Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (4)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (3)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Old Arizona
Several years ago I found a source for In Old Arizona on VHS. It was a copy of a copy of a......... well , you get the idea.

It was in pretty poor shape. But, it was also the only resource

I could find for this movie.

This movie is not one of Warner Baxter's best movies. But, it is

historically interesting as being the very...
Published on May 26, 2005 by J. Whiteway

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
"In Old Arizona" is an Oscar winning 1929 black and white film; the first western talkie and the first talkie shot on an outdoors location. It was the third film featuring The Cisco Kid who first appeared in 1914 ("The Caballero's Way") and he went on to a long career with dozens of films, played by Cesar Romero (1941), Duncan Renaldo (1945-50), Gilbert Roland (1946-7),...
Published on February 26, 2012 by Dr. James Gardner


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In Old Arizona, May 26, 2005
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
Several years ago I found a source for In Old Arizona on VHS. It was a copy of a copy of a......... well , you get the idea.

It was in pretty poor shape. But, it was also the only resource

I could find for this movie.

This movie is not one of Warner Baxter's best movies. But, it is

historically interesting as being the very first talking western and the first appearance of the Cisco Kid. And he's a bad guy in this one too. And overall, I have to give it five stars for the fact that it was new technology and also interesting to see actors that came from the silent era learning to adapt to speaking a part as well as acting it. I am greatful to Fox for taking this movie out of mothballs and restoring it. It is not perfect but, considering the version I had previously, it is pretty near it. Well worth adding to a movie collector's collection.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Caballero's Way, September 13, 2005
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
Set in the late 1890s and featuring Warner Baxter in his Oscar winning role as the Cisco Kid, IN OLD ARIZONA is oddly entertaining. One of the first all-talking movies, its primitive sound recording techniques make it a pretty static `action' western. Although some scenes were shot outdoors - impressively catching the actors' voices without boom mikes showing at the top of the screen - most of the action takes place indoors, if action we can call it, while the actors sit real close to each other and talk loud and slow in interminable dialogues. Missing is the normal musical scoring and under-scoring, although many scenes open and close with picturesque cowboys, pianists, and caballeros singing or strumming an old-timey standard. This odd entertainment will appeal to you if you want to see how films went about figuring out what to do now that they finally had a sound track.

IN OLD ARIZONA is taken from O. Henry's short story "The Caballero's Way." It's a story that's easy to find with a simple internet search and is worth the hunt. The movie is more or less faithful to the source: the Cisco Kid loves Tonia (Dorothy Burgess) who, O. Henry tells us, was `half Carmen, half Madonna, and the rest...let us say, was humming-bird.' The movie Tonia is quite a bit more Carmen than Madonna, though, and it's not long before her roving eyes fall upon calvary Sgt. Mickey Dunn (Edmund Lowe), a bowery boy, transplanted to the old west, who is mesmerized equally by the humming-bird charms of Tonia and the sizable bounty offered for the Cisco Kid, dead or alive. Not quite the antagonist or motivation envisioned by O. Henry, but close enough for the purposes of this movie. With its simple but strong plot in place, IN OLD ARIZONA shows us how this deadly love triangle plays out.

For fans of old movies IN OLD ARIZONA is fascinating. As one of the first big pictures released after the introduction of sound, I was engrossed more by the way the movie's makers used their new toy than with the story. What sound effects do they use for stagecoaches and galloping horses? How do they handle background, or ambient, noise? Not too well, as it turns out. There's a scene in a bar where the directors (Irving Cummings & Raoul Walsh share directing credits) have a piano player sing in the background while a conversation is going on in the foreground. The music more or less drowns out the conversation. Baxter's Mexican accent sounds like it was filtered through Chico Marx. Surprisingly, this was Dorothy Burgess's first movie. Twenty-one years old at the time, her acting, with its languidly paced exaggeration, belongs in a silent film. Usually I like or dislike a movie solely on the content of the story. My reaction to IN OLD ARIZONA is a little different. The story was okay, but there was way too much gibble-gabble, too little action, and a good chunk of the dialogue is hard to follow. I added another star because this is a transitional film, in good condition, and a study of not only what Hollywood was going to do with sound, but also what it would try and discard in the future.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching, February 26, 2012
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
"In Old Arizona" is an Oscar winning 1929 black and white film; the first western talkie and the first talkie shot on an outdoors location. It was the third film featuring The Cisco Kid who first appeared in 1914 ("The Caballero's Way") and he went on to a long career with dozens of films, played by Cesar Romero (1941), Duncan Renaldo (1945-50), Gilbert Roland (1946-7), and Jimmy Smits (1994). Renaldo played him in the TV series (1950-56).

In the original O'Henry short story, the Cisco Kid had far more darker facets to his personality, but it was lightened considerably for the big screen, and over the years turned more comical than dramatic .

Warner Baxter (1889-1951) plays Cisco. Baxter was a big star in the 20s. After "In Old Arizona" he went on to star in "Prisoner of Shark island" (1936) and "Kidnapped" (1938) and his career fizzled after that.

Beautiful Dorothy Burgess (1907-61) plays Cisco's love interest in her film debut. She had a brief busy career in the early 30s, but various love affairs and a manslaughter charge squashed her box office appeal.

Square jawed Edmund Lowe (1890-1971) was a leading star in the silent era, and made the transition in the 30s with films like "Chandu the Magician" (1932) and "Dinner at Eight" (1933).

Raoul Walsh (1887-1980) was originally scheduled to direct and star, but an accident with a jack rabbit caused him to lose his eye, and Warner Baxter got his part. Though he's probably best known for his films with Errol Flynn, Walsh was a master of the melodrama - "Roaring Twenties" (1939), "Dark Command" (1940), "High Sierra" (1941) and "White Heat" (1949) - and westerns - "Dark Command" (1940), "They Died with Their Boots On" (1941), "Colorado Territory" (1949), "The Lawless Breed" (1953), "The Tall Men" (1955). He declined noticeably in the 50s after he left Warner Brothers, but his 50+ year career made him one of Hollywood's most memorable directors.

1929 was the first year that the Oscars appeared. "Broadway Melody" won Best Picture, Warner Baxter ("In Old Arizaona") and George Arlis ("Disraeli") shared the Best Actor award, and Mary Pickford won for "Coquette". The most popular films were "Gold Diggers of Broadway", "Sunny Side Up", "The Cock Eyed World", "Welcome Danger", and "The Desert Song". Other notable films that year include the Marx Brothers in "Coconuts", Lionel Barrymore's "Madame X", the first of the Ronald Coleman "Bulldog Drummond" flicks, and Salvador Dali's "An Andalusian Dog".

The film was nominated for Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director and Best Writing and won for Best Actor. The NY Times called it "an intelligently contrived talking film". They particularly praised the sound system and the use of incidental sounds (mission bells, a ticking clock, braying of a jackass).
Coming as it does in 1929, the film shows its silent heritage in the acting, but the camerawork is very impressive.

Bottom line - well worth watching, mostly from an historical perspective.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the bowery boys meet the cisco kid, September 5, 2006
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
this is probably the highest ranking anyone will ever give this film, but i genuinely enjoyed it. warner baxter creates the role of the cisco kid, adapted from an o. henry short story, and it owes more to o. henry than to zane grey; the dialog is punctuated with tough "noo yawk" street lingo of a century ago, and the denouement is pure irony. and incidentally, there is a hilarious exchange between the two lead cowboys where they compare the size of their respective guns. is this for everyone? by no means. but if you are a westerns buff, and are willing to take a look into a different time and a different mindset, give this a try.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A technological triumph of early sound, February 21, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
Although this film was released in January 1929, it was filmed in 1928. That makes it truly amazing when you think that the first all-talking picture wasn't even released until July 1928 - "Lights of New York". As others have mentioned, this film does not have lots of action - much screen time is spent with characters just talking in specific locations. There are no exciting shoot-outs or chases as you would expect in a western made just five years later. This is probably due to the motion constraint of the early sound cameras. However, you do get some tremendous long shots of some stunning western vistas. This was because Fox was an early adopter of sound-on-film versus sound-on-disc. This gave Fox the ability to shoot outside and made the studio an innovator in the production of newsreels - they could take their cameras anywhere.

As for the film itself, I'd recommend it only if you're interested in early sound films. Otherwise, you'll probably be bored stiff due to the lack of action. Warner Baxter's portrayal of the Cisco Kid is quite good. He doesn't get too campy with a role that could have been over-the-top in the wrong hands. I do have to wonder - why is every single member of the army that is pursuing Cisco speaking with a Queens accent and why are they using urban New York slang? Was there a mix-up at central casting that day? Was the cast of this film supposed to show up for a Bowery Boys film or a gangster picture and wound up here by mistake? In 1928 there were dialogue coaches, but probably not many coaches on regional dialect. It's a shame to think that if John Wayne had tried out for this early sound western he would have been turned down because he didn't sound like he was from Brooklyn.

As for the quality, the video is quite good on this DVD. The signal/noise ratio is a bit of a problem throughout the film - it is hard to hear quiet conversation. However, this is probably due to the early sound technology. There are no extras on the DVD at all.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a sleeper - literally, June 20, 2005
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
I have been looking forward to viewing this film for decades. I remember seeing it for sale years ago. When I saw that it was finally coming out on DVD, I was excited!

If you enjoy films from the late silent period and the very earliest of talkies, this is for you - for technical reasons. This was the first all-talking movie shot outdoors. If you study the film to imagine how it was shot and the obstacles that were overcome to produce this film, you'll marvel.

However, if you are looking for content ---well. I know its the first screen appearance of the Cisco Kid. Yes, Warner Baxter is in it. Plus you'll see other early appearances. But as for the story and the long windy dialog...it did put me to sleep. I actually fell asleep and awoke as it was ending. It seemed much longer than the 99 mins listed.

So for historical reasons, I give it a thumbs up and will keep the disk for my collection. But as a drama or a western film, move on to some of the classics of the 1930s.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Severely dated, but worth getting for anyone interested in the early days of sound, December 11, 2007
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
I'd been looking for this film for quite a while and finally saw it a few years ago. While it has weak points and severely creaks throughout (it is almost 80 years old, after all) Warner Baxter's performance is reasonably good and there are entertaining moments-particularly if you speak Spanish, as there are some lines of dialog spoken in Spanish which I found highly entertaining.

As to the DVD itself, the transfer is fairly good, allowing for the film's age. I was quite satisfied with its quality.

Recommended for film buffs, particularly fans of early westerns.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In Old Arizona, September 25, 2011
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
The 1st film shot on location using Fox's sound-on-film "Movietone" process. It had a huge novelty effect when released late in 1928; the contemporary critics all wax rhapsodic. They were especially wowed by a close-up of ham and eggs cooking with synchronous sizzling sounds! It is worth seeing for historical interest, but it's really quite bad. The Cisco Kid's initial holdup is basically the only action scene, the rest is a very, *very* talky talkie shot on soundstages with a Rock of Gibraltar camera. Warner Baxter & Dorothy Burgess are risible as "Latinos", & Edmund Lowe i...s hardly better affecting a New Yawk accent & ending every single line with "Geez". Gains 1 point for a cold-blooded twist ending that the 1934 code would have nixed & the aforementioned historical interest. 4/10
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars REAL MOVIE NEWS REVIEW, June 19, 2013
This review is from: In Old Arizona [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
With the arrival of the "talkie," sound pictures were quickly integrated into each studio. In one short year, the new technology had spread across the industry and into each genre. Some films were later in arriving to the world of sound than others. Musicals and dramas filmed on studio lots and sets were first to be wired for sound, whereas it took a bit longer for the films shot on location.

One of the defining characteristics of a western is the wide open terrain of real locations. In Old Arizona was not only the first western sound feature, but it was also the first "talkie" shot outdoors. Granted, much of the exterior action happens on a small set, very rarely showing the expansive terrain westerns were known for. There is one main robbery sequence at the beginning of the film which takes place completely outdoors. This is some of the poorest sound in the film, but it is also history in the making. Looking back at some of the first digitally created special effects is also comical now, but at the time it was impressive. I can only imagine what the film industry must have looked like in 1929.

The story is a simple love triangle set in the west, though the film's ending is far more daring than anything you would expect to see in a mainstream film. In some ways the narrative seems to have the sentimentality of a film noir, set in a cheerful western. A charming and friendly bandit named The Cisco Kid (Warner Baxter) coincidentally makes friends with the very sheriff (Edmund Lowe) trying to kill him. In a ploy to destroy the "bad guy," the sheriff enlists the help of The Cisco Kid's unfaithful lover (Dorothy Burgess).

This woman is the infamous bandit's one weakness, although she is vain and self-serving. More interested in proving that she can get any man she wants than staying faithful, The Cisco Kid's woman quickly jumps into bed with the sheriff in a plan to kill the bandit and steal his loot. Directed by Raoul Walsh and Irving Cummings and featuring an Oscar-winning performance by Baxter, In Old Arizona is a clunky little western offering endless enjoyment despite its flaws. The Blu-ray release transfers what I can only assume is the best existing print, though not much restoration seems to have been done. The sound and picture go in and out depending on the scene, due to aging and typical wear.

fOR THE REST OF THE REVIEW [...]
[...]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars 1929, May 20, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: In Old Arizona (DVD)
This movie was great for its time,but does'nt quite transfer across on todays standards.Has some volume issues when the actors are talking in low tone or walking away from a scene.The transfer is a 3.5 out of 5.Movie is b&w-100 minutes long.The acting was good,story was good,and lots of comedy.Fun to watch for the right price....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

In Old Arizona [Blu-ray]
In Old Arizona [Blu-ray] by Baxter (Blu-ray - 2013)
$24.99 $16.38
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.