This is the story of a legend of Old California starred by Joaquin Murrieta . In the 1840's Mexico has ceded California to the United States, it was known as ¨the Mexican Cession¨ which came into the United States as a result of the Mexican War . By the next year California was admitted to the union it had grown that exponentially. But it resulted in making life nearly impossible for the Mexican population due to the influx of land barons , mean owners , and gold-crazy Americans . Shortly after , gold was discovered in 1849 that caused ambition , rampage and ravage . Such depredations as depicted that turned Murietta into an outlaw and being interesting that in a Spanish film it was shown on screen . Prospector Joaquin Murrieta (Jeffrey Hunter) is searching for gold when is brutally murdered his wife . Murrieta revenges the death of his spouse (Sara Lezana) against the three Americans (Frank Braña , among them) who murdered her and is branded as a bandit . He is imprisoned in the town jail , but helped by the beautiful Kate (Diana Lorys) Joaquin escapes from prison . The reward for his capture is increased as he subsequently kills the men who pursue him . Joining with bandit Three Fingered Jack (a sympathetic Roberto Camardiel who gives the comic relief) and Claudio (Pedro Osinaga) , Murrieta , the California's Legendary Bandit rides again and raises an army of disaffected Mexicans and goes on a rampage against the Americans , finally forcing his erstwhile friend , Capt. Love(Arthur Kennedy) , to lead a posse against him.
The picture gets Western action , shootouts , a love story , go riding , breathtaking raids on Yankees headquarters and results to be quite entertaining . It's a medium budget film with good actors , technicians , production values and pleasing results . Here there are lots of Hispanic support actors , they did credible jobs in the film and I was amazed that the movie attempted to give Joaquin and his underlings some humanity and sense of purpose . Many of them starred several Chorizo/Tortilla or Spaghetti/Pasta Westerns , such as : Roberto Camardiel , Diana Lorys , Sara Lezana , Pedro Osinaga , Frank Braña , Sancho Gracia , Rufino Inglés , Julio Pérez Tabernero , among others . It contains an atmospheric as well as evocative musical score by Antonio Pérez Olea . And colorful cinematography by Miguel Mila , shot on location in La Pedriza , Colmenar Viejo and in the Western town called ¨Golden City¨ where by that time , the sixties and seventies , shot great number of Tortilla Westerns .
The motion picture well produced by José Antonio Sainz De Vicuña was professionally directed by George Sherman in B-style , though has some flaws and gaps . Sherman made reliable low-budget fare for Columbia between 1945-48, then moved on to do the same at Universal for another eight years . Sherman specialized almost exclusively in "B" westerns there , including the "Three Musketeers" series, which featured a young John Wayne. George directed lots of Westerns as ¨The Last of the Fast Guns¨ , ¨The Lone Hand¨, ¨Santa Fe stampede¨ , ¨Red skin¨ ,¨War Arrow¨ ¨Chief Crazy Horse¨ ¨Calamity Jane¨, ¨Relentless¨ , ¨Comanche Territory¨ , ¨Dawn at Socorro¨, ¨Border River¨ and many others . He also made occasional forays into action and horror themes, often achieving a sense of style over substance . The only "A"-grade films to his credit were two westerns starring John Wayne: ¨Comancheros¨ (1961) (as producer) and ¨The big Jack¨ (1971) . His last films were realized in Spain as "Find That Girl" , ¨The new Cinderella¨ and ¨Joaquin Murrieta¨. Joaquin Murrieta rating : 6/10 . Acceptable and passable . Well worth watching .
Other film about this legendary figure are the followings : Silent rendition ¨Joaquín Murrieta¨ (1927) or ¨The Gay Defender¨ with Ricard Dix , Thelma Todd ; the classic recounting titled ¨Robin Hood of El Dorado¨ by William A. Wellman with Warner Baxter , Bruce Cabot , J. Carroll Naish , Margo ; and in 1988 this personage appeared very secondary in ¨The Mark of Zorro¨ by Martin Campbell with Antonio Banderas , Catherine Zeta Jones , Anthony Hopkins and Diego Siores as Murrieta .