Romance of the Rio Grande


1h 12m 1941

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 17, 1941
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Dec 1940
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Conquistador by Katherine Fullerton Gerould (New York, 1923) and suggested by the character created by O. Henry.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,555ft

Synopsis

Don Fernando de Vega, the proud and elderly owner of Rancho Santa Margarita, the oldest and wealthiest Spanish-owned ranch in Arizona, realizes he may die soon. Don Fernando knows his nephew Ricardo is hungry to gain control of the ranch, but does not trust him, so he sends to Granada, Spain, for his grandson, Carlos Hernandez, whose mother Don Fernando exiled for marrying against his will. Carlos' stagecoach is attacked near the ranch, and both the driver and Carlos are shot. After the assailants depart, "The Cisco Kid," an infamous bandit, and his companion Gordito, search the carriage for valuables. They discover that Carlos is an exact double for Cisco, and as he is still alive, they take him to Mama Lopez, who removes the bullet. Upon finding the letter from Don Fernando, which promises the ranch to Carlos, Cisco decides to impersonate Carlos and rob the de Vega family of their heirlooms while Carlos convalesces. When Cisco, as Carlos, arrives at the de Vega ranch, Ricardo and Rosita are shocked to see "Carlos" alive, as they hired cowboy Carver to assassinate him in order to gain control of the ranch. Cisco is warmly received by Don Fernando, and is enamored of both Maria, Don Fernando's youthful goddaughter, and the spirited and beautiful Rosita. In the evening, Cisco tries to romance Maria, but she rebuffs him because she feels he should be more concerned about the cattle raids that Ricardo says are led by The Cisco Kid. He later overhears Ricardo and Carver in conversation and realizes that Ricardo hired Carver to kill Carlos, and that he will probably try again. Cisco grows fond of Don Fernando, and when Don Fernando states that he is pleased his grandson will someday own the ranch, Cisco promises that he will. One night an unseen assailant tries to kill Cisco, but misses, and when Don Fernando emerges from his room, he is bludgeoned by the escaping assailant. On his deathbed, Don Fernando states his desire that Carlos run the ranch and marry Rosita. Cisco is deeply moved by Don Fernando's death and, abandoning his plans of robbery, decides to bring the real Carlos home, but Carlos is still too ill to be moved. Cisco assures Maria that she still has a place in the ranch because he may prefer to marry her, although Rosita has told her she will become a servant if Rosita marries Carlos. At that moment, they overhear Ricardo telling Rosita that by the next day, he will be the owner of the ranch. The next day, Cisco and Gordito accompany Ricardo on the range to inspect the herd, but Cisco is prepared for the worst and insists Ricardo lead them into a canyon. As arranged by Ricardo, the first two men are fired upon by Carver and his men. Ricardo escapes unharmed, while Cisco and Gordito fend off the gunmen. Ricardo and Carver stop at Mama Lopez' for food, where they discover Carlos, who has recovered from his wound. Ricardo pretends to be a friend of Carlos' and tells him that he will arrange for a carriage to bring him to the ranch. Mama Lopez slips out unnoticed to warn Cisco and Gordito, while Ricardo leaves Carver to murder Carlos after he goes for the sheriff. Ricardo and the sheriff identify Cisco, and Ricardo brings a posse home with him. With the help of Mama Lopez, Cisco and Gordito escape, take the posse hostage and leave them without horses miles from town. Cisco goes to Mama Lopez' house and, after saving Carlos from death at the hands of Carver, takes Carver hostage. Cisco introduces himself to Carlos, who is grateful to Cisco, and Cisco informs him that he intends to keep his promise to Don Fernando. Cisco returns to the ranch as Carlos and, by pretending to be still ill, convinces Ricardo and Rosita that he is the true Carlos. He tells them that Cisco was arrested and Carver was shot at Mama Lopez' by the posse. When they are alone, Maria, believing she is talking to Carlos, reveals that she loves Cisco. Cisco kisses her and tells her that the kiss was sent by the bandit. Later, Cisco overhears Rosita and Ricardo arguing. When he knocks at the door, Ricardo hides on the balcony. Cisco tells Rosita that he wishes to marry her the next day, and Rosita happily consents. After he leaves, Ricardo, consumed by jealous anger, threatens Rosita and she shoots him. As he lays dying, Ricardo grabs the gun and shoots Rosita to death. Cisco smiles when he hears the gunshots, and in the morning, his job done, he and Carlos bid farewell. Cisco and Gordito ride into the desert, while Carlos and Maria pick up where Cisco left off.

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 17, 1941
Premiere Information
New York opening: 24 Dec 1940
Production Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Distribution Company
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Conquistador by Katherine Fullerton Gerould (New York, 1923) and suggested by the character created by O. Henry.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 12m
Sound
Mono
Color
Black and White
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
1.37 : 1
Film Length
6,555ft

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to studio publicity contained in the Production Files at the AMPAS Library, Cesar Romero had just recovered from a bout of paratyphoid when he filmed this picture. Nevertheless, he performed all his own riding and stunt work for the film. Fox borrowed Patricia Morison from Paramount for the role of Rosita. The picture was filmed on location at Vasquez Rocks in the Angeles National Forest, and at Chatsworth, CA. Fox also filmed the Katherine Fullerton Gerould novel in 1929 under the same title, starring Warner Baxter and directed by Alfred Santell (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30; F2.4677). The 1929 film contained the same two songs as this film. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and see entry above for The Cisco Kid.