IMDb > A Message to Garcia (1936)

A Message to Garcia (1936) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
10 April 1936 (USA) See more »
Based on the actual event of Rowan's carrying a message from President McKinley to Garcia in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The parts of Dory and Raphalita are added. | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
I think the person in charge of casting this film was out of his mind!! See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Wallace Beery ... Sergeant Dory

Barbara Stanwyck ... Senorita Raphaelita Maderos

John Boles ... Lieutenant Andrew Rowan

Alan Hale ... Dr. Ivan Krug
Herbert Mundin ... Henry Piper
Mona Barrie ... Spanish Spy
Enrique Acosta ... General Calixto García
Juan Torena ... Luís Maderos
Martin Garralaga ... Rodríguez
Blanca Vischer ... Chiquita
José Luis Tortosa ... Pasquale Castova
Lucio Villegas ... Commandant
Frederick Vogeding ... German Stoker
Pat Moriarity ... Irish Stoker
Octavio Giraud ... Spanish Commandant
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sam Appel ... Proprietor (uncredited)
Guillermo Arcos ... Captain (uncredited)
Josefina Betancourt ... Aggresive Flirt (uncredited)

John Carradine ... President William McKinley (voice) (uncredited)
Davison Clark ... Admiral (uncredited)
David Clyde ... Tevis (uncredited)
Andre Cuyas ... Sentry (uncredited)
Art Dupuis ... Waiter (uncredited)
Juan Duval ... Sentry (uncredited)
Alberto Gandero ... Civilian (uncredited)
Fred Godoy ... Citizen (uncredited)
Augustín Guzmán ... Sentry (uncredited)
Rosita Harlan ... Flirt (uncredited)
Dell Henderson ... President William McKinley (uncredited)
Warren Hymer ... Departing Sailor (uncredited)

George Irving ... Col. Wagner (uncredited)
Carlos Montalbán ... Spanish Gunner (uncredited)
Philip Morris ... Army Officer (uncredited)
Manuel París ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Manuel Peluffo ... Lieutenant (uncredited)
Jose Peña Pepet ... Spanish Officer (uncredited)
Yorke Sherwood ... Dakin (uncredited)
Count Stefenelli ... Ralphaelita's Father (uncredited)
Romualdo Tirado ... Soldier (uncredited)
Pedro Vinas ... Servant (uncredited)
Miguel de Zárraga ... Spanish Officer (uncredited)

Directed by
George Marshall 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Gene Fowler 
Sam Hellman 
Elbert Hubbard  essay
Gladys Lehman 
W.P. Lipscomb 
Andrew S. Rowan  book (as Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan)

Produced by
Raymond Griffith .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
Cinematography by
Rudolph Maté 
Film Editing by
Herbert Levy 
Art Direction by
William S. Darling 
Rudolph Sternad 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Booth McCracken .... assistant director (as Booth McCraken)
Sound Department
Joseph E. Aiken .... sound recordist (as Joseph Aitken)
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound recordist
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Sam Benson .... wardrobe supervisor (uncredited)
Music Department
Louis Silvers .... musical director
Alfred Newman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Louis Silvers .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Other crew
François B. DeValdes .... technical advisor

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
77 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Did You Know?

President William McKinley is portrayed on screen by Dell Henderson, but with the dubbed voice of John Carradine.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Barbara Stanwyck, though supposedly Cuban, speaks Spanish with an American accent, and English with no accent whatsoever.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Wife vs. Secretary (1936)See more »


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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful.
I think the person in charge of casting this film was out of his mind!!, 31 January 2013
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

"A Message to Garcia" has the sort of insane casting that was not very uncommon during Hollywood's golden age. Think about it--Barbara Stanwyck plays a Cuban woman! And, Wallace Beery plays an American living in Cuba for ten years...which sounds plausible except that he knows almost no Spanish at all!!! What was the studio thinking?! Surely they could have gotten some folks more suited to these roles! And, surely Stanwyck could have at least tried to put on some sort of non-American accent!!

This film is set in the period just before the Spanish-American War in 1898. The President of the US has sent an emissary (John Boles) to Cuba on a secret mission to deliver a message to the leader of the Cuban rebel army led by General Garcia. The problem is locating the guy. After all, it's not like Garcia wants anyone to find him--otherwise the Spanish army would have quickly captured him! Once in Cuba, Boles is assisted both by Stanwyck and Beery during a long trek through the jungle. Oddly, folks seem to die several times during this journey--only to amazingly appear later in the movie! Pretty weird! Overall, this is a dopey movie. Surprisingly, its best aspect is Beery's broad acting because he does bring some energy and humor to the film--two things otherwise lacking in the movie. A rather limp film in most ways--surely the studio could have done better.

By the way, after writing this review I listened to Robert Osborne (of Turner Classic Movies) talk about this film. Apparently it was a bomb at the box office--reviewers and the public just wouldn't accept Stanwyck in such a ridiculous role! I would rank this one up there with John Wayne as Genghis Khan and Clark Gable as the Irish leader, Charles Stewart Parnell, or Katharine Hepburn as a Chinese woman in "Dragon Seed". It's a film she clearly should have been ashamed of, as she was the worst thing about it.

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