Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Cisco Kid

The Cisco Kid is experiencing somewhat of a revival because that's the nickname given to the young New York Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli. Cisco was often compared to Robin Hood, but not the tea-bagger variety as portrayed in the recent Russell Crowe film. I wonder how many people remember the original Cisco Kid.
a great resource about the Cisco Kid
The Cisco Kid Episode (1950-1956) Starring Duncan Renaldo and Leo CarrilloThe Classic western series was the first to be filmed in color, even though the majority of television sets in the country were black and white. The show presented the tales of The Cisco Kid and his trusty sidekick Pancho as they traveled about the West, coming to the aid of those in need of it.
The Cisco Kid (western, with Duncan Reynaldo and Leo Carillo)
(Syndicated, from 1950)
[156 episodes produced in color by ZIV-TV between 1949-1956;
The characters of handsome Mexican folk-hero Cisco and
his portly sidekick Pancho (shades of "Sancho Panza" from
Cervantes' classic "Don Quixote") were drawn from a series
of popular western dime-novels written in the 1800's by
William Sydney Porter, who used the pen name of "O'Henry";
In the introduction to each episode, the TV series announcer
referred to the Cisco Kid as "O'Henry's famous Robin Hood
of the West..." He did seem to use the resources of more
wealthy citizens to help the less fortunate. So you might
say this idea was a blend of Don Quixote with Robin Hood.
A 1929 silent film had included the Cisco Kid character.
Loose adaptations of "Cisco Kid" stories had been dramatized
on radio as early as 1943 using a different THEME composed
by Albert Glasser and played on the organ;
Then two B-picture feature films were created by low-budget
Monogram Studios in 1945;
This was followed four years later in 1949 by five more
films produced by United Artists; Albert Glasser got the
contract to score these pictures, recording them in France.
Although the actors were made up to look younger, lead Duncan
Reynaldo who played Cisco was actually in his 50s, and Leo
Carillo who played Pancho was in his 70s when the TV series
was filmed.]
In his book "TV's Biggest Hits", Jon Burlingame mentions that
Glasser's music for the 1949 Cisco Kid films were "adapted
from traditional Mexican folk melodies." However, this THEME
is very similar to the tune, "La Spagnola (the Spanish Maiden)"
written in 1937 by the Italian composer Vincenzo di Chiara,
which was not a Mexican folk tune.]

No comments: