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Gilbert Roland - A Latin Performer Unbounded

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> {quote:title=CineMaven wrote:}{quote}

> Good movie. I don't have the dialogue but I remember her yelling at Walter Huston (her father) after he hanged Roland.


> AND her throwing that scissor at Judith Anderson's face. Whew!


POSSIBLE spoilers for The Furies ahead....





























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Thanks so much for posting this great scene from The Furies. Gilbert Roland and Barbara Stanwyck really shine.


My pleasure; their scenes together are my favorite in the whole film.

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For those of you who get Encore Westerns cable network, they are airing Bandido (1956)

tonight at 9:50 p.m. EST, which stars Robert Mitchum and features Gilbert Roland. I am

watching the tail end of it now but hope to catch the whole thing tonight---it's great seeing Gilbert

with Robert Mitchum and what looks to be authentic Mexican locations. *Bandido* will be

followed by one of my favorite Mitchum movies (sans Gilbert), The Wonderful Country.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those who get the Fox Movie Channel, they'll be showing Call Her Savage (1932) tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7:30am ET.


*Call Her Savage*

Clara Bow delivers a passionate and sensual performance as Nasa Springer, a young girl with Indian blood who lives a stormy rebelious life.


Cast: Clara Bow, Gilbert Roland, Thelma Todd, John Francis Dillon


Director: John Francis Dillon

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Gilbert Roland steals THUNDER BAY from James Stewart and Dan Duryea, not an easy thing to do.


He's also most entertaining in THE WILD AND THE INNOCENT, an Audie Murphy western.


Message was edited by: clore

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Hi clore! Long time no see. :)


Gilbert Roland steals THUNDER BAY from James Stewart and Dan duryea, not an easy thing to do.


Gilbert is a big reason this is one of my favorite of the Mann/Stewart pairings.


He's also most entertaining in THE WILD AND THE INNOCENT, an Audie Murphy western


I'm not sure if I've seen this one---back when AMC used to air a lot of Audie's westerns I

might have caught it. He is the best thing in Robert Mitchum's 1957 western, Bandido,

which recently aired on The Western Channel. Loved him in that. He and Mitchum played

off of one another really well, I sense they really enjoyed each other's company. I can

just imagine the hijinx they got into while filming in Mexico.



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Thanks for the welcome.


Despite my efforts, reinstalling Flash player and checking my browser settings, I'm still having big problems navigating these boards.


I start off well, then move away rather than watch the hourglass for five minutes. I end up getting occupied somewhere else.


Another fun Roland film for me is ANY GUN CAN PLAY, one of a number of spaghetti westerns that he made. This one is a semi-spoof of the genre and of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY in particular. Even in his early 60s, Roland has loads of charisma to spare and something like zero body fat.

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I finally finished watching Bandido (1956) with Mitchum, Ursula Theiss and Gilbert Roland. The movie was one-third over before I really recognized Zachary Scott, whose role is pitiable as the weasely gunrunner married to Ursula.

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I enjoyed the movie's colorful locations and GR in his role playing a rebel. I loved the way that he was skeptical about everything and everyone, including the ability of his men to concentrate on a given task for very long. I also thought that he played the one character who gave a damn about the outcome of the revolution, which he sensed was doomed. I also liked the philosophical shrug that he gave just before napping after promising to kill *Mitchum* if he didn't come through for him. Roland's one surefire reply in every underwritten scene, to good and bad news seemed to be the catch phrase "you-betcher-life, amigo!".


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Mitchum, Rodolfo Acosta, and Gilbert Roland in Bandido (1956).


The only trouble with the movie were the sketchy characterizations. Sure, the movie kept moving all the time, but questions of who, what, where and why of the revolution and the revolutionaries on all sides were never addressed in a practical or philosophical way. According to director Richard Fleischer's autobiography, "Just Tell Me When to Cry" he'd hoped to make a movie called "Horse Opera" he hoped it would be written by his friend and legendary procrastinator, screenwriter Earl Felton:

"A movie company in Mexico in the early 1900s [is] captured by Pancho Villa. The hero of the piece was a laconic American soldier of fortune, (*Robert Mitchum*, natch) , Villa's right-hand man, who falls in love with the movie company's leading lady (*Ursula Theiss*?). He rescues her from Villa, takes her back to Hollywood and becomes by accident, a movie star himself."


Darned if that doesn't sound like a fine idea for a movie with the possibility of fun and drama in spades. However, as *Fleischer* explained, the script eventually submitted was the ramshackle plotted item that became *Bandido* after numerous rewrites. Since the director had signed a contract and could have been sued (a possibility that comes up alot in Fleischer's book), he went along with the hoary old story about a gunrunner, a revolutionary and the go-between. The movie company shot most of the film in Tepitzlan east of Cuernavaca using that cathedral (built by Cortes), and the ruins around it. Due to several hairy episodes involving members of *Mitchum*'s retinue getting into big trouble with the locals and the intercession of *GR* to avoid long prison terms for some and arranging the spiriting of several ugly Americans out of the country, they finally had enough footage to return home.


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Mitchum, Theiss and "Amigo"


In one episode described by *Fleischer*, *Gilbert Roland*, who was a big celebrity in Mexico due to his movie star status and his family's heritage in the bull ring, the director and his wife attended an exhibition of bullfighting with *GR* in Mexico City just before leaving the country. Because of his fame, each matador dedicated his kill to *GR*, who, mumbling under his breath to *Fleischer*, groaned with each honor. Apparently, when a matador made such a gesture, the recipient (*Gilbert Roland*) was expected to tip him generously--despite the fact that the bullfighters that day lacked finesse and skill, leading to a very long afternoon. Finally, as the day drew to a close, "Amigo" whispered to his friend "Can't these bums find somebody else? I'm running out of money." As the fourth matador tossed his hat to *GR*, the actor mumbled, "Oh, s***, not again. Maybe he'll get killed and I won't have to pay him." No such luck, but *GR* plastered a false smile on his face, borrowed cash from "Ricardo" and greeted the "triumphant" toreador with a dazzling movie star grin, a deep bow, and the wish that "May you get a horn up your ***". Seeing that the gates were open near by, *Roland* hustled his guests out as fast as possible, even though the afternoon was not quite over. When the film crew finally finagled their way out of Mexico after greasing many palms and calming the offended sensibilities of their hosts as much as possible, the director said that as the plane took off he looked across the aisle and saw Amigo with his eyes squeezed shut, gripping a large scotch and a rosary, praying that he would get out in one piece.


I think that the real life adventure of the movie company might make a pretty good movie after all.


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The following are the next times that *Bandido* will be broadcast on the Encore Western Channel


*Wednesday, June 10th*

1:00pm ET

8:00pm ET


*Monday, June 29th*

5:50am ET

8:00pm ET


*Sunday, July 5th*

2:50pm ET

9:40pm ET

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Hi Moira!


lol, I had the same reaction when I saw Zachary Scott...I had missed the opening so

I didn't see his name in the credits and I kept wondering who the heck that was..his voice

sounded SO familiar!


Wonderful write-up and you even took the trouble to research from Fleischer's memoirs! Thank

you so much. I'm sure the behind-the-scenes shenanigans WOULD make a much better

picture, ha! Too bad, because both GR and Mitch were at their peak and should have had

better material to work with.


Ursula Theiss was bland and boring and I felt they were trying to evoke a Euro-Jane Russell

with her look.


That story about the bullfight is priceless!


And great pictures, thank you thank you thank you! :)

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Well, Miss G., I thought I was slipping, but perhaps it was the goatee that made an unusually portly *Zachary Scott* look so generic--what a waste! His presence in a movie was usually an occasion for something interesting to happen. I thought you'd like that Fleischer story about the bullfight. I remembered having read it after seeing the okay *Bandido*. I've only seen *Ursula Theiss* in this movie and in *The Americano* (1955). She has that look of the "haughty beauty with the permanently annoyed expression" down pat. Is she a better actress in other films?


I was happy to see a couple of rarely broadcast GR movies scheduled for this August on TCM:

*Crisis* (1950) at midnight on Aug 10th (ET). This one has some dramatic moments with a better meaty role for Gilberto. NOT on dvd, which is surprising, considering all the other Cary Grant dvds that are out there.


*The Bad and the Beautiful* (1953) on Aug 13th at 6pm ET. Okay, it's broadcast alot, but who cares. It's fun.


*We Were Strangers* (1949) at 8am ET on Aug 17th. I've only seen parts of this one and was very intrigued by the hopeless cause, the Cuban setting, John Garfield and you-know who.


Here are some more GR photos I hope you might get a kick out of.

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We Were Strangers: Jennifer Jones and John Garfield don't seem to notice GR behind them, do they? I like J.J., but she seems to be lost in a world of her own here, unaware of the other actors.


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GR, Garfield, Jones and (I think) Wally Cassell on the couch in We Were Strangers (1949)


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An unusual clean-shaven GR in the 1950s or early 1960s. I think the mustachioed look was a keeper.


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On horseback.


Message was edited by: moirafinnie6

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oooh, yes, I prefer him with is mooostash. :)


I don't recall seeing Ursula Theiss in anything else, or she made no impression. One of those hundreds of European actresses that popped up in movies of the 50s and 60s.


I didn't like *We Were Strangers* except for Gilbert. I found it boring. Some of Huston's movies admittedly fall completely flat for me, especially if his sense of humor is in hiding. Gilbert is

the only believable character. Sound familiar?

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I really enjoyed your write up of Bandido, and especially the backstage stories.....


Alas, this is the second time in one day that I have had cause to regret our cable company's lack of the Encore Channels.....Bummer.

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Has anyone seen *My Six Convicts* (1952)? Made at Columbia under Stanley Kramer's production unit, it was directed by Hugo Fregonese and had a cast that includes GR, Millard Mitchell, (love that guy in anything!), John Beal (I always think of him as a '30s actor!), Harry Morgan and Jay Adler. I suspect that it might be worth a look--if I could find it. It may have been on TCM before, but it doesn't seem to have been released on any video. Here's a capsule review from Variety in '52:

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"*My Six Convicts*, the best-seller about the experiences of a prison psychologist, comes to the screen as mighty satisfying entertainment. As did the tome by Donald Powell Wilson, the film makes humans of the imprisoned men, and deals with them with whimsical humor and intelligent understanding. It's no regular prison drama of the common type.


Picture gets underway with the arrival at prison of John Beal, who is to establish, on trial, a psychological system for rehabilitating convicts. It's not until Millard Mitchell's safe cracker decides to try out the new doc that Beal is able to get going. The easy life in the psycho office soon attracts Gilbert Roland's mobster and killer; Marshall Thompson's alcoholic taking a rap for a girl; Alf Kjellin sentenced for an unarmed holdup; Henry Morgan's psycopathic killer; and Jay Adler's embezzler.


Mitchell and Roland split trouping honors about equally for cast standouts."

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Look at this odd production still photo from *My Six Convicts* that I came across showing that clean-shaven but desperate look from the '50s. Bet no one recognized him. This movie was made just after he made a splash in *The Bad and the Beautiful*. Maybe someone (like an agent) told him he'd look edgy this way? What's with the drawn on hair in the front?


Hmmm. What are we missing? Is it a comedy? A dramedy? A Stanley Kramer "message" movie?



Below: Here's an intriguing picture from the Spanish language production of *Resurrecci?n* (1931) with Lupe Velez as Tolstoy's sullied peasant heroine and GR as a bad boy aristocrat, (who sees the light...eventually).


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Below: From *Men of the North* (1930), a forgotten movie set in the wilds of French Canada. Well, at least they weren't typecasting him...yet. GR plays a character called "Monsieur le Fox". He did a Spanish language version of this same movie at Sounds like fun.


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Hi JackFavell,

Maybe TCM will show *Bandido* someday if they haven't already. They seem to be broadcasting more 20th Century Fox films lately. I'm again a bit puzzled that this one isn't available on Region 1 dvd since *Mitchum* continues to be very popular, (now that the rest of the world has caught up with his brand of cool...or thinks it has). If I hear anything about it, I'll let you know, okay? Just don't expect anything great, please? It is just an okay, fitfully colorful film redeemed by the Amigo's presence.

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I have never seen MY SIX CONVICTS but from your description and even the title it really intrigues me. That's one TCM should look into, maybe for a night of convict "rehab" or criminal psychology

movies, ha!!

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> Below: From *Men of the North* (1930), a forgotten movie set in the wilds of French Canada. Well, at least they weren't typecasting him...yet. GR plays a character called "Monsieur le Fox". He did a Spanish language version of this same movie at Sounds like fun.


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Holy cow! Either TCM or TNT showed this years ago, in the middle of the night. I remember recording something that went over by a half hour or so, and the beginning of this thing came on my tape. That's about all I remember.

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Hey Scsu,

If you ever come across that tape, I hope you'll let us know how the movie is, won't you? I always forget all the old doozies that TNT used to show late at night. Maybe we should request this one.


Miss G. said:

"I have never seen MY SIX CONVICTS but from your description and even the title it really intrigues me. That's one TCM should look into, maybe for a night of convict "rehab" or criminal psychology movies, ha!!"


Well, let's see, if a whole night were devoted to shrinks on film redeeming the criminals there is the Phyllis Thaxter as the psycho and Edmund Gwenn as the quack liberating her from criminal psychosis through hypnosis in the flick, *Bewitched* (1945). There's the movie *The Dark Past* with Lee J. Cobb & William Holden (in a brush-cut) going mano y mano to cure Bill's psyche and the earlier version of the same movie, *Blind Alley* (1939) with dear Chester Morris being treated (whether he knows it or not) by Dr. Ralph Bellamy, and then there's *Pressure Point* (1962) with head case Bobby Darin being analyzed and possibly redeemed by prison shrink Sidney Poitier. What other prison shrink movies am I forgetting?


JackF said

"Or maybe a Gilbert Roland SOTM......perhaps this is too much to ask?"


Oh, probably. Color me sad. I don't think that there are enough movies for a whole month (the man only made about 100 movies). He worked mostly as a character actor, not a true star, so that may make it impractical to frame a month's worth of programming around a supporting player. More's the pity, * sigh *--but maybe it could happen, someday. I think I need to go watch a Cisco Kid movie to cheer myself up soon.


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Thanks for responding to my posts, all!

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