The Bandit Queen (film)

The Bandit Queen is a 1950 American Western film directed by William Berke.[1]and starring Barbara Britton, Willard Parker and Phillip Reed. as the leaders of a Robin Hood type band.[1][2][3]

The Bandit Queen
The Bandit Queen with her avenging bullwhip
Directed byWilliam Berke
Produced byWilliam Berke
Robert L. Lippert
Murray Lerner
Written byOrville H. Hampton
(additional dialogue)
Screenplay byVictor West
Budd Lesser
Story byVictor West
StarringBarbara Britton
Willard Parker
Phillip Reed
Music byAlbert Glasser
CinematographyErnest Miller
(as Ernest W. Miller)
Edited byCarl Pierson
Lippert Pictures
Distributed byLippert Pictures
Release date
  • December 9, 1950 (1950-12-09) (Premiere)
  • December 22, 1950 (1950-12-22) (United States)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States


Zarra Montalvo is the daughter of an American father and Spanish mother, Don Jose (Victor Kilian) and Zara Montalvo (Cecil Weston, credited as Cecile Weston). The Montalvo family possesses land rights or Spanish land grants to a hacienda with gold mines present. Abroad, Zarra comes home to California and witnesses her parents being murdered by Hank (John Merton) and an unknown man, Sheriff Jim Harden (Barton MacLane). Zarra initially approaches Harden about the crimes but eventually recognizes him as part of the murderers' gang. She joins forces with Joaquin Murietta (Phillip Reed) to regain her rightful inheritance, and together they assume secret identities, with Zarra hidden behind the alias of a Zorro-like character named "Lola Belmont" and Murietta as "Carlos del Rio".

Dan Hinsdale (Willard Parker), an attorney, later informs Zarra about his purchase of her family's rancho at a reduced fee because of back taxes owed by Zarra's parents. Zarra seeks the aid of Father Antonio (Martin Garralaga), who along with Murietta is one of the few people to know their dual identities. Father Antonio warns her that her outlaw gang is wanted by the Spanish authority and its soldiers. Upon learning this, "Belmont" and "del Rio" secretly work to regain stolen gold and "land rights" on the behalf of other neighboring rancheros.



Britton was coached for the film by Marcella Cresney.[4]

The Bandit Queen was produced by Lippert Pictures[5] and shot in the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park[1] as well as the San Fernando Valley.[6] Set near Madera, California during the California Gold Rush, The Bandit Queen is a 70 minute black-and-white movie[3] that was a serial film depiction of Joaquin Murrieta's life.[7] Martha Vickers was initially slated to "play a two-gun gal of the West in her come-back picture" in this movie.[8] This release marked the final "Lippert Studios" film in 1950 with Britton starring in the title role as a Spanish American aristocratic daughter who avenged her parents' deaths in recovering stolen wealth through the use of a bullwhip.[9]



The Bandit Queen received the following reviews:

- The Baltimore Afro-American, April 21, 1951.[10]

- The Modesto Bee, February 8, 1959.[11]

- Southeast Missourian, March 22, 1951.[6]

- Times-News (Hendersonville, North Carolina), January 29, 1951.[12]

See also


  1. "The Bandit Queen (1950)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  2. "Bandit Queen (1950)". Noblebandits. Arizona State University. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  3. "Bandit Queen (1950)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  4. Schallert, E. (1950, Oct 22). From refined to ruffian--that's barbara britton. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) Retrieved from
  5. "1940 - 1959 (1950 section)". Noblebandits. Arizona State University. Retrieved 11 June 2010.
  6. "A Week At The Cape Theaters". Southeast Missourian. March 22, 1951. p. 9. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  7. Hedda Hopper (September 13, 1950). "Barbara Britton won't go east". Toledo Blade. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  8. Manners, Dorothy (August 14, 1950). "Dorothy Manners in Hollywood". Milwaukee Sentinel. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  9. Erickson, Hal. "Bandit Queen Plot Synopsis". AllMovie. Retrieved 12 June 2010.
  10. Rea, E.B. (April 21, 1951). "On The AVENUE". Baltimore Afro-American. p. 11. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  11. "TV Movie Key". The Modesto Bee. February 8, 1959. p. 20. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  12. "- FOX -". The Times-News (North Carolina). January 29, 1951. p. 3. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
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