Before there was Viva Zapata!, the acclaimed film for which John Steinbeck received Academy Award nominations for best story and screenplay, there was the original Zapata.
In the research library of UCLA, James Robertson unearthed Steinbeck's original narraive of the life of Emiliano Zapato, "the Little Tiger," champion of the peasants during the Mexican Revolution. This story, upon which Steinbeck based his classic script Viva Zapata!, brilliantly captures the conflict between creative dissent and intolerant militancy to give us both a timesless social statement and an invaluable work of art.
This new volume includes the screenplay, with copious notes by the film's acclaimed director, Elia Kazan, as well as Steinbeck's captivating narrative.
Steinbeck was nominated for an Academy Award in 1952 for his screenplay, Viva Zapata! The film, based on the life of Mexican peasant revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, stars Marlon Brando, Anthony Quinn, and Jean Peters and is the only original work Steinbeck wrote for the screen. The original story upon which Steinbeck based his script was recently uncovered in a UCLA research library. The two versions are presented together here, and they complement each other well. The original story is more of a preliminary treatment and differs substantially from the screenplay. Steinbeck, who was fluent in Spanish, spent years in research, collecting oral histories from Zapata's contemporaries and veterans of the revolution and obtaining information not available in any other written record. His screenplay is superb drama on its own and is enriched by the historical framework. Recommended for academic libraries and large film collections.-- Marianne Cawley, Kingwood Branch Lib., Tex.