AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Gay Caballero
Alternate Title: Ghost of the Cisco Kid
Director: Otto Brower (Dir)
Release Date:   4 Oct 1940
Production Date:   21 May--early-Jun and 5 Aug--13 Aug 1940
Duration (in mins):   57-58
Duration (in feet):   5,050
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Cesar Romero (The Cisco Kid)  
    Sheila Ryan (Susan Wetherby)  
    Robert Sterling (Billy Brewster)  
    Chris-Pin Martin (Gordito)  
    Janet Beecher (Kate Brewster)  
    Edmund MacDonald (Joe Turner)  
    Jacqueline Dalya (Carmelita)  
    Montague Shaw (George Wetherby)  
    Hooper Atchley (Sheriff McBride)  
    George Magrill (Deputy sheriff)  
    Jim Pierce (Bandit)  
    Ethan Laidlaw (Bandit)  
    John Byron (Bandit)  
    Tom London (Rancher)  
    Dave Morris (Passenger)  
    Jack Stoney (Stage guard)  
    Lee Shumway (Stage driver)  
    LeRoy Mason (Deputy)  
    Frank Lackteen (Peon)  

Summary: While riding through the West in 1889, the Cisco Kid and his sidekick Gordito discover a grave with a headstone reading, "Here lies the Cisco Kid." Surprised to learn that he is dead, Cisco questions Carmelita, who is weeping by the grave. Carmelita, who works as a servant for rancher Kate Brewster, explains that the buried man was her fiancé Manuel, who was accused of being the notorious bandit and then killed by Kate's foreman, Joe Turner. Just then, Cisco and Gordito see three men try to rob the passengers of a covered wagon. After scattering the would-be thieves, Cisco finds out that the passengers are Englishman George Wetherby and his daughter Susan. The Wetherbys are on their way to the Brewster ranch, of which they are purchasing a parcel of from Kate. Cisco and Gordito accompany the Wetherbys to the ranch, where they hope to discover Turner's motive for framing and murdering Manuel. At the ranch, they meet Kate and her nephew Billy, who has just been made a sheriff's deputy. At dinner that night, Turner relates how the alleged Cisco Kid pillaged the land and livestock intended for the Wetherbys before Turner killed him. George is undeterred by the threat of bandits, and confides that he is investing all of his money in the land. The three men who tried to rob him then arrive at the ranch, and despite George's protests, Kate insists that they be allowed to stay, as her late husband always declared that the ranch was a sanctuary for any visitor. After dinner, Kate castigates Turner for allowing the three men, who are his henchmen, to come to the ranch. Kate and Turner are in league to rob George and drive him away, because selling the land, which George was mistakenly allotted by the bank, will divide Kate's ranch in two. While Kate and Turner scheme to rob the Wells Fargo stagecoach, which will be carrying George's money, Cisco realizes that they are behind the destruction of George's land and merely blamed it on the fake Cisco Kid as an alibi. Later, Kate reveals that she knows Cisco's real identity, even though he is using the name Señor Chiquelo, but he warns her that he will not desert the Wetherbys. The next day, Sheriff McBride tries to arrest Cisco, but he claims the sanctuary of Kate's ranch. Billy and George, believing that Cisco is a truly dangerous desperado, turn against him, but Susan maintains that he is trustworthy. Later that night, Kate and Turner plan on setting Cisco up by luring him away from the ranch while Turner impersonates him and robs the stagecoach. The ruse works, and Cisco and Gordito return to the ranch after McBride is told of the robbery. Gordito is apprehended while Cisco escapes, but Cisco is captured the next day when he tries to free his friend. Cisco bests the deceitful Turner in a fair draw when he escapes later, then he and Gordito prevent Kate and her henchmen from stealing George's money, which was not taken in the stagecoach robbery. Kate is killed when her wagon overturns during the chase and crushes her. Cisco explains her schemes to George and Susan, but warns them not to tell the naïve Billy. He then escapes with Gordito as McBride's posse comes after them. 

Production Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Distribution Company: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.  
Director: Otto Brower (Dir)
  William Eckhardt (Asst dir)
Producer: Walter Morosco (Assoc prod)
  Ralph Dietrich (Assoc prod)
Writer: Albert Duffy (Scr)
  John Larkin (Scr)
  Walter Bullock (Orig story)
  Albert Duffy (Orig story)
Photography: Edward Cronjager (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Richard Day (Art dir)
  Chester Gore (Art dir)
Film Editor: Harry Reynolds (Film ed)
Set Decoration: Thomas Little (Set dec)
Costumes: Herschel (Cost)
Music: Emil Newman (Mus dir)
Sound: Arthur von Kirbach (Sd)
  Harry M. Leonard (Sd)
Production Misc: Harry Brand (Publicity dir)
Stand In: Steve Clemento (Knife thrower)
Country: United States
Series: Cisco Kid

Source Text: Based on the character created by O. Henry.
Authors: O. Henry

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. 4/10/1940 dd/mm/yyyy LP10085

PCA NO: 6384
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording

Genre: Western
Subjects (Major): Bandits
  Mexican Americans
  Ranch foremen
  Women ranchers
Subjects (Minor): Accidental death
  Fathers and daughters
  Mistaken identity
  Stagecoach robberies

Note: The film's working title was Ghost of the Cisco Kid . Although actor Cesar Romero is listed as "The Cisco Kid" in the opening credits, the cast credits at the end of the film only list his character as "Cisco Kid." According to HR news items, the picture was partially filmed on location at Lone Pine, CA, and production was suspended for two months after Romero sustained a broken leg. According to a Twentieth Century-Fox publicity release, however, Romero was suffering from "para-typhoid" at the time of the film's suspension.
       Director Otto Brower acted as second unit director on Brigham Young-Frontiersman (see above) and directed Youth Will Be Served (see below) while Romero was recovering. According to a HR news item, Twentieth Century-Fox decided to drop the name "Cisco Kid" from the film's titles in the series in the belief that "the titles are often confusing to the public as to whether the picture is a different one from predecessors." For more information about the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for The Cisco Kid

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   28 Sep 1940.   
Daily Variety   23 Sep 40   p. 3.
Film Daily   28 Oct 40   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   20 May 40   p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jun 40   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   15 Jun 40   p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter   19 Jun 40   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   20 Jun 40   p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter   29 Jul 40   p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter   5 Aug 40   p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter   14 Aug 40   p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Sep 40   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   24 Sep 40   p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald   28 Sep 40   p. 80.
Variety   25 Sep 1940.   

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
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