Don Francisco Delfina, a nobleman of Southern California in 1848, disguises himself as El Puma and leads a revolt against the tyrannical land agent and politician Peter Harkness.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Though Richard Barthelmess gives a good account of himself as Hispanic Californio post Mexican War, I wonder why someone like Gilbert Roland was not cast in the part. He would have been perfect in The Lash.
The Lash has Richard Barthelmess returning home to his California ranch after service in the Mexican army during the war. All is not well at his place as some of the Americans are proving to be ruthless conquerors. One who especially fits that bill is Fred Kohler, a very greedy and crooked land commissioner.
After a few indignities at the hands of the Americans, Barthelmess turns to outlawry and takes up the name of El Puma. Essentially he's Zorro without the mask. And he's won the heart with his dashing derring-do of Senorita Mary Astor.
On the minus side he's causing a lot of conflict for his sister Marian Nixon and James Rennie who is the new American sheriff, but an honest one.
Barthelmess was still a bit uneasy before the sound camera and it certainly would have been a better film had someone of Latino background been cast. But on balance The Lash is good entertainment.
Though a pair of non-Latinos like Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power were waiting in the future for these kind of roles.
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