4.7/10
118
8 user 3 critic

Captain Thunder (1930)

Victor Varconi plays a charming Mexican bandit gets involved in several conflicting paradoxical relations, including an alliance with a crooked rival bandit and a beautiful daughter of the governor.

Director:

Alan Crosland

Writers:

Pierre Couderc (based on a story by), Hal Davitt (based on a story by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Fay Wray ... Ynez
Victor Varconi ... El Capitan Thunder
Charles Judels ... Commandante Ruiz
Robert Elliott ... Morgan
Bert Roach ... Pablo
Frank Campeau ... Hank
Don Alvarado ... Juan
John St. Polis ... Pedro (as John Sainpolis)
Natalie Moorhead ... Bonita
Robert Emmett Keane ... Don Miguel
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Frankie Genardi Frankie Genardi
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Storyline

Victor Varconi plays a charming Mexican bandit gets involved in several conflicting paradoxical relations, including an alliance with a crooked rival bandit and a beautiful daughter of the governor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Commandante Ruiz: Silencio! Please, be quiet so I can discuss business. Remember not to forget to remember, I am still Commandante Ruiz!
See more »

User Reviews

 
Excruciatingly bad Victor Varconi in lead, beware!
20 October 2002 | by arthurswardSee all my reviews

I voted a 4 for this film only because Fay Wray's Spanish accented English was well modulated and consistent. We must remember the times afforded Mexicans virtually no work in films and the rest of this turkey is evidence of the folly of that practice. The film's setting is a Mexican village populated by: the cop from Warners' gangster films, a Swede as El Commandante and an Italian as the lead El Capitan Thunder, the much feared bandito. The film drips with stereotypical south-of-the-borderisms.

My problems with the film go beyond the casting. As the film opens, El Capitan Thunder's gang has kidnapped 5 women that he tries to come on to. An uncomfortable scene that gets worse with Varconi's histrionics. Wildly gesturing, Crosland's camera has not only difficulty keeping him in frame, but the composition is somewhere between medium close-up and close-up, leaving his hands out of frame. His arms flail, why? The effect I found to be jarring and this sequence is long. Seems like the director is trying to recapture Jolson's Jazz Singer magic with this somewhat ad-libbed bombast. Charles Judels as Commandante Ruiz, the police captain, is given a similar scene with the same bad framing. His scene stinks, too.

And I'm not done complaining, yet. While a nice musical underscore was added to the soundtrack, it must have been mixed at the Vitaphone "sea-of-100-turntables" as my print was clear and several layers of pop and crackle were evident. Silent movie titles were frequently used between scenes and the plot is incredible. Worst of all is Varconi's acting. I got the impression he watched Fairbanks in Zorro (a silent), concluded good acting was emoting to the back row and then proceeded to emote past the lobby! You'll wish lightning would strike Captain Thunder.

The positives included Don Alvarodo as Fay's love interest and two dozen men riding backwards on horseback (with hands tied) in the first reel. Best part: the film's only 5800 feet long so you'll only suffer for an hour.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

27 December 1930 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Vitaphone

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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