The Gay Caballero


60m 1932

Brief Synopsis

Football star Ted Radcliffe goes west to manage an inherited cattle ranch. Empire builder and cattle thief Don Paco is hounded by El Coyote (who is really Don Bob) who now has a partner in Ted. Unfortunately Ted is also falling love with Don Paco's daughter Adela.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Gay Bandit
Release Date
Feb 28, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Gay Bandit of the Border by Tom Gill (New York, 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,400ft (6 reels)

Synopsis

Ted Radcliffe, known for his football and wrestling heroics, comes West to seek his inheritance after his father dies. Because he finds no one at the train station near the Mexican border where he debarks, he begins to walk through the desert toward the ranch of his father's friend, Bob Harkness. He finds Adela Dolores O'Brien Morales, an Irish-Spanish-Mexican señorita whom "Don Bob" sent to meet him, underneath her stalled car. After the car is fixed, they witness the bandit "El Coyote," whom Adela says is the only friend of the poor peon, chase and kill another man. A note left on the body by El Coyote identifies the dead man as a traitor. At Bob's ranch, Bob explains that he supports El Coyote in his war against Adela's uncle, the wealthy Paco Morales, who has been trying to drive the settlers out and establish an empire for himself, and he says that Ted's father lost all his money because Morales withdrew his support for an irrigation project. Bob hires Ted as his foreman and takes him to the Fiesta of the Rains, at which Adela dances. Ted flirts with Adela, and Jito, Morales' egotistical protégé, is annoyed when she invites Ted to go riding with her. When Adela learns that Morales' vaqueros are tormenting villagers, she and Ted ride there. Ted is captured after he hits a vaquero, and one of the villagers, Felipe Dominquez, whom Morales had ordered to leave his land, is about to be strung up when El Coyote and his men ride up. El Coyote has one of his men deliver a message to Jito that for every peon molested, a vaquero must die, and that Morales must give Dominguez 500 gold pesos. El Coyote, who is really Bob, shoots a knife from Jito's hand when Jito threatens him. During a picnic, Ted and Adela's horses run off, and they are forced to spend the night in the desert. Before going to sleep, Ted kisses Adela goodnight. The next day, when they return and Morales insinuates that they have become lovers, Adela, in defiance, kisses Ted in front of her uncle and the jealous Jito. Bob's friend, Major Lawrence Blount, whose American cavalry forces have joined the search for El Coyote at the request of the Mexican government, invites him, Ted and Morales to the camp to witness a man who has been offered 5,000 gold pesos identify El Coyote. While they wait for the informer to arrive, Bob goes out for a smoke. The informer is then shot and killed, and the soldiers fire at the elusive killer. As Ted drives Bob away, Bob slumps in the car from the wound he has suffered. Ted then realizes his identity and vows to fight on his side. Adela secretly meets Ted, and as they confess their love and kiss goodbye, Jito and his men see them. Jito tells Morales, who orders Adela confined to his hacienda. When Bob learns that forty of his men have been trapped in a pass by the Americans and that Blount has ordered his soldiers to open fire with machine guns if El Coyote's men do not turn over their leader, Bob reveals his identity to Blount so that his men can go free. Disguised as El Coyote, Ted then steals horses from vaqueros, ties some to posts, steals some of their hats and forces Morales to pay 500 gold pesos to Dominquez. Disappointed now that he thinks Bob lied to him, Blount nevertheless lets him go free. Bob tells Blount that he does not think El Coyote will ride again. In retaliation for their humiliation, Morales' men burn Dominquez' house, destroy his crops and kidnap his little daughter. When Ted learns that Morales has agreed that Jito will marry Adela, he rides to Morales' and, after locking Morales in a closet and fighting his servants, rescues Adela as Jito struggles with her and drops him out the window into a cactus patch. As Morales, who has broken out of the closet, aims his gun at Adela and Ted, Dominquez throws a knife at Morales and kills him. Adela and Ted ride to the American side of the border, which Adela now calls "our" side, and plan to marry.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Gay Bandit
Release Date
Feb 28, 1932
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel The Gay Bandit of the Border by Tom Gill (New York, 1931).

Technical Specs

Duration
60m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
5,400ft (6 reels)

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working title of the film was The Gay Bandit. The novel originally appeared in serial form in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Dec 1930-May 1931). According to information in the Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department and in their Produced Scripts Collection, both at the UCLA Theater Arts Library, Bert Sebell and J. M. Kerrigan are listed as co-directors of this film on early contract forms for actors and in the final shooting script, dated November 21, 1931. Sebell and Kerrigan were also listed in the Hollywood Filmograph and Motion Picture Herald production charts; however, in a trade paper advertising billing sheet dated November 30, 1931 in the legal records, Sebell's and Kerrigan's names are crossed out, and Alfred Werker's is typed in their place, and in contract forms for actors beginning December 8, 1931, Werker's name is listed. While Sebell and Kerrigan most likely were involved in pre-production work on this film, it is not known if they actually directed any scenes. A New York Times news item noted that both George O'Brien and Victor McLaglen were excellent boxers: O'Brien was one of the outstanding boxers in the U.S. Navy, while McLaglen fought Jack Johnson four rounds to a draw. The 1940 Twentieth Century-Fox film of the same title was not based on the same source as this.