only if you know a bit about Mexican history.
John Steinbeck might have been a great writer, but of FICTION! The fact is the real Zapata stayed a lot longer in office than this film would have you believe;he liked power, however poor his background.
He was a man of principle, though;he let someone else shoot his opponents, instead of dirtying his own hands or conscience!
And any contemporary photograph of Emiliano will show you a moustache much more reminiscent of a dead water-rat than Brando's. Though Marlon's style did at least live to surface again in hippier times!!
But, who cares? Flaws there are, but it's a superb film. Joseph Wiseman may be a totally spurious agent provocateur/prototype CIA operatve, but he creates one hell of a persausive force for Zapata. Ditto his brother, Anthony Quinn, to illustrate the venal, macho culture as another primrose path Emiliano has to avoid.
Finally, beyond the well-recreated Pancho Villa & Huerta, who would have made a great double act if they'd been on the same side, there's Brando. He takes a long while to even engage you, and you frequently feel Zapata will only be a minor player in historical terms.
But Brando gets you there in the end, wisely illustrating both the agonised choosing Zapata goes through to stay true to his principles and the fact he very much had feet of clay. The humanity and human frailty shine through, and you can guess how this will end, even if history is being radically rewritten.
Thankfully, it doesn't end there, as no-one involved in this could have predicted the rise of the Zapatarist party in Mexican politics in recent years. They aren't responsible for the modern Mexico, but they are an important part in shaping it.
And, from a filmic point of view, this is actually a well-made and acted melodrama. Basically, another of Brando's ones you should not miss.