Trapped in Tia Juana

Ducan Renaldo plays identical twin brothers – one a bandit called 'El Zorro', the other a staunch military man – competing over the same woman in this rarely seen pre-Code feature.
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8271D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: September 17, 2019
  • Originally Released: 1932
  • Label: Alpha Video

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In 1910, at Fort Crockett near the Mexican border, the twin sons of Brigadier Captain Holbert, Johnny and Kenneth, are abducted. Though Kenneth is returned safely, Johnny is never found. Upon reaching adulthood, Kenneth follows in his father's footsteps and requests duty at Fort Crockett. His first assignment is to track down the mysterious bandit known only as "El Zorro". The mission becomes personal when the desperado kidnaps Kenneth's fiancée, but what the young man does not know is that "El Zorro" is his long-lost twin brother!

Trapped in Tia Juana reunited Trader Horn co-stars Edwina Booth and Duncan Renaldo in an attempt by independent producer Fanchon Royer to capitalize on the success of the 1931 MGM blockbuster. However, both actors had recently fallen on hard times. Booth had contracted malaria and dysentery while filming Trader Horn in Africa. She then successfully sued MGM for endangering her life, but afterwards, no major studio wanted to hire her. Trapped in Tia Juana was the last of three low-budget "Poverty Row" movies she made over the next year. For decades afterward, rumors persisted that Booth had actually died from her illnesses (Katherine Hepburn even repeated these rumors as fact during an appearance on The Dick Cavett Show in 1973.) In reality, Edwina quietly retired from Hollywood, dedicating her life to the Mormon faith. She passed away in 1991 at the age of 86. Another contributing factor to Booth's exit from the silver screen was her refusal to engage in Hollywood's "casting couch" practices. When she turned down MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, he assumed that she was having an affair with co-star Duncan Renaldo. Driven by jealousy, Mayer impulsively informed the authorities of Renaldo's status as an illegal alien (despite his ever present Latin accent, the actor was actually from Romania.) Trapped in Tia Juana was the last movie Renaldo could complete before he began a jail sentence for falsely claiming American citizenship, falsifying a passport, and perjury. After two years in prison, Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the actor a presidential pardon. Renaldo resumed his acting career, but he floundered in B pictures and Poverty Row movies until he scored the title role in The Cisco Kid TV series (1950-1956). That show guaranteed him immortality, but Renaldo never forgave Mayer for what he did to his career. Interestingly, the story for Trapped in Tia Juana was written by cowboy actor Rex Lease. At the time, Lease lived with producer Fanchon Royer, who was one of the very female movie producers in 1930s Hollywood.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 10,562
  • UPC: 089218827197
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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