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The Kissing Bandit (1948)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Musical, Western | January 1949 (USA)
Ricardo, the milquetoast son of a Mexican bandit, would rather lead a quiet life in Boston. But the family would rather that he follow in his father's footsteps and become "The Kissing Bandit".



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Complete credited cast:
Mikhail Rasumny ...
Don Jose
General Felipe Toro
Sono Osato ...
Colonel Gomez
Carleton G. Young ...
Count Ricardo Belmonte
Fiesta Specialty Dancer
Fiesta Specialty Dancer
Vicente Gómez ...
Mexican Guitarist


Ricardo, son of a mexican bandit, becomes against his will a bandit. He falls in love with Theresa, the daughter of the governor, who is expecting tax collectors from spain. Ricardo sees a good chance there. Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bandit | governor | old california | See All (3) »


Ann Miller will thrill you! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

January 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A csókos bandita  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was first telecast in Los Angeles Friday 8 March 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by Philadelphia Friday 26 July 1957 on WFIL (Channel 6) and by New York City Sunday 3 November 1957 on WCBS (Channel 2); in San Francisco it was first aired 3 August 1959 on KGO (Channel 7). At this time, color broadcasting was in its infancy, limited to only a small number of high rated programs, primarily on NBC and NBC affiliated stations, so these film showings were all still in B&W. Viewers were not offered the opportunity to see these films in their original Technicolor until several years later. See more »


Featured in MGM Parade: Episode #1.16 (1955) See more »


Kathryn Grayson and Frank Sinatra
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User Reviews

love is where you find it
27 June 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Frank Sinatra as a mild mannered young gent from Boston who arrives in Old California expecting to run an inn, but instead is persuaded to assume the persona of the notorious "kissing bandit" of the title, a leader of highway robbers and a lady killer.

It's a Zorro-esque idea and it might have been an enjoyable romp with better writing and direction. The MGM production values are there, and so is some pretty good music. Walter Plunkett designed the costumes, and Stanley Donen choreographed. Robert Surtees shot it on the lavishly appointed MGM sound stages and on location in the Sierra foothills around Murphy's, California. It's beautiful to look at in Technicolor, and good to listen to, when music is featured. But the story fails to entertain.

The director, Laslo Benedek, whose first credited Hollywood job this was, went on to more prestigious projects like the film version of Death Of A Salesman, as well as the iconic Brando motorcycle picture, The Wild One. Musicals probably weren't his forte.

There's a good supporting cast in the acting department: Mildred Natwick, Mikhail Rasumny, Billy Gilbert, Clinton Sundberg, and J. Carrol Naish (sporting heavy makeup and a heavier accent). In the musical department, there's dancer Sono Osato (from Broadway's On The Town) in a stunning solo, as well as a "Dance Of Fury" from Ricardo Montalban, Ann Miller, and Cyd Charisse that is possibly the highlight of the film.

Kathryn Grayson is Sinatra's love interest; she looks lovely and gets to sing several nice numbers, the most famous of which, Love Is Where You Find It, was also sung that year by Jane Powell in a Pasternak musical, A Date With Judy. It's another highlight.

Frank Sinatra was not well cast in this film, he didn't want to make it and he was right. A fun actor in most of his MGM pictures, and later, a fine actor, he just seems unable to believe the situations he finds himself in, here.

I guess The Kissing Bandit is worth seeing once, but it's not a classic.

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