Nick Bianco is caught during a botched jewellery heist. The prosecution offer him a more lenient sentence if he squeals on his accomplices but he doesn't roll over on them. Three years into the sentence an event changes his mind.
In the bordertown of San Pablo, preparing for an annual 'Mexican Fiesta,' arrives Gagin: tough, mysterious and laconic. His mission: to find the equally mysterious Frank Hugo, evidently for revenge; or is it blackmail? FBI agent Retz is also after the elusive Hugo. Everyone in town is enigmatic, especially Pila, a mystical teenager who follows Gagin around and has premonitions of his death. Also involved are a classic femme fatale and an antique carousel with a pink horse...Written by
Rod Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In the climactic scene in Hugo's hotel room, Pila is standing right behind the seated Gagin with her hand on his shoulder. But whenever we cut to the reverse angle, she is completely out of the shot. See more »
For me this movie is a fine example of the exotic "Old West" or "Old Mexico" of the '30s-'40s east coast imagination.
It has an ambiance similar to a Roy Rogers movie where the gangsters drive cars and fly airplanes, but Roy on Trigger is able to ride over the hill and cut them off. Business suits mix with cowboy outfits and Mexican girls in traditional dresses.
To correct some of the other reviewers, the fictitious San Pablo of the movie is actually Santa Fe--the La Fonda Hotel is a historic landmark near the main square of Santa Fe. Cowboys and Indians and lots of Americans in the on screen Fiesta are not that out-of-character after all because it is not actually in Mexico.
That said, the movie has an enigmatic, exotic, mysterious feel which is sustained throughout. The fact that you don't know much about the characters contributes to the enigma.
I liked all the actors, especially Thomas Gomez, and feel that the film has many glimpses of Mexican-Americans depicted more as actual people and less as comic-book caricatures than in other movies from the same period.
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