Under a Texas Moon

Under A Texas Moon is a 1930 American Pre-Code musical Western film photographed entirely in Technicolor. It was based on the novel Two-Gun Man (from 1929) which was written by Stewart Edward White. It was the second all-color, all-talking feature to be filmed entirely outdoors, as well as being the second Western in color and the first all-talking, all-color Western. The film features one theme song by the title of "Under A Texas Moon."[1]

Under a Texas Moon
Film poster
Directed byMichael Curtiz
Written byGordon Rigby
Stewart Edward White (Novel)
StarringFrank Fay
Raquel Torres
Myrna Loy
Noah Beery
Music byRay Perkins
CinematographyWilliam Rees (Technicolor)
Edited byRalph Dawson
Distributed byWarner Bros.
Release date
  • April 1, 1930 (1930-04-01)
Running time
82 minutes
CountryUnited States


Frank Fay, as a Mexican named Don Carlos, rides into a small Texas border settlement on the Fourth of July in the early 1880s. He is accompanied by his two inseparable companions, played by Georgie Stone and George Cooper. The day is being celebrated in the style of a Spanish fiesta. Fay challenges a rough Texan, played by Noah Beery, to a duel, only to find himself invited to undertake the dangerous task of capturing a cattle rustler who has been stealing cattle from the Lazy Y Ranch. He accepts the task on the promise of receiving $7000 in gold if he can return both the thief and the stolen cattle within 10 days.

During the next nine days, Fay spends his time making love to every pretty girl he meets, serenading many of them by singing the theme song to the film while playing his guitar, while his two companions join in the harmonizing. He lies to them all, telling each girl exactly what she wishes to hear. Throughout all this time, he does nothing towards earning his reward. On the 10th day, he captures the cattle rustler and turns up the cattle to everyone's surprise by using a simple method of which no one had thought. He rides back to Mexico with his latest conquest in his arms.



The film survives as a single nitrate Technicolor print, copied by the UCLA Film and Television Archive.


New York Latinos led by Gonzalo González protested the film, characterizing it as "anti-Mexican" mainly because Frank Fay portrayed Mexicans as being liars and womanizers. Police brutalized the picketers, killing González. The murder sparked a pan-Latino protest, in which the Latino civil rights activist Luisa Moreno participated. She later told Bert Corona that the experience "motivated her to work on behalf of unifying the Spanish-speaking communities."[2]

See also


  1. The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:..Under a Texas Moon
  2. García, Mario T. (1994). Memories of Chicano History: The Life and Narrative of Bert Corona. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-20152-3.

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