Release dateMarch 2, 1930 (1930-03-02) (US) Based onBased on the short story, Strictly Business
by Wallace Smith
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Beau Bandit is a 1930 American western film, directed by Lambert Hillyer, from a screenplay by Wallace Smith, based on his short story, "Strictly Business". It starred Rod La Rocque, Mitchell Lewis, Doris Kenyon, and Walter Long. The story is based loosely on the legend of Robin Hood.
Montero is a bandit who, along with his deaf-mute sidekick, Coloso, are planning to rob a bank. They are pursued by "Bob Cat" Manners and his posse. As they close in on the bank, owned by Perkins, Montero becomes involved in the personal affairs of Helen Wardell and her fiancé, Howard. Perkins is also interested in Wardell, and he also holds the mortgage on Howard's ranch. Finding out that Montero has a price on his head, Perkins uses that fact to coerce Montero into agreeing to kill Howard. Perkins, however, has no intention of paying Montero, instead arranging for the posse to capture the outlaw.
Montero fakes Howard's murder, and is expecting a double-cross, so he is prepared for the trap, and instead of being captured, he traps the posse. Montero then holds Perkins hostage, extorting $5,000 from him in exchange for his life, and forces Perkins, who is also Justice of the Peace, to marry Helen and Howard. Adding insult to injury, Montero gives the newlyweds the $5,000 for their honeymoon.
Rod La Rocque as Montero
Mitchell Lewis as Coloso
Doris Kenyon as Helen Wardell
Walter Long as "Bob Cat" Manners
Charles Middleton as Perkins
George Duryea as Howard
James Donlan as Buck
Charles Brinley as Slim
Barney Furey as Logan
Bill Patton as Texas
While being generally favorable to the acting in the film, NY Times critic, Mordaunt Hall, gave the film a lukewarm review, laying most of the issues in the screenplay by Smith. Motion Picture magazine gave the film a favorable review, calling it "delightful", and being particularly impressed with the script. While Motion Picture News called the film just "so-so", and gave La Rocque's performance a very negative review. However, they complimented Doris Kenyon and Mitchell Lewis' performances, as well as Harry Tierney's song, "Just a Little Kiss".