When a wealthy rancher tells his bookkeeper Charley that he is expecting his beautiful daughter Mary back home, the meek accountant's ardor for her is rekindled. Things become complicated when Francisco Murietta, a dashing local outlaw chief, becomes smitten with her too. Charley, a lookalike for the infamous bandito, impersonates his rival in order to win Mary, but Murietta's men aren't so easily fooled. Written by
The character of the Mexican bandit is a clear reference to legendary California outlaw Juoquin Murietta, a controversial folk hero and Mexican nationalist considered by some as the "Robin Hood of El Dorado." Murietta served as the model for the fictional Zorro. See more »
Among all the Charley Chase films I have seen, I think that generally his best films are his silents though a few talking pictures are a lot of funny--such as THE TOBASCO KID. Unlike many of his other shorts, this one is a lot of fun and has a lot more energy--plus the cliché of having comedians play exact doubles (such as Stan and Ollie in OUR HOSPITALITY) was rarely done better.
The film begins with Charley out West of all places. His girlfriend is returning home to the ranch and he decides to get all duded up like a movie singing cowboy to impress her. I wasn't too surprised to see this, as Chase sang in many of his films--having a rather pleasant voice. But what caught me off guard was having Charley also play an evil bandit whose mere name makes others run. I especially liked how her father (Billy Gilbert) reacted when he heard this desperado was about town. Unfortunately, everyone realizes that the bandit is here but the girl thinks this is Charley making a joke and she refuses to run or hide. All this leads to a dandy conclusion and I found myself laughing several times at the antics.
The only negative at all in the film was the schtick about the bandit howling like a coyote when he hears Charley singing. This is just stupid and detracts, just a bit, from the film. Otherwise, this is a top-notch Chase film.
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