In the 1840's Mexico has ceded California to the United States, making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land and gold-crazy Americans. Farmer Joaquin ... See full summary »
The period is the 1840's and California is part of Mexico. Many of the citizens wish to become part of the United States. Other countries are also interested and the Russians have ... See full summary »
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William A. Wellman
In the 1840's Mexico has ceded California to the United States, making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land and gold-crazy Americans. Farmer Joaquin Murrieta revenges the death of his wife against the four Americans who killed her and is branded an outlaw. The reward for his capture is increased as he subsequently kills the men who brutally murder his brother. Joining with bandit Three Fingered Jack, Murrieta raises an army of disaffected Mexicans and goes on a rampage against the Americans, finally forcing his erstwhile friend, Bill Warren, to lead a posse against him. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
The film takes place in the 1840s, yet the guns are mostly repeaters which were not in use yet (though a few might have existed). All pistols are clearly revolvers, rifles are repeaters. Yet the Mexican encampment has a storehouse with kegs of powder, and during the shootout there, several people die trying to bring back a keg of black powder as they were running out of ammo, which would have been useless as they needed bullets not powder. See more »
Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride)
Written by Richard Wagner (1850)
Sung by the townfolk as the coach arrives with the bride See more »
Two later versions of the story of Joaquin Murietta with Jeffrey Hunter and Ricardo Montalban stuck closer to the truth about the famous bandit from the California Gold Rush Days. But certainly Warner Baxter, dusting off his Cisco Kid accent certainly made a dashing Murietta.
I'm not certain why Gilbert Roland who was always a personal favorite of mine didn't play this part, it seems like something he was born to do. Though Baxter's portrayal is honest and sincere I doubt that Latino groups today would let a Warner Baxter play Murietta any more than they would have him play Cisco Kid.
California was the most heavily populated of the area that was known as the Mexican Cession which came into the United States as a result of the Mexican War. Even at that American immigration was gradually overwhelming the Mexican population just as their ancestors overwhelmed the largely peaceful Indians in California.
But when gold was discovered in 1849 that was it. By the next year California was admitted to the union it had grown that exponentially. Such depredations as depicted that turned Murietta into a bandit were a fact and interesting that in 1936 that was shown on screen.
Ann Loring and Margo do well as the women in Murietta's life and J. Carrol Naish was just starting on that colorful career of his that had him play every kind of ethnic type on the screen. He made a great Three Finger Jack whose small band of outlaws Murietta takes over by leadership and charisma.
Perhaps Murietta's story such that can be verified is due for a more modern retelling. Still this is a fine version of the story.
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