Patton and Pancho: A Clash of Cultures

A new historical documentary film from Old Segundo Productions

pattonpancho_layers2RGB_frontPancho Villa rides at the head of his rebel army in Mexico in 1916. American soldiers pursued Villa into Mexico after the raid on Columbus, N.M., but he eluded capture. He was assassinated by political enemies in Mexico in 1923. (AP Photo)    

In 1915-1916 the mobilization of the American Army along the Mexican border and the combat operations on the Mexican Punitive Expedition in 1916 helped to forge the frontier army into a new mobile fighting machine that would soon face the trials of modern warfare in Europe. Among the subalterns who participated in that experience was Lieutenant George S. Patton who would develop into one of the United States Army’s great combat commanders.


Facing Patton and the American Army was Francisco “Pancho” Villa and his band of revolutionaries who had spent the years since 1910 engaged in a civil war against a variety of presidential contenders.  By 1916 Villa’s army had dwindled to a small force, and he was desperate for a miracle that would restore his prospects and bring back the people in support of his cause.

This film will weave the story of the young Patton into the fabric of the Punitive Expedition that will provide a gllimpse of the future leader who captured the imagination of a later America and embodied the offensive spirit of the Army of the United States.  Patton’s experiences on the Punitive Expedition reveal the changing face of the Army.  Air power, mobile operations, communications, and emerging technology called for new tactics on the desert of northern Mexico.

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For the Mexican people, it proved to be a time of turmoil, from within and from without.  Ordinary people lived on land that became a war zone as private Mexican armies did battle with the Federales, as the Mexican Revolution brought war and violence to their villages and towns.  In 1916 the Americans came, adding to the chaos and upheaval.  As the clash of cultures divided the two nations, each people struggled to carve out a place in this world for themselves and their families.  Today the clash of cultures continues along the same border areas.  Perhaps there are lessons to be gained from this long ago story and the people, Mexicans and Americans alike, who looked for peace and a future for their children. This is their story.


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