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Song of the Gringo (1936)

Approved | | Music, Western | 22 November 1936 (USA)
Tex is sent to investigate miners being killed and their mines confiscated. The culprit is Evans and after Tex joins the gang, he is sent to kill two more miners. When Estaban is killed, Tex is put on trial for all three murders.


(as John McCarthy)


(screenplay) (as John McCarthy), (screenplay) (as Robert Emmett) | 3 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Lolita Valle
Warner Richmond ...
Henchman Cherokee
Judge (as Al Jennings)
Don Esteban Valle
Prosecuting Attorney
Defense Attorney
Rosa Rey ...
Rosita - the Maid
José Pacheco and his Continental Orchestra ...
Fiesta Orchestra
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
José Pacheco ...
Orchestra Leader


For Tex Ritter's first starring film Producer Edward Finney and director J.P.McCarthy chose to do a remake of a 1930's "Oklahoma Cyclone" which McCarthy had directed and Wellyn Totman wrote. McCarthy brought Totman's original along, Robert Tansey adapted it and he and McCarthy shared story and screenplay credit, and Finney added ex-outlaw Al Jennings name to it for whatever value it may have added. ("Very little" Finney wrote in a 1976 letter.) The story differs little (since "Oklahoma Cyclone" also had several songs, including the mincing "He a Lavender Cowboy" which died a quick deserved death in the first version) in that a young U.S.Deputy Marshal (Tex Ritter) hunting for his missing father, poses as a wanted outlaw and is chased by a posse into the rancho hacienda of Don Estaban Valle (Martin Garralaga) where he takes refuge in the bedroom of Lolita Valle (Joan Woodbury), the Don's daughter. She hides him from the searching sheriff (Monte Blue) and Evans (Ted Adams) the manager ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

miner | mine | courtroom | murder | remake | See All (8) »


With guns on hips...a song on his lips...Tex blazes his way through the outlaw gang...and finds romance at the end of the trail! See more »


Music | Western






Release Date:

22 November 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Old Corral  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Just prior to start of filming this, his first movie, Tex Ritter went to a barber shop for a haircut. He fell asleep in the barber's chair and too much hair was cut off. This is why in most of this movie he keeps his hat clamped tightly on his head, and when he does remove it he's wearing a very obvious wig. See more »


Evans: Lolita, the Don's daughter, is of special interest to me. Is that clear?
Tex: Well I-I gather you mean, uh, you don't want no one to cut your fences.
Evans: You are very, very, comprehensive.
See more »


Remake of The Oklahoma Cyclone (1930) See more »


Rye Whiskey
Music and Lyrics by Tex Ritter
Sung by Tex Ritter
See more »

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User Reviews

Tex Carries His First Movie and Sings "Rye Whiskey" Too!
20 January 2008 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

In his debut movie, the camera stays on Tex most of the film, as he sings, tells tall tales, romances the leading lady, and fights the bad guys. Here, in 1936, he was thin, and although he had a boyish and slightly impish look, he carries himself and the movie well as a Western Hero. In an outdoor scene with evil henchman Warner Richmond, you learn that 'You don't mess with Tex!'

He sings four songs: a couple of his own, "Out on the Prairie," and "My Sweet Chiquita," and two old folk songs, "Sam Hall," and "Rye Whiskey," which became one of his most popular and most requested hits that he performed for the rest of his life. We can see John Ritter in him as he does a comedic turn singing "Rye Whiskey" disguised as a drunken Mexican. This is worth the price of the movie alone!

As in so many other B westerns, the hero goes undercover to root out the evil doers--in this case the ranch supervisor who is killing miners for their mines and wealth. Tex does it, and gets (and kisses) the girl, played by Joan Woodbury. She performs her own dance at her birthday fiesta. You can also see her as the zombie-like wife in the Mantan Moreland wonder "King of the Zombies" (1941) and as Brenda Starr herself in the Columbia serial "Brenda Starr, Reporter" (1945).

Also of note is the fact that since the house Tex is staying at belongs to a Spanish don, we hear many of the characters (including Joan) speaking to each other in Spanish. The 'Perry Mason' like courtroom ending, while not altogether unexpected, seems a little rushed.

So while this film has historical value for Tex's performance of "Rye Whiskey," I can only give it a 5.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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