My Outlaw Brother
Cast & Crew
Danny O'More, a greenhorn from New York, sets out to find his older brother, Patrick, a wealthy silver mine owner in San Clemente, Mexico, whom he has not seen for eight years. When Danny stops in Border City, Texas, he witnesses vicious Mexican bandit El Tigre and his gang dynamite and then rob the local bank. After the robbery, Mexican counsel Señor Munez and the local police captain implore Texas Ranger Joe Warder to travel to El Tigre's headquarters in San Clemente and arrest the villain. Mexican secret service policemen have attempted the dangerous arrest but, Munez explains, that they believe Joe can persuade El Tigre's American lieutenant, O'More, to lead Joe to the outlaw. Joe volunteers for the job and, after he crosses the border, he is chased by the bandits. Joe escapes, but the bandits mistake Danny, also on his way to San Clemente, for Joe, and capture him instead. After realizing they have taken the wrong man, one outlaw pulls out a gun to shoot Danny; however, Joe shoots the gun from out of his hand and the bandits flee. After Danny accepts Joe's offer to ride with him, Joe has his horse Sonny, perform tricks for Danny. Danny jokes that all the women he dates are bigger than he is and reminisces about his strong and handsome brother. Although Joe then realizes that Patrick is the Lieutenant for whom he is searching, he does not divulge his mission to Danny. Meanwhile, in San Clemente, Patrick visits petite and wealthy Carmelita Alvarado, and attempts to bully her into marrying him, but Carmelita has only hatred for Patrick because of the savage crimes he and El Tigre have committed. After arriving in San Clemente, Joe leaves Danny at the gate of Patrick's large compound. When Danny enters, the guards handcuff him, throw a blanket over him and drag him to see Patrick, who hears Danny call out to Joe for help. Patrick then tells his men he has no brother and orders them to escort Danny back over the border safely. Once Patrick is alone, Joe, who has been hiding in the compound, disarms Patrick, then orders him to take him to El Tigre. When Patrick's men return soon after, Joe escapes and takes Danny with him. That night as El Tigre's men patrol the town looking for the two men, Joe takes Danny to local blacksmith Orthez to remove his handcuffs. Soon after, El Tigre's men arrive and find the handcuffs on the blacksmith's floor. Orthez, who lost his son Pedro in a battle with El Tigre and therefore detests the bandit, does not reveal any information. Later, Patrick arrives at the blacksmith's to search for Joe and his brother. After piercing the hay with a pitchfork, Patrick is convinced they are not there and leaves. When he is wounded by Patrick's pitchfork, Danny finally admits that he is afraid of his own brother. Later, after learning about Carmelita from Orthez, Danny disguises himself in Pedro's sombrero and clothing and visits her. While Carmelita explains to Danny that an "evil spirit" has taken over Patrick, Carmelita's guard fetches Patrick without her knowledge. When Patrick arrives, Danny confronts his brother, but Patrick knocks him out. At the blacksmith's, Patrick's henchmen, El Capitan and Burger, capture Orthez and Joe and jail them at El Tigre's hideout, an abandoned monastery. Patrick then brings Carmelita and Danny to the hideout and, in a moment alone, Patrick explains to Danny that El Tigre saved his life and consequently the bandit leader now owns it. Danny tells Patrick that Carmelita thinks he is crazy, and Patrick orders Carmelita to return to her house. Meanwhile, Burger, now drunk and belligerent, draws his gun to shoot Orthez. Although they are both handcuffed, Joe and Orthez knock Burger out and use his knife to untie themselves. Later, Joe and Orthez, pretending to still be tied up, are escorted to Patrick. Joe then pulls a gun on Patrick and orders him to have his men drop their weapons. After Joe, Danny and Orthez narrowly escape on horseback, they meet Carmelita on the trail. While the others continue on, Orthez tries to divert the bandits' attention, but is killed by Patrick. Meanwhile Joe, Danny and Carmelita take refuge behind a ruined adobe hut and prepare to fend off El Tigre's men. El Capitan approaches them carrying a white flag and asks them to surrender. When they refuse, El Capitan leaves them ammunition and then rides off. Soon after, El Tigre, now riding Sonny, prepares his men to attack. Joe, spotting Sonny, whistles to his horse, which immediately rears and races towards his master, jumping the adobe wall. After Danny pulls El Tigre from the horse, the outlaw knocks Danny down and brandishes his machete. Before El Tigre can kill Danny, Joe shoots the outlaw, who falls down, mortally wounded. Joe, Danny and Carmelita then shoot at El Tigre's approaching army, but the outlaws retreat as Mexican police surround them. El Capitan then identifies himself as a Mexican secret service policeman and thanks Joe for providing his men the opportunity to capture El Tigre and his bandits. When Joe takes a close look at El Tigre, he realizes that El Tigre is Patrick in disguise and empathizes with Danny, who replies, "My brother died a long time ago." After El Capitan takes custody of the outlaws, Joe lifts Carmelita onto Danny's lap, and Danny marvels again at Carmelita's petite frame, suggesting that this is only the beginning of their travels together.
Felipe De Flores
Nicholas De La Rosa
Gene Fowler Jr.
Jesús González G.
José Ortiz Ramos
My Outlaw Brother
He reaches the town just in time to get caught in the crossfire when the local bank is robbed by a gang lead by the misshapen Native American bandit El Tigre. The Mexican government has implored the Texas Rangers for assistance in bringing El Tigre to heel, and the local captain gives the assignment to his best man, Joe Walter (Preston). Walter's gambit is to ride alone across the border to El Tigre's stronghold in San Clemente, and attempt to flip the bandit's trusted American lieutenant--who is, of course, the older O'Moore.
Procuring Patrick's Mexican location, Denny sets out to find him--and Walter, impressed with the green kid's tenacity and pugnacity--offers to ride alongside, while staying surreptitious about his own motives. The action shifts to San Clemente, where Patrick is introduced making a bid to court the petite and beautiful Carmel Alvarado (Wanda Hendrix). The senorita, however, is aware of his subservience to the heinous El Tigre, and wants nothing to do with him. When Denny reaches town, Patrick orders his capture and return to the States; Joe frees the kid and flees with him when Patrick refuses to turn on El Tigre. From there, Denny is forced to confront the truth about his sibling, and his flight for freedom with Walter makes for plenty of gunplay and the revelation of the true nature of El Tigre's hold on Patrick.
My Outlaw Brother would prove to be the penultimate directing assignment for Elliott Nugent, whose resume was marked by a string of memorable farces including Three-Cornered Moon (1933), The Cat and the Canary (1939), Nothing But the Truth (1941), Up in Arms (1944) and The Male Animal (1942), adapting the stage hit that he co-authored with good friend James Thurber. Born to a stage family, Nugent was a busy boy ingénue on Broadway and Hollywood from the mid-'20s through early '30s, and he gave himself a walk-on here as a Ranger. The working title of the project bounced from El Tigre to The Gringo to My Brother, The Bandit; the choice of My Brother, the Outlaw was foredoomed with the filing of litigation by RKO, who asserted infringement upon the Howard Hughes-Jane Russell opus The Outlaw.
In his 1980 memoir Straight Shooting, Stack didn't look back upon My Outlaw Brother with a lot of warmth, deeming it "a piece of Limburger that put a temporary damper on the careers of Robert Preston, Mickey Rooney and me". Of his outlaw disguise, the actor claimed that "the stuffing from a car seat" was responsible for his added bulk. "No matter how much I tried to be scary, I'm afraid I wasn't too impressive," Stack wrote. "The only one I scared was my horse, who bucked me off during my most evil scene...Happily, I fell on my back and the car seat stuffing took the worst of it. I wish I could have used the car seat stuffing on the reviewers."
Producer: Benedict Bogeaus
Director: Elliott Nugent
Screenplay: Gene Fowler, Jr.; Al Levitt (additional dialogue); Max Brand (book "South of the Rio Grande")
Cinematography: Jose Ortiz Ramos
Art Direction: Edward Fitzgerald (uncredited)
Music: Manuel Esperon
Film Editing: George Crome
Cast: Mickey Rooney (J. Dennis 'Denny' O'Moore), Wanda Hendrix (Senorita Carmel Alvarado), Robert Preston (Joe Walter), Robert Stack (Patrick O'Moore), Jose Torvay (Enrique Ortiz), Carlos Muzquiz/El Capitan (Col. Sanchez), Fernando Wagner (Burger) Hilda Moreno (Senora Alvarado).
by Jay S. Steinberg
My Outlaw Brother
Robert Stack, 1919-2003
Stack was born in Los Angeles on January 13, 1919 to a well-to-do family but his parents divorced when he was a year old. At age three, he moved with his mother to Paris, where she studied singing. They returned to Los Angeles when he was seven, by then French was his native language and was not taught English until he started schooling.
Naturally athletic, Stack was still in high school when he became a national skeet-shooting champion and top-flight polo player. He soon was giving lessons on shooting to such top Hollywood luminaries as Clark Gable and Carol Lombard, and found himself on the polo field with some notable movie moguls like Darryl Zanuck and Walter Wanger.
Stack enrolled in the University of Southern California, where he took some drama courses, and was on the Polo team, but it wasn't long before some influential people in the film industry took notice of his classic good looks, and lithe physique. Soon, his Hollywood connections got him on a film set at Paramount, a screen test, and eventually, his first lead in a picture, opposite Deanna Durbin in First Love (1939). Although he was only 20, Stack's natural delivery and boyish charm made him a natural for the screen.
His range grew with some meatier parts in the next few years, especially noteworthy were his roles as the young Nazi sympathizer in Frank Borzage's chilling The Mortal Storm (1940), with James Stewart, and as the Polish flier who woos a married Carole Lombard in Ernst Lubitsch's To Be or Not to Be (1942).
After serving as a gunnery officer in the Navy during World War II, Stack returned to the screen, and found a few interesting roles over the next ten years: giving Elizabeth Taylor her first screen kiss in Robert Thorp's A Date With Judy (1948); the leading role as an American bullfighter in Budd Boetticher's The Bullfighter and the Lady (1951); and as a pilot in William Wellman's The High and the Mighty (1954), starring John Wayne. However, Stack saved his best dramatic performances for Douglas Sirk in two knockout films: as a self-destructive alcoholic in Douglas Sirk's Written on the Wind (1956), for which he received an Academy Award nomination for supporting actor; and sympathetically portraying a fallen World War I pilot ace who is forced to do barnstorming stunts for mere survival in Tarnished Angels (1958).
Despite proving his capabilities as a solid actor in these roles, front rank stardom oddly eluded Stack at this point. That all changed when Stack gave television a try. The result was the enormously popular series, The Untouchables (1959-63). This exciting crime show about the real-life Prohibition-era crime-fighter Eliot Ness and his G-men taking on the Chicago underworld was successful in its day for several reasons: its catchy theme music, florid violence (which caused quite a sensation in its day), taut narration by Walter Winchell, and of course, Stack's trademark staccato delivery and strong presence. It all proved so popular that the series ran for four years, earned an Emmy for Stack in 1960, and made him a household name.
Stack would return to television in the late '60s, with the The Name of the Game (1968-71), and a string of made-for-television movies throughout the '70s. His career perked up again when Steven Spielberg cast him in his big budget comedy 1941 (1979) as General Joe Stillwell. The film surprised many viewers as few realized Stack was willing to spoof his granite-faced stoicism, but it won him over many new fans, and his dead-pan intensity would be used to perfect comic effect the following year as Captain Rex Kramer (who can forget the sight of him beating up Hare Krishnas at the airport?) in David and Jerry Zucker's wonderful spoof of disaster flicks, Airplane! (1980).
Stack's activity would be sporadic throughout the remainder of his career, but he returned to television, as the host of enormously popular Unsolved Mysteries (1987-2002), and played himself in Lawrence Kasden's comedy-drama Mumford (1999). He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Rosemarie Bowe Stack, a former actress, and two children, Elizabeth and Charles, both of Los Angeles.
by Michael T. Toole
Robert Stack, 1919-2003
Working titles for the film were El Tigre, My Brother, The Outlaw, The Gringo and My Brother, The Bandit. A February 21, 1951 Hollywood Reporter article states that the title My Brother, The Outlaw was changed to My Outlaw Brother after RKO began legal action against the former title, claiming it infringed on the RKO production The Outlaw (1943, see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50).