Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In Old Arizona (1929)

IMDb credits In Old Arizona as being the first full talkie. The Jazz Singer came out a year earlier, but only has a few scenes of spoken dialogue and synchronized music numbers. We've definitely come a long way. The sound in In Old Arizona is almost laughably bad at parts. Dialogue is mumbled and faint. At one point a stagecoach goes speeding by on a rocky road without making a sound.

The plot is lifted from an O'Henry story and follows a bandit, the Cisco Kid, on the run from the soldier assigned to bring him in. Cisco's girl flirts with the soldier seemingly to distract him from his target. However, once the idea of a $5000 reward is flashed at her, she becomes uncertain about where her loyalty should lie.

The characterization is pretty good with the soldier torn between his girl back home and Cisco's girl coming on so strong. And the Cisco Kid is far from the cutthroat he seems as first. He's later seen as jolly and philosophical, like a homicidal Robin Hood, maybe. Most surprising were the movie's risqué moments with sexual innuendo and a man telling his to mule to "shut up, jackass."

Nothing special, but not a bad little film despite its technical flaws.

104 to go...

No comments:

Post a Comment