A girl is saved by a miracle after she falls from a cliff in the Argentine Andes, and is blessed with healing powers. A shrine is built on the site, and a whole city grows around it, rich ... See full summary »
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A girl is saved by a miracle after she falls from a cliff in the Argentine Andes, and is blessed with healing powers. A shrine is built on the site, and a whole city grows around it, rich with gold from the grateful worshipers. Ruiz, an evil and sadistic general, captures the city, confiscates the gold, and closes the shrine. But the Gaucho, the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws, comes to the rescue. Written by
John Oswalt <email@example.com>
Unusual but beautifully made and typically enjoyable Douglas Fairbanks vehicle, which finds the star at his most roguish (while still being his dashing and athletic self); with the Argentine pampas for backdrop, the film whose full official title is DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS AS THE GAUCHO can be considered a semi-Western. The narrative encompasses romance (supplied by fiery Lupe Velez), religion (via the presence of a miraculous shrine overseen by a saintly shepherdess we even get a couple of visions of the Madonna herself, played by Fairbanks' own equally popular actress wife, Mary Pickford!) as well as more characteristic action (in the form of The Gaucho's opposition to the rule of tyrannical Gustav von Seyffertitz). A subplot which ties in with the element of faith sees the hero being deliberately contaminated by a carrier of "The Black Doom" whom he had previously slighted, though both are eventually cured. Fairbanks' trademark pioneering spirit in the technical department is also well in evidence here with matte paintings giving the illusion of a truly elaborate visual design, reversed film for one particularly showy leap by the star onto his faithful steed, and even the wholesale horse-driven transportation of a house at one point!
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