Native son returns from school in Spain to California in 1855 and finds corrupt politicians stealing land from old California families. He becomes a sort of Robin Hood in order to fight ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Marjorie Weaver ...
Rosalia Miller
...
Chata
Maurice Black ...
Morgan Wallace ...
Tod Barsto
Nigel De Brulier ...
Don Francisco Escobar
George Regas ...
Ruiz
Pierre Watkin ...
Miller (as Pierre Watkins)
Jim Farley ...
Sheriff Stanton (as James Farley)
Edward Keane ...
Marshal Morse
Gene Reynolds ...
Ramon as a Child
Ann Gillis ...
Rosalia as a Child (as Ann Gilles)
Francisco Flores del Campo ...
Ruiz as a Child (as Francisco del Campo)
Billy Bletcher ...
Tax Collector (as William Bletcher)
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Storyline

Native son returns from school in Spain to California in 1855 and finds corrupt politicians stealing land from old California families. He becomes a sort of Robin Hood in order to fight them. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

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Action | Western

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Release Date:

18 July 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Gentleman from California  »

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(RCA Victor Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Murietta with a happy ending
15 June 2014 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

A year before The Californian came out, MGM did a film about the famous bandit of early California statehood days Joaquin Murietta which starred Warner Baxter. Robin Hood Of El Dorado had a much bigger budget than this one had which was obviously an attempt by 20th Century Fox to cash in on what MGM did.

Darryl Zanuck didn't shell out any big bucks for this film which is barely an hour running time. He did use an actor past his glory days in Hollywood with Ricardo Cortez in the lead. The story begins as California has recently been taken over post the Mexican War and the natives, both grandees and peons are wondering about the new American conquerors. But Nigel DeBrulier is sending his son to Europe for a fine education befitting a Don's son. He takes leave of his son Gene Reynolds who returns years later as Ricardo Cortez

Cortez sees the people including his father crushed with onerous taxes and becomes the Robin Hood of the people. He takes over a rather bedraggled bandit gang that George Regas has and as Robin Hood Cortez makes them his Merry Men. But he won't give Katherine DeMille a tumble because he has his own Maid Marian in Marjorie Weaver. Katharine is a woman scorned and that sets up trouble.

So far this is pretty much along the story of Robin Hood Of El Dorado and Joaquin Murietta in real life. But Zanuck felt the film needed a happy ending. It sure works out better for Cortez and Weaver than it did for Murietta.

The Californian is good low budget entertainment, a kind of preliminary for 20th Century Fox who would do The Mark Of Zorro a few years later along similar lines.


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