6.1/10
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12 user 4 critic

The Gay Desperado (1936)

Approved | | Comedy, Musical | 2 October 1936 (USA)
Chivo, a singer who works in a movie theater providing live entertainment, is and apprehended by a music-loving Mexican bandit Braganza who wants to make Chivo part of his band. Braganza, who admires American gangsters, also kidnaps Jane and her rich boyfriend, Bill. to become more like the American movie gangsters he admires.

Director:

Rouben Mamoulian

Writers:

Leo Birinsky (story), Wallace Smith
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nino Martini ... Chivo
Ida Lupino ... Jane
Leo Carrillo ... Pablo Braganza
Harold Huber ... Juan Campo
James Blakeley ... Bill Shay
Stanley Fields ... Butch
Mischa Auer ... Diego
Adrian Rosley Adrian Rosley ... Radio Station Manager
Paul Hurst ... American Detective
Al Ernest Garcia ... Police Captain
Frank Puglia ... López
Michael Visaroff ... Theatre Manager
Chris-Pin Martin ... Pancho (as Chris King Martin)
Harry Semels Harry Semels ... Manuel
George Du Count George Du Count ... Salvador
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Storyline

Chivo, a singer who works in a movie theater providing live entertainment, is and apprehended by a music-loving Mexican bandit Braganza who wants to make Chivo part of his band. Braganza, who admires American gangsters, also kidnaps Jane and her rich boyfriend, Bill. to become more like the American movie gangsters he admires.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

opera | bandit | mexico | radio | See All (4) »

Taglines:

THE GIANT MUSICAL HIT OF THE YEAR! (original ad - all caps)

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

2 October 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Daring Desperadoes See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Pickford-Lasky See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although he's playing a Mexican, Nino Martini was actually born in Italy. See more »

Connections

Featured in Mary Pickford: A Life on Film (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Adios mi tierra/Farewell My Country
Spanish words and music by Miguel Sandoval
English version by Sidney D. Mitchell
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well, you certainly can say this is different!!
18 June 2009 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

In a rather bizarre opening scene, a room full of Mexicans are at the theater watching a gangster film. It's odd because all the men have huge sombreros (hats) on--making it practically impossible for anyone to see the film. Suddenly, a fight breaks out and Leo Carrillo's gang takes on the rest of the audience. In a panic, the theater owner has Chivo (Nino Martini) take the stage and begin singing, as he has an amazingly beautiful tenor voice. The fight stops almost immediately, as everyone (especially Carrillo) is in love with the voice. I usually hate this sort of singing, but I also was amazed--he was that good.

Afterwords, Carrillo announces that Chivo MUST join his gang--or else. Given little choice, Chivo agrees and the next thing you know, Carrillo and his gang take over a local radio station and force everyone to listen to Chivo's operatic stylings! As the gang makes a getaway (after all, the police are coming), the come upon two young people and kidnap them (one, by the way, is a young Ida Lupino, who plays Jane). Chivo is smitten with Jane and makes an amazingly awkward play for her--it's a scene you just have to see to believe.

In the meantime, Carrillo goes in search of an American bandit, Butch. Carrillo mistakenly thinks that American bandits are like the ones featured in gangster films and wants Butch to teach them how to act like these film crooks! So how does all this get resolved? Does Chivo get to leave the gang? What about Lupino and her now ex-boyfriend? And does the gang become more Americanized--with gang members who act more like Jimmy Cagney and Edward G. Robinson? Tune in yourself to this silly yet strangely enjoyable B-movie.

Pluses are Nino Martini's amazing voice, cute supporting characters and a light and silly atmosphere. Minuses are Nino Martini's almost constant singing--a little went a very long way. In addition, the script is basically fluff. Enjoyable fluff, but still fluff.


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