A Crescent Picture (1936)

Producer: E. B. Derr
Associate Producer: Bernard A. Moriarty
Director: Lynn Shores

Screenplay and Story: John T. Neville

Tom Keene as Captain John Carroll
Rita Cansino as Paula Castillo
Duncan Renaldo as Ricardo Castillo
William Royle as Harris
Gino Corrado as Pablo

Black and White, 62 mins. running time

Rebellion was Rita's seventh film, her first "B" Western. These low-budget films did little to further her career but they kept her working during the heights of the Great Depression. Beyond steady work, these westerns also brought Rita a fear of horses! But according to her directors, she was always cooperative, and though she was afraid, did not complain or let it interfere with her work.

Rebellion is set in California, 1850. At the time, California was a newly acquired land of the United States. A treaty was signed to protect the Mexicans living in the area, but it is not being upheld. When American bandits murder the father of Paula Castillo (Rita Cansino), she heads to Washington to petition for law enforcement to be sent to protect her people and their land from the thieving outlaws. In response to her plea, the president sends Captain John Carroll (Tom Keene).

Once in California, the first thing he does is dismiss a self-made court set up by a criminal named Harris (William Royle) and his gang. When Paula's brother, Ricardo Castillo (Duncan Renaldo) is killed, both Paula and John begin taking more serious action. Soon Harris' gang kicks Paula out of her own home. The captain teams up with Ricardo's band of patriots and they succeed in giving much of the land and homes back to their rightful owners.

Meanwhile, when Paula becomes influential in a campaign to make California a state, Harris' bandits kidnap her. But John rescues her in short order and gets her home back. With the help of Ricardo's friends, he forces out Harris' gang, and so brings justice to California. Soon California achieves statehood. John is chosen to be it's first senator, and he and Paula plan to be married.

Rebellion was made in 1936, while Rita was a free-lance artist, not under contract to any major studio. In it, she plays a Mexican girl with jet-black hair and a Spanish accent!

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