CISCO KID AND THE LADY, THE (director: Herbert I. Leeds; screenwriters: story by Stanley Rauh/Frances Hyland; cinematographer: Barney McGill; editor: Nick De Maggio; cast: Cesar Romero (Cisco Kid), Marjorie Weaver (Julie Lawson), Chris-Pin Martin (Gordito), George Montgomery (Tommy Bates), Robert Barrat (Jim Harbison), Virginia Field (Billie Graham), Harry Green (Teasdale), Ward Bond (Walton), Gloria Ann White (Baby Drake), J. Anthony Hughes (Drake – Murdered Miner), James Burke (Pop Saunders), Harry Hayden (Sheriff); Runtime: 74; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: John Stone; Twentieth Century-Fox Film; 1939)
“It’s routine fare, but Romero’s free-wheeling characterization makes it charming and lively.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Repeats the same plot of The Return of The Cisco Kid (1939), also directed by Herbert I. Leeds (“Ride on Vaquero”/”The Man Who Wouldn’t Die”/”Just off Broadway”). It’s the first of six better than average films for Fox in which Cesar Romero took over the O Henry character of the Cisco Kid, but this time he’s more of a lover than a bandit. The story is by Stanley Rauh and the engaging shaggy-dog story is by Frances Hyland.
The Cisco Kid (Cesar Romero) and his partner Gordito (Chris-Pin Martin) are set to rob a wagon on the trail for the horses, but the driver is killed by Jim Harbison (Robert Barrat). He’s a claim-jumper who wanted to steal the gold mine the prospector (J. Anthony Hughes) discovered. Before the miner dies, he divides the mine map in three between Cisco, Gordito and Harbison, and tells them to make sure the baby he has in the back of the wagon is cared for and made a partner in the mine. Cisco and Gordito memorize their parts of the map and then destroy it before Harbison and his gang can take it from them, which forces them into a partnership. Meanwhile Cisco deposits the baby with pretty schoolteacher Julie Lawson (Marjorie Weaver) and meets with leading citizen Harbison in his Oro Grande Hotel. There Cisco romances Harbison’s dance-hall gal Billie Graham (Virginia Field) and gets her to steal Harbison’s part of the map. In the meantime Tom Bates (George Montgomery), the uptight fiancé of Julie from Kansas City, arrives in the dusty Arizona town that borders Mexico and misunderstands about the baby. Cisco proves he has a heart when he determines Tom and Julie are just right for each other, as he leaves the baby and the gold mine with the couple and forces them at gunpoint to marry. He then rides off into the golden sunset with Gordito and a lovesick Billie in tow.
It’s routine fare, but Romero’s free-wheeling characterization makes it charming and lively.
REVIEWED ON 4/14/2008 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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