Production Company: Fox
Top Billed Actors: Warner Baxter, Edmund Lowe, Dorothy Burgess
IMDb Rating: 5.9
*Best Picture Nominee*
Won 1 Oscar:
Best Actor - Warner Baxter
Nominated for 4 more:
Best Director - Irving Cummings
Best Writing - Tom Barry
Best Cinematography - Arthur Edeson
Plot: Three people with terrible accents won't shut up.
I understand these filmmakers were dealing with severe technical limitations. That doesn't stop me from cringing through the entire movie. I usually reserve this second paragraph for my praises of the movie. It is really difficult to do that here. In Old Arizona does present an alright character with Baxter playing The Cisco Kid. I did enjoy the scenes in which people are talking about him and he is on screen. However, the execution of these scenes and everything else in between is poor at best.
This movie is almost unbearable. The early technology made it impossible to add a score to the movie so each scene featured a heavy amount of silence if a character wasn't talking. However, this silence becomes sought after as each character is as annoying as their accents. Baxter, a man from Columbus, Ohio and Dorothy Burgess, from Los Angeles, play Latino characters and absolutely fail at their accents. This severely diminished any credibility in their acting. Edmund Lowe features a thick New York accent as well. I would rather hear a room full of crying babies mixed with the sound of nails on a chalkboard than listen to those accents again. The characters, aside from The Cisco Kid towards the end of the film, are shallow and unlikeable. The directing is poor as well. There are no alternate angles in dialogue sequences; it seemed like Irving Cummings was going for a play caught on film, except with poor acting. Everything seemed so scripted, it pulled you out of the lavish scenery of the Old West.
Overall, don't watch this movie unless you are interested in the first Western talkie. Limited technology and limited actors make this one of the worst films I have ever seen.
My Score: 3/10