Gay Defender (1927)

Sub-Genres - Biopic [feature]  |   Run Time - 65 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The freewheeling direction of Gregory LaCava helps to enliven the otherwise standard actioner The Gay Defender. Decked out with sideburns and mustache, Richard Dix stars as real-life outlaw Joaquin Murietta, who (according to this film, anyway) is a latter-day Robin Hood, dedicated to driving land-grabbers and corrupt politicians out of Spanish California. The fictional love interest, played by Thelma Todd (long before establishing herself as a comedienne), is Ruth Ainsworth, the daughter of a United States commissioner whose murder Murietta hopes to avenge. A festival of cliches, the film manages to avoid the most obvious plot ploy of all: the attack on the heroine by the villains (the girl manages to get through the entire picture without having to be rescued). The Joaquin Murietta story would be told again -- once more with scant fidelity to the facts -- in 1936's Robin Hood of El Dorado.

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Keywords

commissioner, corruption, daughter, murder, outlaw [Western], politician, revenge, robbery, Robin-Hood