Alfonso Balcázar’s ¡Viva Carrancho! turned out to be a very interesting film. It anticipates the central oppositional character-duo of many later, so-called Revolution Westerns, a constellation most prominently locomotive for the narratives of Damiani’s ¿Quién sabe? (2 AL), Corbucci’s Il mercenario (4 AL) and Vamos a matar, compañeros (6 AL), Petroni’s Tepepa (5 AL), Leone’s Giù la testa and Tessari’s Viva la muerte … tua! (both 7 AL). Fernando Sancho, as the film’s eponymous protagonist, reprises his role from Pistoleros de Arizona, this time in an uneasy partnership with Luis Dávila’s gringo character. Robert Woods plays the duo’s antagonist, an arrant villain, mine owner, capitalist, racist, misogynist, murderer. ¡Viva Carrancho! shows a very pleasant populist left-wing bias, the oppressed Mexican workers triumph over their exploiter and his minions. Unfortunately, it also shows many signs of a rushed, meagerly budgeted, slapdash production.
A cause for celebration: Carrancho, the Workers’ Book Club Reader of the Month, has finished Das Kapital in under two weeks!