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Trapped in Tia Juana (1932)

Passed  |   |  Action, Comedy, Romance  |  15 August 1932 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 12 users  
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An American army officer, Kenneth Holbert, is after a Mexican bandit, El Zorro, who he doesn't know is his long-lost twin brother. Dorothy Holbert has a hard time figuring out which is ... See full summary »



(story) (as Rex Lloyd Lease) , (continuity), 2 more credits »
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Title: Trapped in Tia Juana (1932)

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Cast overview:
Edwina Booth ...
Duncan Renaldo ...
Lt. Kenneth Holbert / El Zorro
Dot Farley ...
Aunt Emma
Joseph W. Girard ...
Capt. Holbert - Kenneth's Father
Manuel París ...
Frank Lanning ...
The Yaqui Bandit
Henry Roquemore ...
Lee, the Banker
Arthur Thalasso ...
Bank Guard Billy
Monte Vandergrift ...
Edward Peil Sr. ...
Capt. Davis


An American army officer, Kenneth Holbert, is after a Mexican bandit, El Zorro, who he doesn't know is his long-lost twin brother. Dorothy Holbert has a hard time figuring out which is which, especially since Romanian native Renaldo uses the same accent for both brothers. Written by Les Adams <>

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Release Date:

15 August 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Her Lover's Brother  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

perhaps the worst film ever made by star Duncan Renaldo or producer Fanchon Royer
20 February 2005 | by (south Texas USA) – See all my reviews

One of US Military officer Joseph Girard's twin sons is kidnapped by the "Yaqui" Indians one day while playing. Years later, the son who remained with Dad becomes a fellow military officer, while the kidnapped son has become a bandit named "El Zorro." Ironically, the fiancé of the one son is kidnapped by another bandit, but taken from him by El Zorro, with whom she spends a few days, days which take up a LOT of the film's running time. I've always liked the poverty row productions of producer Fanchon Royer--I once did a tribute to her at a Women's History festival and showed clips from 6 or 7 of her films, analyzing them in terms of the "tricks" used by the low-budget filmmaker, discussing her "stock company" of actors and technicians, and surveying the genres in which she worked. Her films were usually well-cast, followed recognizable genre expectations, and had a nice sense of wittiness about them. As for Duncan Renaldo, he was excellent as the Cisco Kid and as Rico in the various Three Mesquiteers westerns. I've always found him charming and charismatic. However, this film is probably the worst project either party was ever involved with. Based on a story by Royer's friend Rex Lease, a good poverty row leading man, this film is a complete misfire. Did Lease think another "Mexican"-themed project would be marketable after making WINGS OF ADVENTURE (see my review)? If I had a dollar for every offensive Mexican stereotype in this film, I'd be a wealthy man! Duncan Renaldo's performance as El Zorro is only one step above something like THE IRISH GRINGO, while his performance as "american" son Kenneth Tolbert is hesitant and his accent varies. Just when I was about to ask the screen, "why does this man who has an Anglo father speak in a vaguely Hispanic accent", Joe Girard anticipated the audience confusion, and told another character who asks the same question, under his breath as if he's ashamed of it, "his mother was Spanish." (This is kind of reminiscent of Kevin Spacey's joking about how he is too old to play Bobby Darin in one of the early scenes in BEYOND THE SEA, an excellent film I highly recommend!) Edwina Booth was probably hired for this film because she and Renaldo appeared in the hit TRADER HORN, and their "reunion" no doubt had some publicity value. If nothing else, it shows that the rumor of her never returning to the screen after TRADER HORN was just that, a rumor. This was her last film. I think that the filmmakers intended for there to be some chemistry or sexual tension between El Zorro and Booth, but they don't seem comfortable with each other. When I first screened this film about ten years ago, I hated it. Now, realizing that it is played for laughs on some level, I merely dislike it. Still, it is not worth sitting through, even for novelty value. It's as bad as WINGS OF ADVENTURE. Be sure to check out the many entertaining films produced by Fanchon Royer or starring Duncan Renaldo...but just forget they ever made this dog.

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