In the 1930s and 1940s, a Saturday matinee typically offered audiences a serial film, animated cartoons, newsreels and a couple of feature films. The serial Western enjoyed its heyday as moviegoers followed the adventures of a central hero from film to film, sometimes week after week.
Between 1928-1950 twenty-five films featured The Cisco Kid as one of those heroes. Warner Baxter, Cesar Romero and Duncan Renaldo all played the starring role in at least five films each.
Traveling from town to town across the Old West, The Cisco Kid and his banditos dodge the law while fighting injustice. Gilbert Roland appeared as The Cisco Kid in six movies between 1946-1947. Beauty and the Bandit (1946) marks his third appearance in the role.
Beauty and the Bandit checks all the required elements of a serial Western:
- Macho hero riding a Palomino horse
- Faithful hero’s sidekick
- Group of bandits
- Saloon sing-along
- Stagecoach robbery
- Warrant out for the arrest of our hero
- Lawmen in pursuit
- High-speed horseback chases
- Dusty roads and dusty town
- Evil land baron
- Oppressed local townspeople
- Beautiful damsel
- Desperate kid
- Bandits’ hideout
- Sombreros and cigarettes
- Campfire song
- Pistol and knife tricks
- Passionate embrace and kiss
- Bad guy – good guy shootout
- Wrongs righted; justice served
- Celebration of grateful townspeople
- Foiled lawmen
- Hero’s escape
Set yourself up a Saturday matinee and watch Beauty and the Bandit, available in the February lineup on The Film Detective.
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