AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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In Old Caliente
Alternate Title: Road to Eldorado
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
Release Date:   19 Jun 1939
Production Date:   began 3 May 1939
Duration (in mins):   57
Duration (in reels):   6
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Cast:   Roy Rogers (Roy Rogers)  
    Mary Hart (Jean)  
    George "Gabby" Hayes (Gabby)  
    Jack La Rue (Suguaro)  
    Katherine de Mille (Rita)  
    Frank Puglia (Don Jose)  
    Harry Woods (Calkins)  
    Paul Marion (Carlos)  
    Ethel Wales (Felicia)  
    Merrill McCormick (Pedro)  

Summary: In 1835, the newly annexed state of California sees an influx of American settlers moving West along the El Camino Real; these Americanos are perceived as a threat to the rancheros of the Spanish dons. Among the rancheros are Gabby and his niece Jean, who are leading a wagon train to meet their friend, Roy Rogers. Roy, a trusted hand on the ranch of Don Jose, is returning from a cattle drive with Carlos, son of the don, when he decides to ride ahead to the ranch, leaving Carlos behind with the wagon bearing the proceeds of the sale. On the ridge above the wagon awaits Suguaro, the half-breed foreman of Don Jose's ranch, who has led a band of "gringo" bandits to prey upon Carlos and the gold. When the bandits shoot Carlos and steal his gold, the clever Suguaro accuses the settlers of the crime, and when Roy protests, Don Jose banishes him from the ranch. After Roy joins Gabby and the wagons, he follows Suguaro to the bandits' cave hideout, but the clever Suguaro escapes Roy's trap and accuses Roy and Gabby of stealing the gold. When Don Jose orders the Americanos imprisoned, Jean pleads with the don to listen to their explanation. The don agrees, but before he can free Roy, Suguaro shoots him and frames Roy for the murder. Aided by Rita, the don's daughter, Roy and Gabby escape, but Carlos refuses to abandon the search for his father's killer. One night, Carlos follows Rita to Roy's grotto hideout, and Roy succeeds in convincing him that it was Suguaro who murdered his father. Together, they plan a massive cattle drive to tempt the bandits, and the trap works as Roy, Carlos and their men ambush Suguaro and their band. Thus vindicated, Roy rides off to San Diego with Jean and the wagon train. 

Production Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Distribution Company: Republic Pictures Corp.  
Director: Joseph Kane (Dir)
  Tommy Flood (Asst dir)
Producer: Joseph Kane (Assoc prod)
Writer: Norman Houston (Scr)
  Gerald Geraghty (Scr)
  Norman Houston (Orig story)
Photography: William Nobles (Photog)
Film Editor: Edward Mann (Film ed)
Music: Cy Feuer (Mus dir)
Production Misc: Al Wilson (Prod mgr)
Country: United States

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Republic Pictures Corp. 19/6/1939 dd/mm/yyyy LP8944

PCA NO: 5388
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: RCA "High Fidelity" Recording

Genre: Western
Sub-Genre: with songs
Subjects (Major): Bandits
  California--History--To 1846
  Ranch foremen
  Wagon trains
Subjects (Minor): Caves
  Fathers and daughters

Note: The working title of this film was Road to Eldorado . Although the character played by Jack La Rue is called "Saguaro" in the film, the reviews list his name as "Delgado." Similiarly, Frank Puglia is called "Don Jose" in the film, but the reviews list the character as "Don Miguel." Although the film features several songs, none of the song titles were identified. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Film Daily   14 Jul 39   p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter   1 May 39   p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter   6 May 39   pp. 6-7.
Motion Picture Daily   14 Jul 39   p. 5.
Motion Picture Herald   22 Jul 39   p. 50.
Variety   12 Jul 39   p. 13.

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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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