The Bandit Queen (film)
|The Bandit Queen|
The Bandit Queen with her avenging bullwhip
|Directed by||William Berke|
|Produced by||Lippert Pictures Inc.|
|Written by||Budd Lesser
Orville H. Hampton
|Distributed by||Forgotten Hollywood|
The Bandit Queen is a 1950 American Western film directed by William Berke. The movie featured Barbara Britton and Phillip Reed as the leaders of a Robin Hood type band. The Bandit Queen was produced by Lippert Pictures Inc. 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 Baltimore Afro-American described The Bandit Queen as, "a pistol-packin mama story".
As the lead actress, Britton was the protagonist child of an American father and Spanish mother, Dones Jose and Zara Montalvo, as portrayed by Victor Kilian and Cecil Weston who is credited as Cecile Weston. The Montalvo family possessed land rights or Spanish land grants to a hacienda with gold mines present. Abroad, the daughter came home to California and witnessed her parents being murdered by Hank (John Merton) and an unknown man, Sheriff Jim Harden, who was played by Barton MacLane. Montalvo initially approached Harden about the crimes but eventually recognized him as part of murderers' gang. She teamed up with Phillip Reed, in the role of Joaquin Murietta, to regain her rightful inheritance. Together they assumed false identities with Montalvo hidden behind the alias of a Zorro-like character named Lola Belmont with Murietta as Carlos del Rio.
Dan Hinsdale (Willard Parker), who was an attorney, later informed her about his purchase of her family's rancho at a reduced fee because of back taxes owed by Montalvo's parents. Montalvo sought the aid of Father Antonio (Martin Garralaga), who along with Murietta, is one of the few people to know their double identities. Antonio warned her that her outlaw gang was wanted by the Spanish authority and its soldiers. Upon learning this, Belmont and del Rio furtively worked to regain stolen gold and "land rights" on the behalf of other neighboring rancheros.
- Willard Parker - Dan Hinsdale
- Barbara Britton - Zarra Montalvo/Lola Belmont
- Barton MacLane - Sheriff Jim Harden
- Phillip Reed - Joaquin Murietta/Carlos del Rio
- Martin Garralaga - Father Antonio
- Victor Kilian - Don Jose Montalvo
- Cecil Weston - Doña Zara Montalvo
- John Merton - Hank
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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