A Crescent Picture (1937)
Producer: E. B. Derr
Associate Producer: Bernard A. Moriarty
Director: Irvin V. Willat
Screenplay: Mary Ireland,
from story by John T. Neville
Rita Cansino as Angela Gonzalez
Robert Fiske as Luke Gilmore
Ray Bennett as Flint
William Morgan as Steve
Black and White, 60 mins. running time
Old Louisiana is sometimes referred to as Louisiana Gal. The name change occurred sometime in the 1940's, when Rita was one of Hollywood's biggest stars. An exhibitor found this film and after spotting Rita, re-named it Louisiana Gal to make it appear she was the star. The picture co-stars Rita for the second time in a row with Tom Keene, who had just appeared opposite her in another Crescent Pictures western, Rebellion.
The movie takes place in 1803, before America owned the land west of the Mississippi River. This region was then controlled by Spain. An uproar among the American settlers in the area begins when the Spanish government puts a tax on American merchandise shipped on the Mississippi through the New Orleans port. A levelheaded settler, John Colfax (Tom Keene), convinces the townspeople that they must try to get the tax removed through peaceful means. In doing so, he makes enemies with the owner of a local fur company, Luke Gilmore (Robert Fiske), who wants to start a rebellion so he and his gang can take over Upper Louisiana. John goes to Washington to inquire about a settlement with the president concerning the tax problem. His trip east is a success. John then heads back to Louisiana (with Gilmore and the rest of the fur trappers, out to kill him). Enroute, John meets the daughter of the Spanish governor of upper Louisiana, Angela Gonzalez (Rita Cansino). When he sees she's traveling alone, he takes it upon himself to accompany to her destination. Meanwhile, Gilmore finds himself in trouble for gun smuggling. But he is able to pin the blame on John, and has him sent to jail for treason. When John's friends find out he's in jail, they immediately break him out. Once out of prison, John fixes Gilmore and the other trappers, straitens everything out with the governor, and wins Angela's heart.
Although it was released after her next movie, Trouble in Texas, it was actually made prior to it. Assuming a Spanish accent, Rita plays the beautiful love interest for Tom Keene, "Angela", the governor's daughter, in this 1937 film.