The Cisco Kid (Gilbert Roland) sets out on a double mission of rescuing a girl from forsaking her true love by marrying a supposedly wealthy suitor to save the old family hacienda, and he ... See full summary »
The Cisco Kid (Gilbert Roland) sets out on a double mission of rescuing a girl from forsaking her true love by marrying a supposedly wealthy suitor to save the old family hacienda, and he is also after the outlaws that robbed a stage carrying gold for the Mission. His task is made easier once he learns that the "wealthy" suitor (Tristram Coffin) is also the man behind the gold robbers. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Even for a Monogram film, this one is poorly written
Monogram Studios is one of the co-called "poverty row studios"--one of several very low budget studios of the 1930s and 40s. Often, to save money, these studios leased studio space from the larger studios at night and the films were generally B-films. Probably the biggest studio on poverty row was Monogram--the people whose hottest property in the 40s were the Charlie Chan films.
Starting in 1946, Monogram branched out to make the Cisco Kid series and this is the first of seven. I had high hopes, as I'd previously enjoyed the Cisco films starring both Warner Baxter and Cesar Romero. Unfortunately, there were some MAJOR problems with the film at the outset that surprised me. First, as each character entered the beginning of the movie, they all had very lengthy expositions--a very sloppy example of writing. It sounded really stupid hearing them not exactly talk to the other characters but instead give a lengthy monologue where they tell the back story! For example, in the opening scene with the father and his two daughters, instead of just talking to them, the dad explains that they are both sisters, which is the youngest sister AND that the one girl is about to be married because the family is poor!! Now all three of the characters should have known this and this long exposition was only there because the writers didn't bother to use dialog effectively to explain the background. Sloppy and silly--this happened two more times in the first 10 minutes with other characters!! Second, the plot must have been re-tooled or changed and repeatedly throughout the film, some hack inserted the words "Cisco Kid" into the dialog! It's clearly NOT the characters talking and how they expected people to not notice is beyond me. It was as if they just didn't care. Even for a Monogram film this is all very, very sloppy.
As to the plot, a shipment of money to build a new mission is stolen by bandits. They murder almost all of the guards protecting the money and deliberately let a man live AFTER they talk as if the gang attacking them is the Cisco Kid and his pals! Considering that the Cisco Kid is sort of like the Robin Hood of the Old West, such a dirty deed is obviously beyond the Kid. But, naturally, the citizens of Old California naturally believe the false story and it's up to the Cisco Kid to find out who the real killers are and clear his name.
The Cisco Kid, after some investigating, learns that the nice rich man (Lawton) who is going to marry the daughter of a poor but respected Mexican gentleman is actually the man who is behind the robbery/murders. He also naturally falls for one of the old Mexican gentleman's daughters. So, how does the Kid both prove Lawton is evil AND still help the Mexican Caballero save his estate? And, is this pretty lady the one who will finally lasso the Cisco Kid? Tune in to find out.
As far as the acting goes, Gilbert Roland was Mexican by birth, so he was able to pull off the part reasonably well. The rest of the acting was about what you'd expect from a Monogram production--nothing special and at times pretty poor. Overall, watchable but that's about all and this film doesn't have anything to it to make it stand out from all the other Cowboy films Monogram made during the era. In fact, the structure of the film is essentially a Gene Autry film with a few name changes.
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