The Cisco Kid (Warner Baxter) is like a Robin Hood of the old west dressed in a matador’s suit. Yes, he will loot passing stagecoaches, but is so charismatic about it ladies don’t seem too distressed. He never hurts anyone and never robs them blind. And like a true gentlemen, he uses most of his loot to buy gifts for his beautiful girlfriend, Tonya Maria (Dorothy Burgess). But with the railways being built, the town sees The Cisco Kid as a nuisance that needs to be disposed of, dead or alive.
Sergeant Mickey Dunn (Edmund Lowe) is an over confident blowhard in charge of finding The Cisco Kid and bringing him to justice. Problem is, no one has really seen the kid, so when he’s right under their noses or shaking their hands, they don’t even realize he’s the man they’re looking for. The Kid uses this to his advantage and really gives the audience some good laughs along with a close shave.
Tonya Maria is one of the early seductive women of cinema. We’re distracted at first by her good looks, she’s much more revealing than other girls with that knee length skirt and blouse casually showing one bare shoulder. We also see that in 1929 they already had the basics for a bowchickawowwow scene. Cisco just turns on the phonograph, Tonya leans seductively against the door frame, smokes a cigarette and they let the ham and eggs burn in the skillet. Later we see that Tonya is just out for a sugar daddy, and once she helps Dunn kill The Cisco Kid she’ll have her share of the reward and a new richer boyfriend to buy her things.
The early comedy mixed with the tale of an evil woman makes In Old Arizona very enjoyable. From start to finish it’s entertaining and captivating and by the end you may be trying to help your favorite characters out. I enjoyed yelling, “No, she’s planning an ambush!” at the grainy film. When the story draws you in there’s no need for over the top visuals.
I was a little surprised by the ending. That scream chilled my blood and not a minute later there’s that unnaturally happy music. Oh well, I guess it was a happy ending.