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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Even when not not Fairbanks' strongest films, fans will still find much to enjoy
Of the Douglas Fairbanks films I've seen so far, there is not one that came across as bad. The Gaucho may be my least favourite of them, it does get a tad too heavy-handed at times and the religious stuff sometimes bogs it down and give off an odd feel. But what makes Fairbanks' films as good as they are are most definitely present in The Gaucho. The sets are some of the most exotic and lavish of any Fairbanks film, and the same can be said of the costumes. The photography is equally beautiful, and the music score is appropriately rousing which make the stunts and such even more exciting than they already are. There is a strong sense of humour that is as fresh and current now as it was then, the director handles things deftly and the story cannot be called routine, if anything of all the films Fairbanks did The Gaucho is perhaps his least conventional story-wise. It is also very briskly paced and with a constant sense of fun and energy, as well as memorable scenes like the aftermath of the healing miracle. It's not a Fairbanks film without mentioning the stunts and they are spectacularly choreographed and dazzlingly executed. And with real athleticism that has not been matched much by many films today standards. Fairbanks steals the show, as he should as he is the star, he is charisma personified and clearly looks like he's enjoying every moment. His stunts are athletic and youthful and he does show some expressive acting like in the healing miracle scene and its aftermath. He is very well-supported by the rest of the cast, the standouts being Lupe Velez, who plays with a lot of appealing spunk and is sexy without even trying, and Gustav von Seyffertitz, whose suave charm but very twisted malevolence makes for one of the nastiest villains of any Fairbanks film. All in all, while not one of Douglas Fairbanks' best it is still a treat. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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