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William K. Howard
Johnny Mack Brown
Army Sergeant Mickey Dunn sets out in pursuit of the Cisco Kid, a notorious if kind-hearted and charismatic bandit of the Old West. The Kid spends much of his loot on Tonia, the woman he loves, not realizing that she is being unfaithful to him in his absence. Soon, with her oblivious paramour off plying his trade, Tonia falls in with Dunn, drawn by the allure of a substantial reward for the Kid's capture -- dead or alive. Together, they concoct a plan to ambush and do away with the Cisco Kid once and for all. Written by
Shannon Patrick Sullivan <email@example.com>
Raoul Walsh was cast as the Cisco Kid, as well as being the director; but during a return drive to Los Angeles from Utah, a jackrabbit jumped through the windshield of Walsh's car, with both the rabbit and the broken glass hitting Walsh in the face. (Safety glass was added to cars the following year.) The damage to Walsh's right eye necessitated replacing him in the lead role, re-writing the script and re-shooting some scenes with a different director while Walsh recuperated; Walsh thereafter wore the eye patch for which he was known, and eventually lost the eye entirely. Some footage of Walsh, in chase scenes and long shots, remains in the film. See more »
When Cisco robs the stagecoach, he is wearing an army holster (flap-over), the same type the Sargeant wears. But for the rest of the movie, he wears an open holster. See more »
Although this film was released in January 1929, it was filmed in 1928. That makes it truly amazing when you think that the first all-talking picture wasn't even released until July 1928 - "Lights of New York". As others have mentioned, this film does not have lots of action - much screen time is spent with characters just talking in specific locations. There are no exciting shoot-outs or chases as you would expect in a western made just five years later. This is probably due to the motion constraint of the early sound cameras. However, you do get some tremendous long shots of some stunning western vistas. This was because Fox was an early adopter of sound-on-film versus sound-on-disc. This gave Fox the ability to shoot outside and made the studio an innovator in the production of newsreels - they could take their cameras anywhere.
As for the film itself, I'd recommend it only if you're interested in early sound films. Otherwise, you'll probably be bored stiff due to the lack of action. Warner Baxter's portrayal of the Cisco Kid is quite good. He doesn't get too campy with a role that could have been over-the-top in the wrong hands. I do have to wonder - why is every single member of the army that is pursuing Cisco speaking with a Queens accent and why are they using urban New York slang? Was there a mix-up at central casting that day? Was the cast of this film supposed to show up for a Bowery Boys film or a gangster picture and wound up here by mistake? In 1928 there were dialogue coaches, but probably not many coaches on regional dialect. It's a shame to think that if John Wayne had tried out for this early sound western he would have been turned down because he didn't sound like he was from Brooklyn.
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