Viva Max

A sort of Ealing comedy transplant, with Ustinov in his element as a bumbling Mexican generalissimo who leads an army of 87 men into Texas to recapture the Alamo, huffed because his lady friend scoffed that his troops wouldn't follow him even into a whorehouse. He gets there just before closing time - the Alamo now being a museum - and raises the Mexican flag before realising he has forgotten to issue any ammunition. But that's all right, since the American National Guardsmen haven't any either. In the ensuing stand-off, gentle satirical swipes are taken at bureaucracy, nationalism, militarism and anti-Commie hysteria. It is amusing enough, if whimsical and distinctly patchy, but is given a lift by some fine supporting performances (Keenan Wynn and Harry Morgan, especially) and by location shooting in the streets of San Antonio. The scenes in the Alamo, however, were staged at Cinecittà in Rome: the Daughters of the Republic of America were not amused by the threat of desecration to their national souvenir shop.

Release details

Duration: 92 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jerry Paris
Screenwriter: Elliot Baker
Cast: Peter Ustinov
Pamela Tiffin
Jonathan Winters
John Astin
Keenan Wynn
Harry Morgan
Alice Ghostley
Kenneth Mars
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