A ruthless, comical, fun-loving, romantic rebel general, General Jose Juan Reyes, preparing to make a stand against the Mexican-government army takes over a small Mexican town and imprisons the town leaders, including the father of fiery Maria Dolores Penafiel, who is among those citizens who take a stand against Reyes. Maria protests by slapping the face of Reyes, (the first of many times) and he is so enthralled by her spirit that he immediately declares she must become his wife. In response, she shows some more spirit, she sets off a firecracker under his horse. Reyes begins to soften and, with the aid of Father Sierra and Maria, who is about to marry her local suitor, he helps the town fight an influenza epidemic. He decides to retreat than stage a battle in the town against the advancing government troops. Maria is so stirred by the bugles of the retreating rebels, that she leaves her marriage ceremony and marches with Reyes and his ragged army across the desert into the sunset. ... Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
THE TORCH was shot entirely in Mexico, originally titled BELOVED and starring, along with Paulette Goddard, was Pedro Armendariz and Gilbert Roland. It is said that Diego Rivera painted Paulette while she was there filming the movie. It was also where she acquired much of her famous jewelry collection.
THE TORCH is a dark comedy/drama with a screenplay by Inigo de Martino Noriega about a notorious Mexican bandit (Armendariz) who ransacks a town and takes it over. He's a sort of South-of-the-border Robin Hood. While he proceeds to bring all the wealthy business men of the town down to their knees, he discovers the daughter of one of them (Goddard) whom he immediately pursues. She, of course, refuses his advances. With the help of the local Padre (Roland) the two are brought together, and in time she discovers his good intentions and qualities. Engaged to another man of the town, she leaves him to join the bandit king. The final picture shows the rich daughter walking bedside the bandit on horseback, as a camp follower, a symbol of devotion in those days and times. A bit corny, but fun to watch the stars hold their own. The scenery of Mexico along with Goddard's still good looks make it worth the watching. It is available on VHS.
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