El Malo, notorious Mexican bandit, forces the Mayor of Sierra Blanca, Seth Landport, to open the safe and turn over to him 2,000 pesos, which the bandit gives a promissory note for to the ... See full summary »
You always hear critics complaining about how bad modern movies have become. They will lament the coming of every latest big-budget Hollywood product. But when they start talking about the classics and the fact that older films had so much more merit, they should be required to sit through Michael Curtiz's 'Under a Texas Moon', a film from 1930 that proves there were always big-budget Hollywood stinkers.
Though the movie looks great in its restored Technicolor condition, that's probably the only positive aspect I can recommend. Frank Fay is one of the most smug and repugnant screen presences I have ever witnessed. His exaggerated accent and constant mugging become repulsive as the movie goes on. I was not surprised to learn that this Vaudeville comedian's film career never took off (The fact that this man was married to Barbara Stanwyck is not a wholesome thought.) Fay plays a wrangler who comes to a village to help capture some cowboys who've wrastled a local farmer's cattle. He romances women along the way (including a young Mirna Loy), complete with guitar playing mariachis. The ending has a twist that is unsatisfying and defies common sense. Much of the editing is incoherent, and there is at least one scene involving a bathing beauty that makes absolutely no sense. The comedy is corny and shameless, even for 1930.
Thankfully, this a fairly obscure film in Curtiz's filmography. Am I glad I saw it? Perhaps, but it is only a confirmation that useless Hollywood drivel has always been around.
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