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Pancho Villa on the Border (1913)


Silent | 1913

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  •  Rebel troops atop a train headed for the Battle of Tierra Blanca 
  •  Francisco “Pancho” Villa poses for the camera 
  •  Dramatizations from the Battle of Ojinaga 
  •  Federal soldiers searching for hidden treasure 
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This newsreel from 1913 captures some of the movements of Francisco “Pancho” Villa and his army during the Mexican Revolution. Villa experienced a number of military victories during this time, including Tierra Blanca and Ojinaga. As a result, the United States Army began to study his war tactics, and Hollywood even signed a contract with Villa to film his movements, with 50 percent of the profits going towards his revolutionary efforts. In this footage, General Luis Aguirre Benavides first makes an appearance in Juarez. Next, troops are loaded onto—and atop—a train prior to the Battle of Tierra Blanca. Then, Villa himself poses for the camera. Finally, the footage captures scenes (and dramatizations) from the Battles of Ojinaga and Mesa, including a shootout along the skirmish line, the capture and execution of a Federal sharpshooter, and the burial of enemy soldiers. The film also features a scene of Federal soldiers searching for hidden treasure.