How Did Francisco Pancho Villa Become The First Mexican Revolutionary General?

It happened in 1914, during the early days of movies.

Movie makers wanted real-life pictures for a war movie. They knew that Pancho Villa, the Mexican revolutionary leader was about to go to war against the dictator of Mexico. The movie company signed a contract with Villa.

Villa agreed to fight his war the way the movie director wanted him to. Since the early movie cameras could “shoot” only when there was plenty of sunlight, Villa had to fight his war between the hours of nine in the morning and four in the afternoon. There was to be no fighting at night.

Why did Villa agree to all this? Perhaps because the movie was to be called “The Life of General Pancho Villa.” A strange thing happened when the owners of the film company looked at all those battle scenes.

They decided that the real-life war looked fake and dull. They had to hire actors and photograph the whole thing again in a studio. In the end, the fake looked more real than the real.

Villa recruited soldiers and able subordinates both Mexican and mercenary, and raised money using methods such as forced assessments, and train robberies. After which, Villa became provisional governor of the state of Chihuahua.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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