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In Old Arizona (1928)

Passed  |   |  Romance, Western  |  20 January 1929 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 584 users  
Reviews: 24 user | 24 critic

A charming, happy-go-lucky bandit in old Arizona plays cat-and-mouse with the sheriff trying to catch him while he romances a local beauty.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Dorothy Burgess ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Two Men and a Senorita in a Rodeo of Love See more »


Romance | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

20 January 1929 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Cisco Kid  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.20 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


A restored Blu-ray edition of the film was released by 20th Century ox Home Entertainment in 2013. Watching it, one reviewer claims that 'almost certainly" that actor Raoul Walsh can be seen, in scenes shot before his accident, as cowboy on horseback under a big hat in long shots with bluffs in the background. Walsh, as director of an early John Wayne Western two years later, The Big Trail (1930), would utilize the same bluffs. 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 »


[last lines]
The Cisco Kid: Her flirting days are over. And she's ready to settle down.
See more »


Followed by Return of the Cisco Kid (1939) See more »


Sweetheart for a Day
Written by 'Fred Warren'
Played on piano by 'Fred Warren'
Sung by 'Fred Warren'
See more »

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User Reviews

IN OLD ARIZONA (Raoul Walsh and Irving Cummings, 1928) **1/2
15 July 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

Despite the desert setting and saloons and the presence of a Mexican bandit, cavalry officers and senoritas, this is really an exotic romantic drama (based on a story by the renowned O. Henry) as opposed to a straight Western. Being an early Talkie, it's obviously creaky – with very dated acting – but retains plenty of interest for the non-casual film-buff even after all these years: for one thing, it basically served as a template for the myriad Westerns that followed involving the exploits of some famous bandit or other (beginning with King Vidor's BILLY THE KID [1930]); besides, the flirtatious character of Dorothy Burgess may well have inspired Linda Darnell's Chihuahua in John Ford's classic MY DARLING CLEMENTINE (1946) nearly twenty years later!

Warner Baxter was a popular star of the era who has been largely neglected over the years; his Oscar-winning performance here isn't bad, but seems hardly outstanding at this juncture – his talent is more readily evident, in fact, in such later films as 42ND STREET (1933) and John Ford's THE PRISONER OF SHARK ISLAND (1936). The same can be said of Edmund Lowe: if he's at all remembered today, it's for his "Quirt & Flagg" series of war films with Victor McLaglen (three of them helmed by this film's original director, Raoul Walsh), the Bela Lugosi vehicle CHANDU THE MAGICIAN (1932; in the title role), and the noir-ish gangster drama DILLINGER (1945). While his character curiously speaks in modern i.e. 1920s slang, he interacts well with both Baxter and Burgess – especially effective is the scene where he comes face to face with Baxter's Cisco Kid at a barber shop and, ignorant of the latter's identity, lets him slip away.

The film features a couple of songs (one of them, by the famed songwriting trio of DeSylva-Brown-Henderson, is heard several times throughout and even serves as an Overture to the feature proper) and archaic comedy relief by a number of minor characters – notably Burgess' long-suffering elderly maid. There's far more talk than action here, but the twist ending (subsequently much copied) is remarkable – if anything, because it's unexpectedly pitiless for a film of its era! Incidentally, the lead role was to have been played by Raoul Walsh himself but he was injured (eventually losing an eye) in a driving accident; Irving Cummings replaced him behind the cameras (and, oddly enough, alone received the Best Director nomination, despite Walsh's name still appearing in the credits)!

P.S. Baxter, Lowe and director Cummings were re-united shortly after for a sequel – THE CISCO KID (1930); one wonders whether copies of the film still exist as, ideally, it should have been paired with the original on the bare-bones Fox DVD...

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