Traveling north into Arizona, Cisco finds that someone committing robberies has been impersonating him and he is a wanted man. After retrieving some of the stolen loot, he is caught with it... See full summary »
Traveling north into Arizona, Cisco finds that someone committing robberies has been impersonating him and he is a wanted man. After retrieving some of the stolen loot, he is caught with it in his posession and put in the guard house. A friend whose life he recently saved beaks him out and Cisco heads out to find the impersonator and clear himself. Written by
Maurice VanAuken <firstname.lastname@example.org>
"King of the Bandits" was the last of Monogram's six Cisco Kid westerns starring Gilbert Roland as Cisco. This as others in the series suffers from a weak script that is all talk and no action. The story focuses more on Cisco's pursuit of the ladies rather than typical "B" western action.
The story opens promisingly with Cisco and Pancho (Chris Pin-Martin) being stood before a firing squad. Just as the fatal shots are fired, Pancho wakes up...it was all just a dream. What this has to do with the story, I don't know. Cut to the present where Cisco and Pancho arrive in Arizona to find that someone has been impersonating Cisco in a series of robberies. Just then a runaway stagecoach speeds by. Cisco stops the coach and guess what? Inside are the heroine Alice Mason (Angela Greene) and her mother (Laura Tredwell) who have been robbed by "The Cisco Kid".
Cisco and Pancho accompany the ladies to their ranch where they meet Alice's brother Captain Frank Mason (William Bakewell). In an effort to recover the stolen loot, Cisco goes to the local saloon (where else?) where he meets local gambler Smoke Kirby (Anthony Warde). Cisco manages to recover the missing jewels but is turned over to the sheriff by Kirby and jailed.
Pedro Gomez (Pat Goldin), whom Cisco and Pancho have befriended helps them to escape jail. Captain Mason believing his sister to be responsible, takes the rap for her and is himself arrested. Cisco identifies the impostor and in an almost laughable showdown brings the culprit to justice and everyone lives happily ever after.
The story in better hands could have been turned into a better movie. There are no fist fights or saloon brawls, no shootouts to speak of and far too much talk. The only action consists of Cisco and Pancho riding here and there and an action less confrontation in the saloon. And, oh yes, we do have Cisco running down the runaway stage coach.
This series also suffered from weak casting in the supporting roles, particularly that of the head villain. In this picture, Anthony Warde, try as he might, just doesn't cut it. I'm sure that even with the low budget they could have found Harry Woods, Charlie King or Dick Curtis hanging out at Gower Gulch.
Gilbert Roland made an affable Cisco but was restrained by weak scripts. He spent most of the time smoking, drinking tequila and romancing the ladies. The Saturday matinée crowd usually wanted their heroes more involved with their horse and with blazing six shooters. Roland nonetheless would continue in his lengthy career playing essentially the same character into the 1980s.
United Artists would launch a new Cisco Kid series with Duncan Renaldo (returning to the role) and Leo Carillo as Pancho. The series would spin off into a highly successful TV series as well.
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