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:
Feeble attempt to tell a most intriguing espionage tale 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?

Rita Hayworth played the sister of Barbara Stanwyck, but after a test screening all her scenes were cut at the request of Darryl F. Zanuck.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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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Feeble attempt to tell a most intriguing espionage tale, 5 April 2013
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Elbert Hubbard's famous essay on how Lieutenant Rowan of the United States Army delivered a message to Cuban rebel general Garcia from President McKinley was embellished to an action adventure story with some horrible casting. I'm betting the real story of Rowan's journey through Cuba was far more interesting.

The horrible miscasting of Barbara Stanwyck as a Cuban senorita is the main problem. She who adopted a nice brogue for The Plough And The Stars and Union Pacific probably would have made it worse had she talked with an accent in A Message To Garcia. I'd like to think that Darryl F. Zanuck in one of the first features of the newly formed 20th Century Fox Studio would have tried for Dolores Del Rio.

I'm sure Zanuck laid out some big bucks to Louis B. Mayer for the services of Wallace Beery. I agree with another reviewer that someone who had spent 10 years in Cuba living hand to mouth as Beery's character had, would have picked up some working knowledge of Spanish. But Beery was good box office back then and Zanuck was no fool that way. What there is of the picture he steals from John Boles playing the real life Lieutenant Rowan and Stanwyck playing a fictional senorita with whom he has a romance.

A Message To Garcia is a nice, but feeble attempt to tell the story of a most intriguing espionage tale.

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