AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Fighting Gringo
Director: David Howard (Dir)
Release Date:   8 Aug 1939
Duration (in mins):   59
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Cast:   George O'Brien (Wade Barton)  
    Lupita Tovar (Nita Del Campo)  
    Lucio Villegas (Don Aliso Del Campo)  
    William Royle (Ben Wallace)  
    Glenn Strange (Rance Potter)  
    Slim Whittaker (Monty)  
    LeRoy Mason (John Courtney)  
    Mary Field (Sandra Courtney)  
    Martin Garralaga (Pedro)  
    Dick Botiller (Jose)  
    Bill Cody Sr. (Sheriff Warren)  
    Cactus Mack (Utah Jones)  
    Chris-Pin Martin (Felipe)  

Summary: Wade Barton is the leader of a band of trouble shooters who hire out their guns to the innocent and oppressed. When Wade and his buckaroos foil a stagecoach robbery, they meet Nita Del Campo, a passenger on the stage, who invites Wade to a festival at her father's ranch, El Rio Rancho. In town, Felipe, the barber, warns Wade that rancher John Courtney has designs on the Del Campo ranch. Courtney has bribed a surveyor to dispute the property line between his ranch and El Rio Rancho, thus ceding ownership to Courtney. At the Del Campo ranch that night, Courtney and his foreman, Ben Wallace, who is engaged to Courtney's sister Sandra, disrupt the fiesta to inform Don Aliso that the new survey proves that Courtney owns El Rio Rancho. In an ensuing struggle, Wallace shoots Courtney and frames Don Aliso for the murder. With the help of one of his ranch hands, Don Aliso escapes the clutches of the sheriff and becomes a hunted man. Meanwhile, Wade begins to suspect Wallace of Courtney's murder, and to gain his confidence, he agrees to evict Nita from the Del Campo ranch. Afterward, Wade tracks Don Aliso to a cantina and warns him that Wallace's men are on their way, thus allowing him to escape. Wade then tricks Rance Potter, Wallace's right-hand man, into believing that Wallace is planning to double-cross him, thus eliciting a confession from Potter that Wallace killed Courtney. Wade passes this information along to the disbelieving Sandra. Wade's plan backfires, however, when Wallace and Potter discover his trickery, and at the Del Campo hacienda, Wade and his buckaroos shoot it out with Wallace and his men. As their guns blaze, Don Aliso and his men ride to the rescue, and when Potter confesses the truth to Sandra, she drops all claims against El Rio Rancho. 

Production Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.  
Director: David Howard (Dir)
  Harry D'Arcy (Asst dir)
Producer: Bert Gilroy (Prod)
  Lee Marcus (Prod exec)
Writer: Oliver Drake (Scr and story)
Photography: Harry Wild (Photog)
Art Direction: Van Nest Polglase (Art dir)
  Lucius Croxton (Art dir assoc)
Film Editor: Frederic Knudtson (Ed)
Music: Roy Webb (Mus dir)
Sound: John C. Grubb (Rec)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
RKO Radio Pictures, Inc. 25/8/1939 dd/mm/yyyy LP9127

PCA NO: 5537
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA Victor Sound System

 
Genre: Western
 
Subjects (Major): Frame-ups
  Gunfighters
  Land rights
  Ranchers
 
Subjects (Minor): Betrayal
  Brothers and sisters
  Confession (Law)
  Fathers and daughters
  Festivals
  Gunfights
  Mexican Americans
  Murder
  Stagecoach robberies

Note: Modern sources add the following actors to the cast: Ben Corbett ( Shorty ), Forrest Taylor ( Jury foreman ) and Hank Bell ( Outlaw ). 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   28 Nov 39   p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter   23 Aug 39   p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily   25 Aug 39   p. 7.
Motion Picture Herald   5 Aug 39   p. 86.
Motion Picture Herald   26 Aug 39   p. 57.
Variety   29 Nov 39   p. 14.

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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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