a man on a horse, one of Villa's Dorados, rides on the river road. His name is Aurelio Pérez. Chuba follows him and gets a chance to speak with him. But the man is not friendly at all. He tells Chaba to scram and don't follow him again.
A ranch hand yells to Don Gonzalo that Aurelio Pérez is in town. He is one of the best of Villa's Dorados. Gonzalo's wife, Amalia Espinosa, hurries over to him to say that he told her that Aurelio had been killed in combat; that he tricked her. But now it is too late. Gonzalo tries to hug her, but she tells him: "Don't touch me!" He responds by telling her that she is his. But she tells him: "Now I hate you with all my being."
Chaba still follows Aurelio around the area. Aurelio goes to his mother's home. He soon finds out that his mother is dead. The patron arrives with some soldiers and the commandant, Comandante Eduardo Pérez. Don Gonzalo asks him what he is doing here. But the commandant insists on handling the situation himself, since he has the authority. He tells Aurelio that they want peace in their town. Gonzalo doesn't think the commandant is being hard enough on Aurelio, gets disgusted and rides off. Aurelio goes into the house. He feels sad over the death of his mother.
Chaba visits his mother who is cooking for the inn. He tells her that Aurelio wants to be alone, at least for now. Later Chaba brings Aurelio some food from his mother. Aurelio invites Chaba to eat lunch with him. Chaba just sits down against the wall next to the dining table. Aurelio asks him about a woman named Amalia Espinosa. Chaba certainly know her. She is the wife of Don Gazalo, the richest man in town. Aurellio blanches at the news. The school bell rings and Chaba has to leave.
Amalia talks with the priest in church. She explains how Don Gonzalo tricked her and that she hates him with all her being. This kind of talks upsets the priest.
Gonzalo speaks with the commandant. He says that he needs protection from that bandit and that the town isn't big enough for Aurelio and Gonzalo; it's either him or me, he says. The commandant objects because Aurelio has not committed any crime. Gonzalo asks if he needs some money, but the commandant tells him that things are different now that he is in charge of the area.
Aurelio visits the grave of his mother. As he approaches the grave, María Dolores gets up from the grave and leaves. He then pays his respects to his mother. María walks to the inn to serve some of her guests. She serves the commandant. He has a real crush on María and he is often way too fresh with her. He taunts her a bit and she tells off the older man. But he just laughs at her. He seems to be having fun giving her a hard time. Aurelio arrives and sits at a table. She is very gracious to him. The commandant is a bit jealous. He says in a rough voice: "I want a beer." She sends her son to get the commandant a beer. In speaking with Aurelio about his mother, María tells him that she thinks his mother died of sadness. Then the talk turns to Gonzalo. She says that the patron is the owner of just about everything in town. The revolution took most of the men away and now there are mostly only women and children.
Gonzalo arrives aft the inn and visits with the commandant. He starts throwing everything on the table over his shoulder where the things break. He then demands a bottle of cognac. Gonzalo brought a band with him and now he orders the musicians to play a tune from one of the Carranza generals, Obregon, who was Villa's nemesis. This does not please Aurelio, but María tells him that Gonzalo is drunk and deliberately trying to provoke him. She also tells him that he had better leave. With both taunters watching her, she gives Aurelio a big hug and a great kiss. Aurelio leaves and María starts back into the inn. Gonzalo asks her to have a cognac with them. She says she will not sit down with such music being played. She mentions a more acceptable tune like "La cucaracha" (The Cockroach) and the band starts playing the tune. She still doesn't sit with them.
Amalia shows up at Aurelio's place. She waits for him inside. He is very surprised to see her. She explains to him about how Gonzalo had lied to her and tricked her. But Aurelio hardens his heart and he tells her to leave. She is shocked and hurt. She leaves. She goes for a walk. Later Aurelio goes out to her. They then walk together holding hands.
The town still is divided by varying views on the Mexican Revolution. The Revolution is still very much a living thing even though it is officially over. The divisions spark the town fighting with men fighting men, women fighting women and boys fighting boys. Gonzalo asks Amalia where she has been. He is very mad. She tells him and he slaps her hard across the face. He then starts to walk away from her. She pulls out a pistol and starts shooting at him. She hits him a number of times, but not bad enough to kill him immediately. He pulls out a pistol and kills her. Gonzalo then falls down and dies.
Aurelio visits with María. He tells her that he has just come to say good-bye. This saddens María, but she goes in to prepare tacos for his journey. Aurelio is going to find Villa and offer his services in some capacity. María gives him enough food for three days. All of a sudden the commandant arrives and accuses Aurelio of the crime of murdering the married couple. They arrest him and put him in jail. Later they condemn him to death by firing squad. María brings him some food to eat in jail. She says that she knows he is innocent. They just needed a pretext to get him. She then says that she is going to find Villa to ask for his help.
María finds Villa working in his fields. She tells him about what happened and swears to him that Aurelio is innocent. Villa tells her not to worry; he will handle the situation. María goes away happy. She tells her son that Villa is the greatest and most valiant of all the major figures of the Mexican Revolution. Unfortunately for María and Auelilo, Villa is killed in an ambush in Parral. María brings Aurelio the bad news. She cries. Back at the inn, the commandant stops by to taunt María again. Later the commandant, a driver and three guards take Aurelio in a police car to the place where he will be shot. All of a suddenly the car gets a flat tire. The commandant gets out of the car to look at the damage. All of a sudden he is hit with a bullet on the side of his face. Then one by one the guards and the driver are taken out. It's María who shot the men. She then frees Aurelio from the car, gives him a horse and tells him to get away as fast as he can. He leaves.
Later María joins Aurelio in his mountain camp. She leaves her son in care back at the inn. He goes to school, but soon all the boys in his class are chasing him to try to hurt him. He runs into the mountains to finds his mother and Aurelio. With Aurelio are a lot of disenchanted peasants. A bugle sounds to warn the camp that someone is coming. But it turns out to be the young boy. María is happy to see him again. Aurelio talks with him and tells him stories of the great doings of his father in the Revolution. Aurelio tells María and her son to go back to the inn and prepare for their wedding. María returns and finds her old wedding dress.
The commandant had not died by the car. He survived, although the side of his face looks terrible. He prepares his men to get Villa. The troops go to the church where Aurelio is to marry María. But the huge church doors keep the troops at bay. The marriage ceremony is completed. Villa goes out the back way, gets on his horse and tries to evade the troops. They chase him. He doubles back and loses them for awhile, but they soon are chasing him again. María and Chaba are roughed up a bit by the troops. Aurelio returns to near the church, gets off his horse and walks. The soldiers finally catch up with him and shoot him to death. María cries over his body. Chaba watches helplessly.
Pretty good movie. I though it was spoiled a bit by the ending. But it is in a way symbolic and truthful. The Revolution, or rather the civil war part of it. after all, was lost. The bad guys (under Carranza) won. The men and women who wanted to see a more equal society lost. Those who were more aligned favorably with the wealthy won. The ending is symbolic of the ending of the Revolution. It was sad. And Mexico has never really had a fair society and never really had a satisfactory democracy. Rather, Mexico came to be more of a one party-dominated country. Racism and poverty go hand in hand and are very much alive in Mexico. Sad indeed.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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