Navy Lt. Richard Perry becomes an undercover man out to discover the leaders of a group of well connected men who pull off bank robberies during the McKinley administration (early 20th ... See full summary »
William A. Seiter
A bookish historian is married to a steely Southern belle who raises horses, an animal that he doesn't care for. However, the cute young neighbor girl doesn't feel that way about him and makes no bones about letting him know it.
The story takes place in 1898, but Barbara Stanwyck's hairstyle, make-up, false eyelashes, and riding pants are strictly in the 1936 mode, and, in true Hollywood tradition, remain relatively unsullied despite the many perils of the swamp and and backlot jungle through which she doggedly perseveres. See more »
1936's "A Message to Garcia" is lackluster Fox fiction set in Cuba during the Spanish American War of 1898. US President William McKinley (Dell Henderson) is the one sending the message to the Cuban general (Enrique Acosta) fighting the Spaniards, who have hired a German assassin (Alan Hale) to intercept the man carrying the vital paper (John Boles). Barbara Stanwyck plays the Cuban girl who falls for him, while top billed Wallace Beery supplies comic relief through the lengthy jungle trek, playing off both sides during the conflict. Not one of Barbara's more stellar efforts, with her screen time sadly limited, though Alan Hale makes a surprisingly effective villain. An uncredited John Carradine does not appear on screen as President McKinley, but it is his voice that we hear in the opening sequence, sounding as though he were recorded underwater. Perhaps cast for his physical resemblance to the President, Dell Henderson must have come up short, so Carradine's more authoritative tones were rather poorly dubbed in, an unconvincing performance despite the combined efforts of both actors (Carradine had recently provided several dubbed voices in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Crusades").
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