skip navigation
Cuban Rebel Girls

Cuban Rebel Girls(1960)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

Errol Flynn flies to Havana, Cuba to write a series of articles on Fidel Castro, who is leading his guerrilla army against dictator Fulgencio Batista. To obtain access to the army, Flynn waits at a hotel for agent Maria Rodriguez to contact him. She brings him to another man, with whom he sets up a plan to fly his private plane behind the lines and be transported to the rebels in the mountains. Armed with identification papers, Flynn arrives in the mountains safely. At the same time in California, wealthy Cuban girl Jacquelyn Dominguez informs her friend Beverly, a hairdresser, about her mission to buy arms for the Cuban rebels. Hoping to see her boyfriend, an American named Johnny Wilson doing mercenary work in Cuba, Beverly agrees to accompany Jackie, and the two fly to Key West, Florida, to arrange for the arms transport. They meet with Capt. Alvarez, the owner of a small boat, who takes them and the arms shipment on the dangerous trip to Cuba past the U.S. Coast Guard and Cuban Navy. Meanwhile, in Havana, Maria is targeted by government policemen and ambushed. Terrified of suffering the kind of torture and murder common to Batista's prisoners, she flees for her life, barely escaping. Soon after, the police learn about Jackie's involvement with the rebels and attack her family's sugarcane plantation in retribution. Although Mrs. Dominguez is captured, Jackie's brother Raoul manages to escape and join the rebel army, along with Maria. At the camp, after their identities are verified, they are brought to the commandant as new recruits. Johnny, a former American Korean War vet, is friends with Raoul and greets him warmly. Raoul and Johnny are pleased to learn that Jackie and Beverly are arriving at the beach that night with the arms. The commandant instructs Johnny to lead a group in burning a nearby sugarcane field as a diversion while the rest of the troops retrieves the arms. Facing daunting odds, the young soldiers fashion homemade bullets and gather their meager supplies. Some of the fighters, like Johnny, are veterans from foreign wars. Although they have little to gain from joining the battle, their idealism compels them to enlist. That night, Johnny's men burn the sugarcane, but the MPs deduce that it is a diversion and decide to search the beach. There, Raoul leads Jackie and Beverly into the hills to escape. While Raoul helps Jackie cross a river on horseback, Beverly falls into the water, but is rescued by Flynn, who has reached the area as part of his infiltration of the Cuban underground. Flynn sits with the trio and convinces them to relate their story to him, then thrills Beverly with a kiss on the hand. When Raoul, Jackie and Beverly return to the camp, they learn that Johnny has gone on to the next camp and only the commandant has survived the raid. Later, Maria, Jackie and Beverly discuss their lack of training. Beverly, who does not fully grasp the solemnity of their plight, considers the war an adventure and longs to see Johnny. After bathing in a pond, Maria teaches Beverly how to handle a gun. When she asks why Beverly is getting involved, the American responds that any battle of Johnny's is also hers. That night, the commandant plans to recapture the arms by hijacking the truck on which they will be transported. The troop will await the truck at a railroad crossing, and Beverly and Maria will be posted nearby to radio them when they see the truck approaching. Before assuming their positions, Beverly and Johnny reunite, and he chastises her for endangering herself but embraces her happily. Soon after, Beverly radios that the truck is passing, and the raid is triumphant. That night, Beverly and Johnny share a romantic rendezvous in the fields, but are interrupted by the news that they will move out at dawn to attack eight more sugar mills, including the one owned by Raoul and Jackie. Maria and Beverly stand watch during the raid, but when the rebels find themselves outnumbered, Johnny orders his men to retreat. As Maria and Beverly are captured, Johnny is shot in the arm. Beverly sees him being carried off by the government soldiers and, assuming he is dead, wrenches herself from her captor and gives chase, finally reaching the rebels safely. The commandant informs Beverly that because their troops have cut the supply lines, Batista's men have pulled out. The rebels attack again, this time capturing the sugar mill. Their celebration is cut short, however, by the discovery of Maria, tortured and murdered. After her funeral, Jackie and Raoul urge Beverly to return home, but she has realized that she believes in their fight, and marches with the rebels to the next camp. As the weeks pass, Beverly treats the wounded as the rebels prove victorious again and again. One day, she finds herself treating Flynn, who has injured his leg slightly. He asks about Johnny, and upon learning that he is still missing, counsels Beverly to remain hopeful. As the rebel army approaches Havana, Batista finally pulls out, and a jubilant crowd welcomes Castro as their new leader. Beverly is among the parade, where she spots Johnny, recently liberated from prison. As they embrace, Flynn wishes luck to all of the young men and women fighting for political freedom throughout the world.