Synopsis by Hal Erickson
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.
commissioner, corruption, daughter, murder, outlaw [Western], politician, revenge, robbery, Robin-Hood