The Bandit Queen (film)
|The Bandit Queen|
The Bandit Queen with her avenging bullwhip
|Directed by||William Berke|
|Produced by||William Berke|
Robert L. Lippert
|Written by||Orville H. Hampton|
|Screenplay by||Victor West|
|Story by||Victor West|
|Music by||Albert Glasser|
(as Ernest W. Miller)
|Edited by||Carl Pierson|
|Distributed by||Lippert Pictures|
Zarra Montalvo is the daughter of an American father and Spanish mother, Don Jose (Victor Kilian) and Zara Montalvo (Cecil Weston, credited as Cecile Weston). The Montalvo family possesses land rights or Spanish land grants to a hacienda with gold mines present. Abroad, Zarra comes home to California and witnesses her parents being murdered by Hank (John Merton) and an unknown man, Sheriff Jim Harden (Barton MacLane). Zarra initially approaches Harden about the crimes but eventually recognizes him as part of the murderers' gang. She joins forces with Joaquin Murietta (Phillip Reed) to regain her rightful inheritance, and together they assume secret identities, with Zarra hidden behind the alias of a Zorro-like character named "Lola Belmont" and Murietta as "Carlos del Rio".
Dan Hinsdale (Willard Parker), an attorney, later informs Zarra about his purchase of her family's rancho at a reduced fee because of back taxes owed by Zarra's parents. Zarra seeks the aid of Father Antonio (Martin Garralaga), who along with Murietta is one of the few people to know their dual identities. Father Antonio warns her that her outlaw gang is wanted by the Spanish authority and its soldiers. Upon learning this, "Belmont" and "del Rio" secretly work to regain stolen gold and "land rights" on the behalf of other neighboring rancheros.
- Barbara Britton as Zara Montalvo aka Lola Belmont
- Willard Parker as Dan Hinsdale
- Phillip Reed as Joaquin Murietta
- Barton MacLane as Jim Harden
- Martin Garralaga as Father Antonio
- Victor Kilian as Jose Montalvo
- Thurston Hall as Governor
- Angelo Rossitto as Nino (as Angie)
- Anna Demetrio as Maria
- Paul Marion as Manuel
- Mikel Conrad as Captain Gray (as Mike Conard)
- Margia Dean as Carol Grayson
- Minna Phillips as Mrs. Grayson
- John Merton as Hank
Britton was coached for the film by Marcella Cresney.
The Bandit Queen was produced by Lippert Pictures and shot in the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park as well as the San Fernando Valley. Set near Madera, California during the California Gold Rush, The Bandit Queen is a 70 minute black-and-white movie that was a serial film depiction of Joaquin Murrieta's life. Martha Vickers was initially slated to "play a two-gun gal of the West in her come-back picture" in this movie. This release marked the final "Lippert Studios" film in 1950 with Britton starring in the title role as a Spanish American aristocratic daughter who avenged her parents' deaths in recovering stolen wealth through the use of a bullwhip.
The Bandit Queen received the following reviews:
"Bandit Queen" a pistol-packin (sic) mama story at the New Albert.
In old California, a beauty makes like a female Robin Hood to help her countrymen against tax collectors.
An adventure tale of old California the picture moves at a terrific pace with plenty of thrilling action. Filmed in the picturesque San Fernando Valley it has Miss Britton cast as the daughter of a rich Spanish landowner who meets his death at the hands of greedy politicians.
She sought revenge with A GUN. . .A WHIP. . .A KISS!
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