Cast & Crew
On Christmas Day in 1855 near Jasper, Arizona, a blacksmith's wife dies while giving birth to a son. When the embittered father, John Novak, names the child Cain, three of Jasper's prominent citizens--Mayor Carrillo, Dr. Carter, and Judge Perkins--baptize the boy Joe and practically adopt him. Known as the Christmas Kid, the rebellious Joe grows up; and when the welfare of Jasper is threatened by the unscrupulous gambler and promoter Mike Culligan, he reluctantly agrees to replace the spineless Sheriff Anderson. Culligan, however, uses his girl friend, Marie Lefleur, to charm Joe, and she soon has him under Culligan's control. When Joe's drunken father is killed in a barroom brawl, Joe despairs, hands in his badge, and forsakes guns and killing. As a romance develops between Marie and Joe, he persuades her to leave Culligan and return to her home; but, as she is leaving, she is gunned down by two of Culligan's henchmen, Karl and Burt. The crime spurs Joe back into action and so enrages the townspeople that they burn down Culligan's gambling-dance hall. Culligan then uses Joe's weakling childhood friend, Jud Walters, to frame the Christmas Kid as a killer-thief. With evidence stacked against him, Joe is sentenced to be hanged along with Karl and Burt. When the latter two are swept from their horses to swing in the air, however, Joe's horse does not move, for his loyal friends who know of Joe's innocence have hobbled the animal's legs. At this point Jud comes forth to tell the truth about Culligan's villainy. Though the trapped Culligan kills Jud, he himself is shot to death by Mayor Carrillo. Joe, the Christmas Kid, is now free to bring peace again to Jasper.
Alvaro De Luna
Fernando García Morcillo
Manuel Hernández Sanjuán
José López Moreno
Sidney Pink (1916-2002)
Born in Pittsburgh in 1916, Pink graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He began his film career as a projectionist in a theater owned by his wife's family. Moving to Hollywood in 1937, Pink was hired as production budget manager for Grand National Pictures, where he worked on the Tex Ritter musical western series. He later moved to Columbia and worked as a budget manager on Lost Horizon (1937) and many small scale westerns. After a disagreement with Columbia studio mogul Harry Cohn, Pink returned to the theater side of the business as the owner of a circuit of theaters in Los Angeles where he imported foreign films.
He soon hooked up with Arch Oboler for the production of two films, Five (1951), an offbeat feature about five survivors of a nuclear war and the irredeemably strange The Twonky (1953) about a professor (Hans Conreid) whose TV set becomes possessed by a spirit of the future and takes over his household.
Pink and Oboler would strike gold with their third film, the first full-length 3-D picture, Bwana Devil (1953). With television' popularity on the rise, a movie gimmick that advertised "A lion in your lap" or "A lover in your arms!" were promotional tag lines that came on like a carnival barker in a sideshow. The story about British railway workers in Kenya falling prey to two man-eating lions, and a head engineer (Robert Stack) bent on killing the lions before they feast on his entire crew might have been routine; but the movie, which required audience members to wear cardboard 3-D glasses as lions were jumping into your laps, spears were flying and people were coming toward you in hordes was a real hot ticket. The process, which was shot in Hollywood with two enormous cameras with polarized lenses, one for the left eye and one for the right, proved to be a surprising hit; enough so that Jack Warner came out with his own 3-D production at Warner Bros. with House of Wax (1953) starring Vincent Price and dozens of 3-D films followed in the ensuing decades.
After the success of his sci-fi cult hit The Angry Red Planet (1959), Pink found himself in a quandary. By the 1960s, Hollywood was having union problems, making it difficult for an independent producer like Sid Pink to be hired by the studios. Ever resourceful, he relocated to Denmark to produce and direct Reptilicus (1962 about a pre-historic monster that comes back to life and terrorizes Copenhagen! It may have not been high art, but it proved to be popular fare at drive-ins and its success allowed Pink to pursue film production in Europe throughout the remainder of the 1960s, including one of the earliest spaghetti westerns, Finger on the Trigger (1965) starring Rory Calhoun. Pink had one more fascinating footnote to fame when he discovered Dustin Hoffman in an off-Broadway production and cast him in Madigan's Millions (1967) as a U.S. Treasury agent sent to Italy to recover money that had been stolen by a murdered gangster (Cesar Romero). Pink soon retired from the film industry and eventually returned to the United States in the mid-1970s where he settled in Florida. He is survived by his wife, Marion, his son, Philip, a daughter, Helene Desloge and four grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Sidney Pink (1916-2002)
Produced in Spain in 1966 and released there as Joe Navidad; running time: 85 min.