And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself
1914. In Fort Lee, NJ – the Movie Capitol of the World – director D.W. Griffith is interrupted on his western set by Mutual Films chief Harry Aitken and his nephew, a young production assistant named Frank Thayer. While Frank flirts with sultry actress Teddy Sampson, Harry tells Griffith about a unique offer from Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. To help finance his rebel forces and sidestep a U.S. arms embargo, Villa will allow a filmmaker to shoot his División del Norte army in actual combat for $25,000 in gold against 20% of the profits. Griffith is intrigued by the offer, but is too busy to pursue it personally – so he proposes Frank head to Mexico instead.