Gene is hired to be foreman of the Big Sombrero ranch by Jim Garland, who is handling all the business affairs of the owner, Estrellita Estrada, who is more interested in going to America ... See full summary »
Gene is hired to be foreman of the Big Sombrero ranch by Jim Garland, who is handling all the business affairs of the owner, Estrellita Estrada, who is more interested in going to America than taking care of her Mexican holdings. Gene, discovering Garland's plan to run all the Mexican rancheros off the ranch, turns against his boss and shortly finds himself in the middle of cattle stampedes and an avalanche started by Garland's men. Written by
Doug Sederberg <email@example.com>
And all that you see is Estrada land - the Big Sombrero.
Where's the end of it?
Oh, it's not in sight. There's a saying of my people that when you can look to the four corners and see only your own land, then you can truthfully say, "I have a rancho."
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Gene's got Columbia studio backing here, which means a bigger budget than usual. In fact the 80-minutes run-time, including Technicolor and good production values, puts this feature in a B-western category instead of Gene's usual matinée format.
The plot's more complex than usual, with Gene switching sides in a struggle over ranchero land in Mexico. At first, he's unknowingly on the side of the baddies until he finds out the true score. Then too, catch the climax with the guy just driving off (without my telling too much)very unusual for Gene's movies. So, all in all, you can see Columbia was trying to stretch the matinée formula.
Not much fast shooting, but some good hard riding. Highlights include, an impressive cattle herd, lots of colorful desert scenery, and Gene warbling the catchy 'My Adobe Hacienda'. But most of all, a really spirited Elena Verdugo as Senorita Estelita who pretty much steals the show, unlike most matinée leading ladies. Anyway, it's not among Gene's best, but does have more than its share of compensations.
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